Monday, April 20, 2009

Are We Ready to Reform Marijuana Laws?

According to NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) the country is ready for a change. Writing on the NORML Blog, Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director has this to say:

I believe, there is a palpable zeitgeist in America right now favoring reform; the Obama administration appears amenable to some cannabis law reforms in ways that no prior president since Jimmy Carter has embraced; and lastly, with NORML’s nearly 600,000 ‘friends’ on Facebook and nearly 67,000 MySpace, more Americans than ever before who are keen on cannabis can create a viral effect that benefits reform.

Here in Boulder between 10,000-15,000 students and activists are expected to celebrate in what has become the biggest 4/20 event in the world.

A New York Times article expresses agreement:

Long stigmatized as political poison, the marijuana movement has found new allies in prominent politicians, including Representatives Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Ron Paul, Republican of Texas, who co-wrote a bill last year to decrease federal penalties for possession and to give medical users new protections.

I agree wholeheartedly that penalizing marijuana possession and personal use is wrong. I absolutely favor legalization. Whatever expense would be involved in the transition could easily be recouped in taxes, probably in a very short time. The letterhead, envelopes and business cards of the ATF would all have to be reprinted, of course. Would it be ATMF or AMTF?

What's your opinion? Is there a moral question in legalizing pot? Do you think it sends the wrong message to kids? Might it not improve the message by separating marijuana from the other drugs which are sometimes more harmful?

Please leave a comment.


  1. How can you possibly understand that the drug war is an abject failure yet refuse to apply that same logic to gun control and the "war on guns?"

  2. For God's sake, it's about time. I'd personally go far beyond legalizing pot (the hypothetical junkie robbing somebody for his next fix can't possibly create more evil than the massive international illegal drug trade we've created through prohibition), but no matter how you slice it marijuana prohibition is pointless and destructive.

    I don't use the stuff myself, and have little interest in it, but forget taxes; we'd make up the cost of transition in the first week that we weren't spending a fortune investigating, arresting, prosecuting, and imprisoning people who just wanted to use a drug less dangerous than alcohol.

    And this is leaving aside _completely_ the fact that the federal government doesn't have the authority to restrict non-commercial intrastate drug use and posession in the first place...

    Sorry--this is just one of those things (like gay marriage bans) that doesn't affect me directly but _really_ pisses me off anyway.