By TED SCHAFT
First, pro-legalization does not equate with pro-use. It’s a matter of responsibility, personal freedom and no victims.
Right now the state of Vermont is in the middle of an experiment concerning mostly unregulated marijuana use and it doesn’t even know it. It became legal July 1 to possess an ounce and grow some plants. After listening to VPR about the upcoming legislative agenda concerning new marijuana laws, I was surprised that no caller or panelist mentioned this. It is a foregone conclusion that the state will create a new bureaucracy to deal with the supposed increase in use and abuse. So this begs the question “What has happened in the last six months concerning marijuana?” It seems to me the answer is ……nothing. There has been no evidence of an uptick in use, abuse or the other predictions of marijuana smoke pouring out of high school windows (the smoke pouring out is vapor) and cars flying off the roads and into other cars willy-nilly.
It is nearly impossible to get the facts. The Office of National Drug Control Policy is statutorily mandated to oppose legalization by any means necessary. Any report issued by the ONDCP will cherry pick or slant the facts to support its mandate. The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area has the same predisposition that legalization is a bad idea and has highlighted problems while suppressing any of the benefits of legalization. The propaganda wars started when the police announced all drug seeking dogs would have to be euthanized because they couldn’t be untrained.
The hope is that the state will delay any action to create a new $20+million bureaucracy to regulate marijuana or set up a market place, whose expense can’t be covered by taxes. Let the experiment continue for at least another year. There is no need to find another solution in search of a problem at this time.