Saturday, May 16, 2015

High Profits in the Prohibition of the 2000's

In 2012, marijuana was officially legalized in the state of Colorado. This was done as a sort of "controlled experiment" to see the affects of legal pot in America. Thousands were ecstatic with the news, and thousands more were equally outraged. The question I asked myself is why it took so long. Pot is a psychoactive drug, meaning it reacts with certain receptors in the brain to cause the euphoria or high that users experience. The potential  immediate side effects while on THC include problems in complex thinking, memory, perception, and the potential loss of motor skills. This to me sounds not far off from the immediate side effects when on a different legalized drug, alcohol. And yet alcohol is legal. So if both of these drugs act and behave in a similar way then why is only one of them legal in all fifty states?  One of the main worries with the legalization of pot in Colorado was high driving, and while the nation's deaths caused by a driver on drugs in 2012 (not limited to pot but excluding alcohol) was about 4000 the amount of deaths caused by drunk driving was over 10,000! So why is the one that is "more dangerous" more regulated than the other? A huge concern with pot also happens to be that it is often cut, or mixed with other, more dangerous substances in order to "hook" its consumers. But if pot was legalized and regulated nationally by the FDA, they would be able to regulate in a way that made it safer and purely THC, without all the dangerous additives. Then there are the potential profits. The State of Washington alone estimates in five years it will make 1.9 billion dollars in profit from the legalization of marijuana. Multiply that by 49 and you get 93.1 billion dollars in five years due to nation wide legalization. We could reinvest these profits as a nation in things like subsidizing higher education or welfare programs. People have been smoking weed for hundreds of years illegally, and they aren't going to stop now, so why don't we as a nation profit from it as well?
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