The petition for legalizing marijuana has over 50,000 signatures. When you consider that a user is risking a lot just to sign (telling the government they support the most taboo of drugs, and leaving behind a digital trail), I’d say it’s pretty impressive. When you consider that the next-highest petition is just over 30,000, it looks even better.
Even so, it’s somewhat depressing that only 50,000 people have gone and signed a petition that polls suggest 35-45% of Americans support. 50,000 people signed, out of over 100 million adults who favor marijuana law reform.
If you haven’t signed and need reasons to do so, or if you can’t convince people you know, here are some things I often think about when I need to get angry (I’ve already highlighted some of this in my facts section):
- “So why are so many potheads in rehab if it’s so safe?” Ask those in rehab, if you really want to know. It’s often part of a plea bargain – go to rehab, get a reduced sentence. It makes the pot “addiction” rates look good, so the federal government keeps control. Sounds loony, but look into your local laws and you may be surprised.
- Cancer users finding relief in cannabis are now denied their second amendment rights, because the feds are insisting that use of marijuana, even medically, means you can’t have a gun.
- The Obama administration is now officially saying “go to hell” to medical marijuana users. Want real medical marijuana laws? Stop the federal government from choosing what we can and cannot do to our bodies.
- Even more scary: talking about using marijuana in another country could be illegal soon, thanks to Lamar Smith (he makes corrupt politicians look like saints) pushing forth a terrifying new bill. “The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they’re carried out.” Sorry, talking about pot is no longer legal.
- Most “major” crimes violate somebody else’s rights directly (murder, rape, theft, assault) or at least have a serious risk for doing so (DUI, wreckless driving, directly threatening somebody’s life). This is why we punish those crimes, so that people won’t be as likely to take away others’ rights. Nobody can answer what rights are being infringed when pot is smoked.
- I have heard “you might drive while high”, “Some users end up neglecting their children”, and other, similarly nebulous statements. But how can we arrest people for potential crimes that are by far the exception rather than the rule? And even if they were the norm, we still don’t arrest until a danger is posed!
- We don’t arrest alcoholics for driving to a bar. We arrest them after they drive away drunk.
- We don’t arrest every angry parent with a short temper, we arrest only those few who turn that anger into physical violence.
- We don’t arrest people for speaking favorably of terrorists unless they take action.
- We don’t arrest people for racism, out of fear they might go commit a violent crime – we arrest them only after a real rights violation has occurred!
- Here in Oregon, more and more people are worried about abuse of medical marijuana and want to tighten restrictions. One of those restrictions would be to ensure children can’t get into the program. Reefer madness could turn our near-impossible fight for Alex into one that is truly impossible. Only by getting the federal government out of the way will we be able to properly study this medication, and create strains suited for specific ailments (i.e., high in specific cannabinoids, for instance)
- Legalizing doesn’t increase use long-term. See Portugal’s decriminalization, or our own legalization of alcohol compared to its use during alcohol prohibition.
- Around 10% of adults in the United States admit to being regular users. Do we really believe they’re all criminals?
- More than half of all American adults admit to having used it at least once. Where are these super-high addiction rates? Why haven’t these people turned to harder drugs based on the gateway theory? Why is it that so many have experimented with weed and given it up so easily?
- Florida recently found that welfare recipients are less likely to abuse drugs — so much for the claim that potheads can’t hold a job or lead a productive life.
- The “gateway” effect is only remotely possible because buying illegal weed exposes you to dealers of other illegal substances. There is no scientific evidence that simply using pot makes you more likely to use other drugs. In fact, as anti-pot people love to point out, since marijuana became “legal” in some states, its use has risen (very slightly) throughout the U.S. But other drugs’ use rates have decreased.