Legalize Marijuana to Save America

Posted on September 28, 2009

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Legalize Marijuana to Save America

In a country where bipartisanship divides us, and the economy is crumbling tenfold daily, there is one thing I think we can all agree on; we need change. Our president promised it throughout his campaign. Whether or not this was actually what Mr. Obama had in mind (most likely not,) it seems the notion of legalizing marijuana is finally being discussed by the powers that be. The issue has primarily been raised by activists and “drug users;” intentionally left widely untouched by mainstream media and politicians. As the U.S. dollar threatens to collapse completely, it becomes irresponsible for our political leadership to stand mute on the issue any longer. For years, many politicians have dodged the issue, claiming that further DEA testing, etc. was necessary before this could happen. Mr. President, Senators, Congress, and members of the national media…it’s time to do your job.

Our beloved nation is going bankrupt fast. We bail out banks, auto makers, airlines, and already-rich CEOs. Stimulus dollars never seem to trickle down past the level of local government. As a taxpayer, I would love to know how the American government can actually justify its actions. Are they really so dense in Washington D.C. that they don’t know a bad idea when they see one? No; they are very smart. They also have the benefit of all necessary resources and contacts to bring about said change. I am 31 years old right now. By the time I reach age 65, will there still be funds in Social Security for me? Realistically, that money will probably be long gone within 20 years.  Social Security has become a running joke among Americans; a well meaning program that has been pillaged over the years.  I know I must do for self, because I recognize that my government can not.

On August 6th, 2007, a group of marijuana growers in California offered at least one billion dollars a year to the state. The money would come in the form of tax revenues created by the legalization of marijuana. An added bonus would be the money saved by not arresting, prosecuting, and jailing nonviolent pot smokers. This pledge was apparently ignored by well-paid politicians who thought they knew best. Two years later, perhaps they now see differently. California is nearly broke. State employees are facing pay cuts and termination. Many farms are unable to stay afloat. Why? Because some suit in an elected office who fails to grasp the severity of this situation, thinks he can figure something else out instead? California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger should resign; for he has  failed his constituents. As a former pot smoker himself, Mr. Schwarzenegger should recognize this pledge as an opportunity to fix his state. Some people use marijuana as medicine, others do just want to get high. It doesn’t matter; from alcohol to weed, history has shown that prohibition does not work. People already get high. The Drug Czar, DEA, and law enforcement in general (many of whom DO realize that marijuana users are not our biggest problem) have been unable to eradicate cannabis since it was banned in 1934. It only took a year to figure out that banning booze only brought about more hurt for the nation, in the form of gangs and smuggling operations. Foreign criminal gangs now cultivate drugs in our national parks and forests, and get rich selling their wares to our citizens. A drug war has been raging for years at the U.S./Mexico border. Its soldiers and victims span every corner of our country. Why? Warring cartels are fighting for control of an unregulated industry. Americans are willing to establish the U.S. marijuana monopoly for our government, free and clear. Uncle Sam would have a stranglehold on regulation, taxation, and if they want them,  production and distribution. This creates jobs, saves farms, and eliminates wasteful, unnecessary spending.

This is the taboo equivalent of Bill Gates setting up a billion dollar industry and handing it over to fix our troubled economy. All they have to do is stop locking up cancer patients and non-violent pot “offenders.” And they can’t see fit to do that? Blindly clinging to some self-righteous, outdated set of morals won’t fix our country’s problems. Real life, modern-day solutions are needed. Although seemingly radical, using “weed money” to fix our economy is one such solution; probably the best. The people who fight to keep marijuana illegal are Un-American. There, I said it. Kevin J. Ziruolo. Quote me. If you are unwilling to rethink the issue to keep your country out of depression and poverty, your morals are suspect, and perhaps you need to review your own priorities. We are spending BILLIONS of our much-needed tax dollars annually because other people choose to put a plant into their own bodies? Jails are full, yet we build new prisons and “sell” prisoners to private-run facilities. Why lock up an estimated 700,000 people each year needlessly, many for simple possession? As a country, we can’t afford it. According to most sources, the American marijuana industry is booming; generating an estimated $10-$50 billion annually. Do the math. Look at your celebrities, America. Look at your musicians; your Olympic gold-medalists. Even ex-presidents. Cannabis is so intertwined with our culture and history; there is no way to ever eradicate it. As a nation, we can do better. I am a patriotic American; and yes, I would pass a drug test.

-KZ

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