Now that the Federal Government’s Justice Department has decided to allow the legalization of industrial, medical and recreational marijuana to move forward in States that choose to do so, I thought that maybe we could approach the idea of legalization from a more practical point of view.
In 1933 alcohol prohibition ended on the Federal level. Within 4 years all the harms associated with alcohol use had shifted to marijuana whose use had increased during alcohol prohibition. Although none of it was true, in 1937 marijuana was made illegal without a shred of scientific evidence to back it up. In 1970, after the 1937 law was declared unconstitutional, the Controlled Substances Act declared marijuana a dangerous substance again without a shred of scientific evidence to support it. This law was particularly odious because it thoroughly suppressed any attempt to amend the law. It has taken decades to sift through the propaganda and outright lies used to keep up the status quo of marijuana prohibition, but polling now shows that a majority of Americans no longer believe the Government or Law Enforcement or those who support prohibition, the Prohibitionists, when deciding about drugs, and in fact a majority now believe marijuana should be legal.
Many of these Prohibitionists are sincere in their fears but seem incapable of accepting any evidence that contradicts what they’ve been taught their whole lives. One has to have been be born before 1937 to have lived in a time when marijuana was last legal, some 77 years ago. One is forced to ask how they know what will happen should prohibition end. They don’t. Their assessment is nothing more than an educated guess mostly based on the harms of alcohol use! With legalization approaching the Prohibitionists are stepping up their pronouncements of doom and gloom. Fortunately, Prohibitionists themselves have given us a way to measure what will happen.
Prohibitionists have maintained that medical marijuana laws are a scam and anybody can get marijuana in a State with medical marijuana laws. That means in a state like California that has had medical marijuana laws for 17 years, California’s citizens have had access to marijuana, whenever they want, for 17 years. 17 years with what amounts to legalization. Surely the claimed harms associated with rampant marijuana use would surface in a decade and a half? Where are the bodies?
What has happened in California? Nothing! Nada! There has been no discernible increase in traffic accidents, domestic violence, crime or any of the purported harms the Prohibitionists have claimed would happen. In addition current data show that teen use in medical marijuana states is down and in Colorado, so far teen use has remained the same.
What is happening? A terrible injustice started more than 77 years ago as an excuse to push Mexicans back across the border during the Great Depression, is finally coming to an end. An experiment, like alcohol prohibition, and just as big a mistake, that has gone on far too long.
Kentucky’s citizens favor passing the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act by more than 60%. The citizens are ahead of the Assembly on this issue. Despite the cries of the Prohibitionists, Kentuckians recognize that the positive aspects of marijuana law reform, both financial and practical, far outweigh any possible justification for continuing the failed policy of marijuana prohibition here in the Commonwealth.