Why Marijuana Prohibition Fails
The people have spoken...
Prohibition fails. Prohibition has failed-miserably- in the past, and it is doomed to fail once more. And without delving into a 9th grade history lesson on the culture of the American 'Great Depression', I will briefly breakdown and explain why prohibition failure is so immanent, and, finally, why marijuana will once again be made legal for recreational use in the very near future. The seemingly-endless debate over the legalization of marijuana will be put to rest, with logic and pragmatic reasoning getting the better of deeply-ingrained myth. The 1937 Prohibition will FINALLY lose whatever ground it once stood on, and here's why:
Time will Tell
At this juncture in the marijuana legislation debate there is no amount of research-based evidence that will convince policy makers to change their minds. Just about every year a new book or documentary is released pleading with the 'high ups' of society to lift the ban on civilian marijuana use. Everything that can be said, about the property of the drug, the potential health benefits and drawbacks, the potential government revenues, has been said. We all know that smoking a joint won't kill you, and many of us know that, on some level, there are external factors, such as religion and conservatism, that play a prominent role in the lasting power of the prohibition. With that said, I am not here to belabor the already over-saturated argument pertaining solely to the consequences of marijuana legalization on society. Instead, I hope to shed a new(er) light on the marijuana debate by arousing a more pragmatic, a more logical response to the question of prohibition. Hear me out.
The concept of prohibition is founded on a catch-22 (if that makes sense). That's right, even the idea of prohibiting a substance from public usage is, in itself, a paradox of sorts, and here's why: the need for prohibition of a substance, any substance, is fundamentally linked to its increasingly widespread consumption in society. I don't, for the life of me, know why the United States government decided to, effectively, ban liquor from public domain all those years back, but I can theorize on why, even then, prohibition was doomed for failure. In short, any substance that is so widely consumed within a society, so much so that it 'degrades' the very fabric of that society and requires government control and legislation is, by definition, uncontrollable, and 'unbanishable' from said society. Essentially, substance prohibition is only necessary when a substance is too popular in the public sphere, at which point, it is already out of the control of the government to banish or limit its usage.
So without pulling at any emotional strings, without delving into a history course, and without repeating all the petty facts and statistics on the effects of marijuana, can't we just leave it at this: "Prohibition cannot be enforced for the simple reason that the majority of American people do not want it enforced and are resisting its enforcement. That being so, the orderly thing to do under our form of government is to abolish a law which cannot be enforced, a law which the people of the country do not want enforced."
- New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia, 1944.
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