One of the major selling points for the idea of legalizing marijuana is that it would save loads of money by not having to fight its use anymore, and tax revenue would be increased by pot stores opening up.
Savings on drug-related law enforcement -- FBI, police, courts and prisons -- of $2 billion to $10 billion a year if marijuana were legalized, based on various estimates, or up to $40 billion a year if all drugs were legalized...
Okay, fine, those things are probably true. But, tell me something. Is there anything that is so worthwhile that no monetary value could be associated with it? I would argue yes.
Let's think back in American history 150 years. What if Americans then took the same view towards slavery? "Look, Jethro, these aren't people, they're property! If we give them their freedom, look at all the revenue we'll lose! The country will forfeit all that tax income because productivity will decrease!"
Good idea/bad idea? I'm sure you'll agree that even the thought is preposterous. A war was fought -and won- by people who believed that human beings were more important than money.
So, I have another take on the marijuana issue: Perhaps the mental well-being of our country is more important than boosting the economy by revising our morals. Perhaps, if we actually treated crimes like, oh I dunno... crimes, people would be less likely to commit them and it wouldn't spin into an out of control epidemic forcing so-called great thinkers to suggest legalizing them!
Maybe it's just me, but maybe the health of our society and its individuals is something that we should be taking more seriously! Once we allow something, it is almost impossible to retract. Like throwing feathers in the wind. Oops! I needed those for my quilt! I hope winter never comes! We need as many healthy people as we can get in this world.
The arguments in favor of legalizing drugs have several other points that have had equally little thought put into them:
Increased productivity as fewer people were murdered, drug offenders were freed to find work and those stripped of their criminal record found it easier to get jobs (including running drug boutiques). However, how many of those now in prison would turn away from crime is unknown.
There are a few "doozies" in this one paragraph, so we'll address them one by one.
1. What makes you think that fewer people would be murdered if drugs were legalized? Instances of people doing drugs and then killing other people will likely increase!
2. Will former criminals really find it easier to get jobs? I'm pretty sure this is an overly optimistic suggestion. Most businesspeople in America value the qualities of honesty, hard work, and self-control. Even if their particular brand of crime has now become legal, they still displayed the laziness and horrendous lack of judgment and self-control when they knowingly committed a criminal act!
3. What makes you think that legalizing a crime will lead freed prisoners to "turn away from [a life of] crime?" Most criminals are repeat offenders! Sure, they won't have their former life of marijuana-selling to return to, but what would probably happen is that they will move on to other things that are still illegal, since that's where the big money is.
C'mon, people. Let's think these things through!
The $65 billion market for all illicit drugs, he estimates, might bring in $10 billion to $15 billion in taxes.
Does it bother anyone else to accept money that cost other people's blood? Drugs kill people!!! Legalization won't change that fact. Of course, the government could mandate that health professionals provide counseling on the "safest" possible methods of drug use. And that won't have any effect on the already insurmountable fees we already pay for health insurance, I'm sure.
A new legal drug industry would create jobs, farm crops, retail outlets and a tiny notch up in gross domestic product as the black market money turned clean. A 1994 study... suggested 100,000 jobs and 60,000 retailers could emerge from a legal marijuana industry.
I've got another idea. Why don't we just stop requiring people to follow any laws? Imagine the potential jobs that could be created if American pedophiles could stay here to indulge their fantasies instead of flying halfway around the world to drop their cash in a Third World country? Think of the burgeoning economy we would develop if murderers-for-hire could report their income! I hear that the sex slave industry is still alive and well, too; that's gotta be worth something.
While we're at it, why don't we just turn ourselves over to the Communists? That way, we'll save ourselves the trouble of deciding how to govern a population that is uncontrollable. And we'll save them the trouble of taking us over by force in the future. Of course, that won't be too hard, since we'll all be stoned anyway.
PS- What kind of people do you think would be behind such a proposition? Certainly not the same kind of people who would like to see our country collapse. I'm sure that this is all being suggested with our country's best interests in mind. Right...?
Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days...