Saturday, January 11, 2014

141.4 - Point of personal privilege: drugs

Point of personal privilege: drugs

Okay, the other thing, the other topic not high on my personal list of priorities but about which I do have a clear opinion, has to do with drugs. This is sparked, obviously, by Colorado's legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

First things first, it's obvious, even tacitly admitted by our so-called leaders, that the "war on drugs" is and has been a miserable failure that has been of benefit only to the corporations that build and privately run prisons while needlessly branding tens of thousands of people, most of them minorities, as criminals.

But now Colorado has legalized weed. Washington had already done so but is still in the process of establishing legal dispensaries.

Perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised. The nation as a whole has gone through a dramatic change of heart on the issue. As recently as 2005, the Gallup poll had over 60% of the public opposed to legalizing marijuana. But the latest poll, from this past fall, has 58% now favoring it.
Advocates of legalization see possibilities for legalization, based on state-level polls, in 14 more states and the District of Columbia over the next few years.

Again, it's not high on my list of priorities, in fact, most - not all, but most - of my references to drugs on my blog have been to the "war on drugs" is being used to strip away Fourth Amendment rights. However, I have favored the legalization of marijuana for most of my adult life, so I'm pleased by the recent news.

I don't favor the legalization of all drugs; I think we can legitimately ban the sale of substances that have demonstrated serious dangers - remember, my generation was the one that came up with the slogan "speed kills" and yes, I'm looking at you, tobacco and alcohol industries - and I think we can place some restrictions on the sale of marijuana to minors. Still, I do admit to being quite pleased by being able to say that marijuana legalization is something that is coming, it is happening. And I think we'll be the better for it.


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