The Problem with Marijuana
The use of marijuana should be regulated and taxed by the government, whether federal, state or local. That’s what governments are
for. It is a great mistake to allow the entire industry of marihuana, from beginning to end, to be conducted as a black market, without
any control or regulation. It is the role and function of government to regulate the traffic in any material that is deemed to be
hazardous in any way, and it is also the role of government to lead the way in the research of hazardous or controversial materials.
Education must be the pillar of any policy of control, not legal sanction.
To maintain the position that such a policy is useless, since the use of marihuana is to be stamped out in its entirety, is indefensible, not
only because it is a lost cause, but also because it is legally and politically without authority. It is an arbitrary and unprecedented abuse
of power to attempt to interfere with the way people want to live their lives.
The absolute depths of stupidity are reached when the response to a controversial material is to forbid any research on the subject. I
don’t understand. Certainly anyone can see that to forbid research on a controversial subject is just about the stupidest approach
imaginable. Perhaps the data on marihuana is flawed or incomplete or inadequate, but to date the overwhelming consensus of informed
opinion regards the dangers of marihuana as vastly overstated, and potential medical benefits possibly considerable. If this is not true,
and marihuana really is a dangerous drug, I certainly want to know, and I ask that research not only be allowed, but funded. I want to
know more about LSD too, while I am at it. Without any doubt, LSD is a most incredibly amazing and potent material, and I want to
know more about it. Since one of the most common reactions to the use of LSD is to report a spiritual experience, or even an
experience of the presence of God, I want to know more about it, not to see it stamped out in fear as something too powerful to
The lessons from the prohibition of alcohol are so obvious: in the first place, when the Government of those days had the happy notion
of simply outlawing the use of alcohol, they at least realized that nothing less than an Amendment to the Constitution would be required
before they could assume the authority for such an arbitrary act of power affecting people’s personal lives. The argument against
prohibition is the same for both alcohol and marihuana: leaving the industry in the hands of an outlaw black market, rather than having
it taxed and regulated, turns out to be an incredible mistake, with negative social consequences everywhere you turn.
No matter what you think of alcohol, making it a criminal offense to consume it does not represent the enlightened way to deal with the
problem. The only politically correct way to approach a problem such as alcohol is to educate the public,...