Legalize marijuana or not, it will always be here. The world would be better off if we did. But make no mistake, this ‘war on drugs’ isn’t about marijuana prohibition. It’s about a sustained, and voter approved attack on every person’s liberty.

Prohibition only profits criminals and punishes the prohibited.

Richard Nixon declared a “War on Drugs” in 1971. I was one then. But the war on marijuana has been going on a bit longer than that and for more dubious reasons. Hearings on marijuana laws were first held in the 1930’s. In these hearings, it was claimed that marijuana had the ability to cause “men of color” to become violent and rape white women.

Evidently, they imagined the plant to have a keen sense of color and sex. This is the level of ignorance, racism and mental depravity that produced such a ridiculous thing as Marijuana Prohibition.

Alcohol is some mean stuff

Let us never forget that alcohol is legal. Alcohol is and has always been, a drug. Yes, the active ingredient in any alcoholic beverage is ethanol, a very dangerous drug. The CDC said that “excessive alcohol use” led to 88,000 deaths between 2006- 2010 with 12 million years of potential life lost (YPLL). The cost of excessive alcohol use, economically, was 249 billion in 2010 alone.

15% of robberies have been linked to alcohol use. 37% of all recorded rapes have been committed by persons under the influence of alcohol.

27% of aggravated assaults have been committed by individuals under the influence of alcohol. Four out of ten child abusers have admitted to being under the influence at the times of their offenses.

This list of long term complications from alcohol consumption is extensive. It hasn’t been established that alcohol can be used to alleviate any symptom unless one considers good judgment to be a symptom.

There are acute complications such as alcohol poisoning, assaults, prison, jail, etc. but long term, the complications are more often terminal. Heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, gastrointestinal problems, six different kinds of possible cancer, from your throat to your colon, and the list goes on.

Weed could heal the world

Cannabis, in contrast, has no adverse health effects except in very rare instances when those who are sensitive to it have side effects. A very low percentage can’t smoke it at all. I chuckle as I tell you; you can technically “overdose” from marijuana. It causes “terrible” munchies at best and will make you sleep like a baby at the rough end of it.

Also, in contrast, cannabis is used to alleviate hundreds of symptoms without causing a measurable amount in return. Cannabis has been shown in studies to reduce or slow cancer growth of certain types of cancers. Cannabis has been unparalleled in its ability to stimulate appetite in patients who would otherwise be unable to eat.

The list of uses and benefits of Cannabis is quite long, while the list of harms is practically pure imagination. People are going to prison, sometimes for decades.

It’s more than High Time that we passed sweeping federal marijuana legalization laws. Marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests, that’s people smoking or possessing even as little as a joint in many states. Of 8.2 million marijuana related arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply possessing pot.

The financial incentive

Colorado topped 1 billion in legal marijuana sales in 2016.In states where medical marijuana is the law, the profits, though still very substantial, are not nearly as much. An example is New Mexico, which brought in 50.6 million in 2016.

States like these might want to get on board sooner rather than later. According to Washington State brought in roughly 1.6 billion in total marijuana sales. Can you imagine how much a state the size of Texas would net?

Simply put our world would be a much richer and brighter place if people just left each other alone. You are just never going to stop this train. It might profit you to instead, get on board.