Is it Time to Finally Legalize Marijuana?

Bill Maher suggested this on his show last Friday night, the government needs a profitable industry that it can assess taxes to increase revenue.  Legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana could be the cash crop we’re looking for.  Is it time to legalize pot?

Marijuana is less addictive that tobacco cigarettes.

Marijuana’s effect on the body is about the same as alcohol.

Decriminalizing marijuana would free up law enforcement dollars for things like border security, homeland security and would also relieve jail overcrowding.

Like wine, Marijuana has some associated health benefits.

more after the jump:

From a 1999 article in the NY Times:

The active ingredients in marijuana appear to be useful for treating pain, nausea and the severe weight loss associated with AIDS, according to a new study commissioned by the Government that is inflaming the contentious debate over whether doctors should be permitted to prescribe the drug.

The report, the most comprehensive analysis to date of the medical literature about marijuana, said there was no evidence that giving the drug to sick people would increase illicit use in the general population. Nor is marijuana a ”gateway drug” that prompts patients to use harder drugs like cocaine and heroin, the study said.

The authors of the study, a panel of 11 independent experts at the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, cautioned that the benefits of smoking marijuana were limited because the smoke itself was so toxic. Yet at the same time, they recommended that the drug be given, on a short-term basis under close supervision, to patients who did not respond to other therapies.

Now I don’t smoke marijuana; I last tried one toke of it in 1979 as a college freshman, and promptly got sick because I don’t know how to smoke anything.  But I think its worth debating whether or not a product used dailoy by 12 million Americans should make the leap from an illegal market to a mass market product.

Imagine the local, state and federal tax one could tack on to a pack of joints? 

  3 comments for “Is it Time to Finally Legalize Marijuana?

  1. Cheech Marin
    October 13, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Dan-

    I have always thought the Democratic Party could gain an advantage by taking a common sense approach to Marijuana.

    Dems, Reeps, and DS’s all understand that marijuana legalization will not result in a slide into harder drugs and an overall destruction of our society!

    Great post Dan, now it is time for the local CA Dems to push the party to include this into their state profile, then eventually to the National Party.

  2. Cheech Marin
    October 13, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I meant state PLATFORM… must be to much of the subject at hand…

  3. Ellinorianne
    October 13, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    I think we should start with hemp. It’s a sustainable crop and can be used for paper, clothing and many other helpful uses. We import our hemp now, why not just grow it here in the US legally? It’s just insane.

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