America, Nevada shows us the way

[quote]Colorado residents will vote next month on whether to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by those 21 and older, similar to an ordinance Denver voters approved last year.

But the Nevada measure goes further. It directs Nevada’s Department of Taxation to set up procedures to license and regulate marijuana growers, distributors and retailers. At the same time, it doubles penalties for selling or giving pot to minors and for vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The legislation also imposes a $45-per-ounce excise tax, with some of the proceeds going toward the budget and alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse programs. An ounce of pot on the street costs upwards of $300, depending on the quality.

A 2002 study by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, estimated taxing and regulating marijuana would generate $28.6 million in revenue.[/quote]

Sigh. I am so happy to see my country slowly edging out of the dark ages. And before someone starts with the granola and doritos comments, I don’t even smoke the stuff anymore. Just pleased to see the government getting OUT of people’s business and sensible policy winning out over emotional policy for a change.

If the thing gets voted in, that is!

I usually side against drugs, but I’ve always found mary jane to fall around the narcotic level of alcohol. They both make it tough to operate heavy machinery and have similar negative side effects if abused. Therefore, I’ve always found it hard to beleive that pot is illegal. It’s legal to sell other things that can hurt ya, so why not put this one on the shelves (or at least by perscription or something) and tax the hell out of it to raise a few more bucks?

No one’s really ever given me a good argument for why not other than the whole “it’s a gateway drug” speil. True, but so are cigarettes and booze.

Another point in favor is Europe’s example: marijuana use has been going steadily down there.

I think in the States there’s a cultural war going on against marijuana because it’s sort of come to bear a political stigma. Just as when one mentions Jesus, one is expected to be anti-gay, anti-choice, pro-death penalty and pro-Bush, so if someone is a pot user or is in favor of legalization, they automatically get categorized as a damn hippy liberal!

Incidentally, before Bush was elected president, he claimed his position on the medical marijuana issue was the Libertarian, states’ rights position. However, he’s gone back on that to the point where not only do American states not have the right to self-determination when it comes to marijuana, according to him, even Canada should not have that right!