Colorado is known to be a swing state for the 2012 general election, but it’s also demonstrating it’s a microcosm of a 40-year disaster. The federal government has successfully convinced large groups of voters marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, a concept so far out of reality it’s … well, it’s what one expects of government.
In this Coloradoan article, reporter Patrick Malone revealed the similarities in Fort Collins’ voter views on Question 301, which would repeal the municipal ban on dispensaries, and Amendment 64, which seeks to decriminalize marijuana and regulate it in the same manner as alcohol.
One of three Larimer County Commissioners, Tom Donnelly, was quoted by The Coloradoan as saying, “I think it’s very much the purview of government to tell people things they don’t know about.” I’m admittedly incapable of showing deference to people simply because of their elected or appointed positions when they make such foolish statements; however, if Mr. Donnelly believes banning dispensaries within city limits and/or criminalizing use of a drug with far fewer harmful side effects than alcohol (a subsection of which (beer) is one of the most identifiable industries in town), is the equivalent of “informing” people of the harms of marijuana, he might be better suited for federal or state politics where reason, truth and logic have nothing to do with the statements of politicians.
The Concerned Fort Collins Citizens were active behind banning dispensaries in Fort Collins last year; when they were victorious (no thanks to pathetic turnout by the young voters who actually seem to grasp the lunacy of marijuana prohibition efforts) they were photographed celebrating with drinks in hand. I’m not sure what it is about alcohol they seem to believe is safe, but they’re wrong.
They were kind enough to provide a list of sponsor organizations and businesses right on their website. And 9News was kind enough to provide a list of businesses cited for serving alcohol to minors in March of this year and wouldn’t you know it? Three of the businesses appear on both lists. The CFCC claims the marijuana crimes increased after the dispensaries came to town. I’d like to see the proof of this claim. I’d also like to see all the ways they believe alcohol isn’t ending up in the hands of minors despite the fact it’s already illegal.
Why it is the Baby Boomer generation serving in politics seems incapable of having a grown up conversation about the failures of the drug war is beyond me, but anyone, and I do mean anyone, who has been separately both drunk and stoned knows which one is more harmful. In a conversation on Notify Fort Collins’ Facebook page yesterday, linked here and also accessible via the Facebook icon at the top right on this page, the arguments against decriminalization appeared centered not on the morality, but rather on societal productivity.
One side of the argument, admittedly not a view I share, essentially said if marijuana is decriminalized and regulated like alcohol, people will sit around in a perpetual state of stoned bliss, not contributing to society. Another claim spoke to the risk of secondhand smoke to children.
I’m not sure how it’s lost in translation, but regulating marijuana like alcohol means you’re not providing it to minors, consuming in public (though we all know this is acceptable with alcohol in certain situations), endangering others or any of the other things you’re not allowed to do while drunk or in pursuit of your legal right to drunkenness.
The strongest argument for weed when compared to alcohol is violence. In 10 years of being a military cop all over the country (mostly the west), I witnessed drunks fighting on a weekly basis. Not once in my life have I observed a stoner doing anything violent to anything other than a cheeseburger or a slice of pizza.
However, the disconnect I see in the older generations and the socially conservative starts with alcohol. I don’t see the marijuana-prohibitionists who believe weed is harmful (despite the abundant evidence to the contrary), making the argument for alcohol. I can only assume this is the fault of education. Alcohol prohibition did nothing positive for the US other than provide a blueprint for why prohibition of infinite resources is a dumb idea.
Weed is a plant. And despite every attempt for the federal and state governments to stop the influx, it’s far easier to purchase weed in every city or state than it is to purchase a firearm. Many people have listened to the anti-drug campaigns far too literally and haven’t stopped to taken the time to consider the repercussions of what is honestly among the dumbest ideas to ever come out of a city known for corruption and stupidity.
The death and harm caused by alcohol, which is perfectly legal as long as it’s not sold to persons under the age of 21, not consumed in public, not influencing any operators of automobiles and taxed with the public’s consent in most places, far exceeds the harm of marijuana.
One study indicates drivers under the influence of marijuana actually make the roads safer. The theory isn’t concrete, but the logic is sound. Drunks are aggressive and careless, stoners are paranoid and defensive.
Then there’s the legal prescription narcotics killing thousands upon thousands of Americans annually. These are the drugs deemed “safe” by the Food & Drug Administration. Yet they’re highly addictive, harmful and potentially fatal. The CDC estimated 15,500 people died in America in 2009 of prescription painkiller overdose. I’m dubious that number has decreased.
Marijuana is essentially impossible to overdose on, it’s non-addictive, it’s less dangerous than already-legal-and-socially-accepted-alcohol and it’s widely used recreationally already with no signs of that stopping anytime soon (in other words, marijuana prohibition is putting money in the hands of criminals instead of government, the same way alcohol prohibition did). So why is marijuana illegal? This is a question I want every opponent of Amendment 64 and Question 301 to ask themselves.
Then consider, is it possible marijuana is illegal because the alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies who lose money when weed is the drug-of-choice spent millions to keep a cheap product superior to theirs in many ways illegal in order to make billions selling their addictive/habit forming and harmful products? Wall Street isn’t the only area of the country known to influence legislators folks. Just think about it.
Federal laws have a history of incompetence behind them, meaning laws written without legislators understanding the long-term consequences. This applies to both foreign (Libya) and domestic policy (drug war). To support them is to support incompetence. I’d rather see Hick stand up for the state’s right to determine what the people will do than kowtow to the feds and suppress competition for his breweries.