Yes pot, or marijuana or whatever you want to call it. It’s time we have a adult conversation about this issue and finally come to a decision on whether to legalize or to keep fighting.
Pot has been controversial and been seen as a gateway drug to other harder drugs like cocaine or heroine. To this fact, governments have spent billion in policing costs, court costs and prison costs all to keep people from producing or smoking the ‘drug’. In this blog I will lay out some of the pros and cons and what we can do.
There are a number of pro’s to legalization that have been pushed hard by people who think that is a good idea. Things like taxing pot, economic stimulus and addressing it as a health issue could all address dependency. Pot revenue from tourism, sale, taxes, reduction in time spent by police jailing and going after these people.
Pro) In the 20’s the government of the United states dried things up and disallowed the sale and possession. This created an underground mafia which moved and sold booze. Realizing that they weren’t going to stop people from drinking they decided to allow it and sell it again with a tax. This is something that could be done for pot, to stem the sale of illegal pot by dealers and organized crime. Creating a organization like the LCBO would allow for a new revenue and reduce the burdon on taxpayers. Countries like the Netherlands have legalized pot and have 2.3 billion in pot related revenue to play with. They have it regulated so that it can only be smoked in certain areas (like cafe’s) and bringing it outside is illegal or growing yourself is illegal. Portugal has taken a even different approach that all drugs are legal and instead of throwing people in jail they have addressed the issue as if it was a health problem. Money spent by police agencies fighting to stop this was put into health care and allowed to be spent to fight addiction. If the government took control of the pot trade it would reduce the organized crime income, create numerous jobs and allow for more purchase power for people.
People who are against legalizing pot bring forward some interesting points as well. If pot was legalized people would be less productive cause they would be eating or lying around more. Government pot isn’t as good because its straight plant where the stuff purchased from the street is added with herbicides and other stuff to make it better. Roads are filled with drunks anyways why do we want high drivers.
Con) Now, I’ve never heard of someone smoking to get high so that they could do better in a marathon and this may have some merit to it. Workers who smoke are less productive then there non-smoking counterparts and they generally take more breaks then people who don’t. Adding pot to this could reduce workers production and make working unsafe for themselves and others. Would employers want people who smoked pot in there facilities or would that end up on the ‘no ask’ list. You can get pot if you want it from the government already but its for medical purposes only and it said to be less potent then street pot because its strictly the plant. All the people who are pushing for this would you be willing to buy government pot if it lasted you less time and wasn’t as good? Drunk driving in certain areas of the country is an epidemic and adding legalized pot to the roads is a bad idea. Its harder to tell if people are high then a drunk and it affects motor skills.
In the end, we need to have a conversation about this and decide whether to attack this or legalize it. Come in with an open mind and look at all the facts. More and more people are coming out in support of legalizing pot and seeing that there are benefits for governments there.
So what did I miss? What do you think? Should we legalize or no.
Just a extra piece. Portugal and the Netherlands have about the same or lower crime rate as Canada after having legalized pot.