Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sensible Cannabis Policy Reform

I’m begging my readers now to step up to the plate, stop feeding on the propaganda lies, and think with some sensibility about the state of this “drug war.” Like other wars that aren’t actually wars (think: the “war on terror”), the government desperately tries to win over public support through vicious propaganda campaigns. The most effective method in the “war on terror” has been to alienate anyone who disagrees with the administrations policy on terrorists, labeling them as anti-American or terrorists themselves (remember Bush: “you are either with us, or you’re with the terrorists”). The war on drugs is not much different. The method of alienating marijuana users into criminals, thugs, or lazy couch potatoes has been on of the most effect techniques of this propaganda matrix. A massive TV campaign has been in full force for years, proclaiming the facts (lies) about marijuana, claiming it as a gateway drug and a sure way to ruin ones life. Of course, this has no scientific backing what so ever, and why should it? If the government tells us, then it has to be fact… right?

Not only does the government campaign through propaganda, they also do through something a little more primitive: all out force. Since the creation the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), criminals have been created out of thin air through unjust laws that violate the very principals of our constitution. Person’s unalienable rights of property have never been so violated throughout this violent age. The right of a person to put whatever substance in his/her body should not be violated. But the latter is not the subject of this argument, for that debate could last all day, through thousands of pages. Instead, I make the more practical argument – that it is not practical to wage an all out war on drugs. The neocons claim (especially since the Regan era, and into the Bush Dynasty) that drug war is to protect the public from dangerous criminals is not only a lie, but also hypocritical for the very “war” they wage creates criminals. Handling a public crisis (which does not exist), should not be carried out with assault rifles and attack dogs (but this just seems like the way the government loves to do things – think the espionage act or the WTO protests in 1999). The only reason that these dangerous criminals exist is because the very law that was written to prevent these so called dangerous criminals. If the drug became regulated, these dangerous criminals would (for the most part) disappear for the consumer would no longer be forced to buy from them – instead buying from a reliable store, just as a smoker buys cigarettes from the gas station. With regulation the threat of “a gateway-drug” from minors would also drastically decrease for the drug would require the buyer to be “of age.” The latter would indirectly cause the drug to become less readily available to youth. Even though, when actually thinking logically, marijuana is not a “gateway-drug” for the substance itself does not actually cause the user to want to try other, possibly more dangerous drugs; the user rather makes this decision on his/her self.

In addition, scientific research has shown (not without debate) many different results when studying the effects of marijuana on the mind and body. Most, though, conclude that it is indeed not addicting, not as harmful to the lungs as tobacco, and has very little effect on motor skills (much unlike alcohol which has, obviously, been proven to drastically effect motor coordination). In fact, a resent study has shown no significant increase in lung cancer exists as a result of smoking marijuana. In the study, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol; the active chemical) was actually shown to reduce the risk of cancer for it actually prevents carcinogens from entering into the lungs and into the blood stream. In accordance to this research, many unrelated studies (for years) have shown substantial medical benefits of THC to patients.

So, if marijuana isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be, then what is the next step? First of all, a new sensible policy is needed to allow the cannabis to become legal. This doesn’t mean making it legal and allowing the sale on the streets by criminals and gangs, but rather regulating and taxing the drug similarly to tobacco and alcohol. Economists nation round have agreed that legalizing consumer cannabis as well as marijuana (the drug), can have enormous benefits to the economy, saving government expenditures by billions, as well as generating billions of additional income to the local, state, and federal governments. This quite very well means more money to schools, roads, health care, national defense, and drug rehabilitation, and less money to cops to arrest peaceful non-violent citizens.

With this said, I’m asking all my readers to inform yourself about the real facts, not just the one the government feeds us. Think logically and practical, and ask your local representative why this unjust, unconstitutional prohibition on freedom has continued for so very long.

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