Pubdate: Sat, 06 Jun 2009
Source: Standard Freeholder (Cornwall, CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Osprey Media Group Inc.
Author: Kevin Parkinson


Some politicians in the U. S. seem to be waking up to  the fact that 
their country has for years incarcerated  at least five times as many 
people per capita than the  rest of the world. At the same time, the 
war on drugs  has been a dismal failure. America's jails are overflowing.

When I came across an article by Mindelle Jacobs in the  May 12 
edition of the Standard- Freeholder, I was  astonished by her claim 
that the tide is changing in  the U. S. and that the liberalization 
of marijuana laws  may be just around the corner. I suspect that 
Harper's Conservatives must be reeling with this news, getting  their 
spin doctors primed up, while concurrently  proposing amendments in 
Canada which include a  mandatory six-month jail sentence for growing 
even one  marijuana plant. Oh, I see. The repressive methods 
have  been a dismal failure in the U. S. but now we're going  to put 
people in jail here in Canada for holding one  pot plant. Unbelievable.

The U. S. has had a cruel and failed justice system for  the last 40 
years in regards to drug crimes, and  millions of American lives have 
been destroyed for even  simple possession of marijuana. The 
statistics tell a  staggering story. The U. S. has 5% of the world's 
population but incarcerates 25% of the world's nine  million prisoners!

But the Americans are finally admitting that their drug  laws haven't 
worked, and that they can't afford to keep  putting their citizens in jail.

So now the economic argument kicks in. Since the U. S.  is in a 
deepening economic crisis, some legislators  want to tax marijuana at 
$50 per ounce, bringing in  about $1.3 billion in a state like California.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has probably never  ever smoked a 
joint in his lifetime, acknowledged that  it's time to have the big 
debate, and then bring those  tax dollars back to the statehouse. I 
guess he figures  if it is legal to smoke pot in an Alaskan home, and 
considering that several states have decriminalized  pot, with 13 
states permitting medical marijuana, then  why shouldn't California 
get in on the action?

But wait a minute. Isn't marijuana the 'devil's weed'?  The Americans 
have demonized the stuff forever, and  have put lots of pressure on 
countries, like Canada, to  follow their directives. For the most 
part we have  complied with their condemnation of pot .

So, all of a sudden, the Americans plan to legalize it,  tax it, and 
make huge profits.

Oh, then I guess it can't really be the 'devil's weed'  after all if 
the government is willing to sell  marijuana to the people. It's 
called: legitimization.  We should also add that 50% of  Americans 
indicated in a recent poll that they favour  legalization. Not that 
the lawmakers ever carry out  what the people's wishes are anyway, 
but it makes  everything look good.

I think the real truth about legalization of marijuana  is that it 
has only ever been about economics and  always will, and that most of 
the other issues  concerning marijuana have been ignored or dismissed.

So now, during tough economic times the cat is out of  the bag. It's 
not about marijuana at all, it's about  the money.

Kevin Parkinson

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