1. Jennifer Bart profile image61
    Jennifer Bartposted 3 years ago

    What are your thoughts on Marijuana in terms of medical purpose and legalization?

    1. The Public Image profile image95
      The Public Imageposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I want to preface my answer by saying I'm not someone who smokes marijuana, because typically when I talk about this, I get reactions from people saying things like, "Well, you're a hippie musician!" (I'm not a hippie, either.)

      With that said, I support the legalization of recreational marijuana and approve of its use for medical purposes. I think it's basically a harmless drug, no worse for the average human than drinking--and arguably better, or at least, less harmful. I think the potential benefits are huge, in that even a small tax on legal pot would generate vast amounts of income. Sure, there'd be overhead involved because you'd have to oversee the growers/distributors/sellers, but it'd be no different than monitoring any other such industry.

      Here, however, is what I believe to be the sticking point in terms of getting marijuana legalized. Think about all those non-violent criminals who went to jail, in some cases for YEARS, because they were carrying/ingesting/selling a little weed. Remember those guys? What do you do with them once everyone else gets a free pass going forward? Do you say that they have to remain incarcerated because their offense was committed prior to the change in the law? Or do you risk releasing them from the penal system, where some of them may have been turned into violent offenders or turned to harder substances (for either recreation or profit)? And what ifr those people who were imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses and who have remained non-violent decide to litigate once they've been released? The impact would likely be absorbed by the average taxpayer, which only seems fair when you think about it, since our country's laws are (largely) based on social mores and dictates.

      But we've got enough problems these days getting people to pay for the things they actually use; can you imagine trying to convince them that taxes are going up to pay reparations to a wronged segment of our civilization? I can see the Tea Party argument already: "Well, it may be legal now (and I'm smoking as I type this, hahaha) but it wasn't at the time you got busted. Since you knew the penalty then, you shouldn't have committed the crime! I owe you nothing!"

      So, since everything in modern life involving institutions always seems to boil down to the same thing--money--I think the issue of what to do with current criminals who are otherwise not a problem is and will remain the one issue holding back legalization.