Marijuana debate is a waste of California’s time

“Do you have a card?”

The answer to this question separates those who can legally purchase and smoke marijuana in the state of California from those who must resort to using sketchy dealers and smoking in secret.

This question has also received significant attention in California lately, as legislators, civilians and marijuana users alike debate the legality of medical marijuana and how it relates to recreational use.

This is attention, however, that could—and should—be focused on much more important issues facing California right now, from the state of our education system to the tax code. The legalization of marijuana is a small fish in a big pond; we shouldn’t even be debating it at all.

California has relaxed marijuana legislation relative to the rest of the United States. For those who carry a medical marijuana card, private use of the drug is completely legal. Thanks to a bill based by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, those who don’t have a card but are caught with up to an ounce of weed simply receive an infraction instead of a misdemeanor charge.

There are two reasons why there was a downgrade for the offense. First, marijuana is not nearly as harmful as  staunch anti-marijuana advocates make it out to be. Marijuana is not physically addictive, tends to calm people down rather than promote aggression and violence (like alcohol) and has been accepted by the medical community as a safe and effective treatment for ailments such as insomnia and epilepsy.

Second, excessive prosecution for marijuana charges clogs up our court system and jam-packs our already overcrowded prisons. What’s the point?

By legalizing marijuana, time and resources can be put towards more prevalent issues, ones that affect the majority of California residents.

People are going to smoke no matter what, and it would be much better for the industry to be legally controlled. In the meantime, all the attention, money and resources that currently are being diverted into the marijuana debate could be used to tackle some of the state’s other problems.

3 replies
  1. Dude
    Dude says:

    It’s pretty sad that after prop19 failed to pass because so many of the profiteers didn’t want it to upset their lifestyle, they promised they would craft a more ‘fair’ legalization inititave for 2012. Interestingly enough that idea never materialized. As long as it is still illegal, the prices stay high and the growers and dispensary owners and gangs enjoy the profits while tens of thousands of others go to jail every year.

  2. Jillian Galloway
    Jillian Galloway says:

    Cannabis is far safer and far less addictive than alcohol. We could GREATLY reduce the amount of harm and addiction in society by giving people the right to switch from the more harmful drug, alcohol, to the less harmful drug, cannabis.

    It is outrageous for our elected officials to actively prevent this reduction of harm in society!!

  3. FlyingTooLow
    FlyingTooLow says:

    We are Americans..we live in a free country…this is what we have been told since birth.

    The prohibition of marijuana is a farce. It is the few telling the many what they may and may not do. We are a free people. It is time to start living the way our forefathers intended.

    Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on crime…to those that are REAL crimes.

    I was in Federal Prison for 5 years for a marijuana offense. No, it was not for simple possession. I was arrested aboard a Lockheed PV2 in Marianna, Florida…charged and convicted for conspiracy to import and distribute 12,000 pounds of marijuana.

    At the time, I really had no idea what I had gotten myself into…mine was an offense involving pot…the thought never occurred to me that I may actually spend years in prison for that ‘indiscretion.’

    As my years in prison rolled by, what I did see were armed bank robbers, coming and going…while I still sat there for marijuana. Most of the bank robbers only spent 17 to 24 months. But, I and my fellow ‘drug offenders,’…we stayed for YEARS.

    I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved…there were no victims.

    We were Americans…doing what Americans do best…living free.

    Truly, it is time for this lunacy to end…it never should have begun.

    My book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank
    It is about living free.
    I would be honored by your review.

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