According to what's left of the Hartford Courant, the state legislature is considering decriminalizing marijuna
, thereby saving $11 million in law enforcement costs annually.
Under the proposed legislation, stoners caught with an ounce or less would be charged with an infraction that comes with $131 ticket...whoa, lovely Rita meter maid!
Imagine the money that could be saved if pot was legalized.
Sold over the counter, the "gateway" aspect of a corner pusher pushing harder would disappear, and marijuana could be taxed like alcohol which is a very dangerous drug indeed.
Europe (The Netherlands in particular) has proven that the government does not neccesarily have to over-legislate while legalizing marijuana. It does not have to be made unaffordable and nearly impossible to obtain. It's not neccesary to control the potency (and weakening it) until weed is ultimately back to the street sales market. Although I suspect the US Government will want every customer to be fit with an ID chip or some other nonsensical way of keeping their eye on the evil-doers. The government most likely will not be able to resist abusing their own powers, thusly taxing the shit out of it, messing with the genetic make-up of pot and eventually driving the sales back to the streets, sort of a Black Market situation.
Here in Holland it is affordable, of all potencies imaginable, and not out of control with the Dutch youth. Legalization has created a degree of tolerance and safe environments for all concerned. It is up to those who imbibe to behave and not abuse the privilege, which it is. Marijuana purchasing and coffeeshops (where one can have a smoke while relaxing with a koffie or tea, playing board games, reading or discussing world & local politics) is indeed a privilege. It is made clear that this is a privilege -- not a right -- and can be taken away in one quick local court decision. Very strict laws for shop owners and growers has proven to be a successful commercial venture for the government and those in the business. With the exception of the inevitable small band of young people in cities who sneak a puff in public areas, there are few problems involving marijuana. Alcohol is another story over here -- it is a serious issue with the young people, especially in the cities. A recent 10-year study was released revealing the fact that kids from religiously devout families make up 67% of alcohol abusers from 10 to 16 (in Holland the legal drinking age is 16). The Parliament is currently considering raising the drinking age to 18. It's not yet an epidemic, but is clearly heading that way.
Marijuana on the other hand is rarely, if ever, mentioned in relation to school children or crimes. Like sex, youth & citizens of Euro countries are not "protected" from such images by ridiculous governmental censorship of nudity and sex...so it's not a big deal, nor is pregnancy by minors a major problem here.
Unfortunately I don't see the American population changing their archaic moral attitudes enough to accept a legal joint. I surely cannot imagine the government playing fair (or safe!) with legal marijuana. Save your seeds!
As it happens, I don't use either pot or alcohol, but it's beyond me why one is so demonized when the other is, apparently, so much more dangerous. I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with money spent by the alcohol lobby, right? No really, right?
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