October 10th, 2009 :: Permalink
Our nation's battle against marijuana began in the 1930s due to the public's ignorance and the spread of false fears by public officials, such as Harry Anslinger. Currently this war wastes an estimated $40 billion per year of taxpayer resources. Law enforcement, courts and jails are at breaking points. In every segment of our society we know this position against marijuana is irrational and ineffective public policy.
The evolution of medical marijuana dispensaries has created an interesting paradox. While locations such as Los Angeles have witnessed an explosion of "suppliers" we have seen ZERO reports of users "trying to fly off buildings," "turning into monsters and mass murderers" or any of the false fears that were used to mandate prohibition of use.
The ONLY problem society confronts is the "explosion" of dispensaries ... why is this surprising to a capitalist society? Economics teachers us that those willing to supply a product will increase to meet the demand from those who wish to consume the good. With millions of users, hiding in shadows, there is decades of pent-up demand. Yet we have seen ZERO violence related to these compassionate transactions.
These challenges could be easily solved. Proper regulation would mitigate most of the sticking points. The greatest harm to society comes from the continued lies ...
When working with community groups regarding vaccinating their children or considering shots for an unknown strain of flu such as H1N1, the biggest challenge is the lack of trust. I can't count how many people have told me they are unwilling to trust public health officials and our national scientists because of the "lies" about marijuana. This war, which has been propelled by lies, myths and hypocrisy, continues to destroy the public's trust in our law enforcement, courts and officials.
As our current American generation gathers in the public forum to add their voice toward "perfecting our union," there is no goal more important than furthering truth. The time has come for our society to demand some form of legalization/decriminalization over this product. We are nothing as a people if we cannot live in truth.