Justin Vega: End Marijuana Prohibition

Were it that we could, just once, look back on history and actually learn from our own mistakes, the issue of hemp and marijuana prohibition would have been laid to rest long ago. Prohibition does not work. It didn’t work when special interest groups bought the politicians and legislation to prohibit alcohol. It created an economic vacuum that allowed for the establishment of black markets and the gangsters that murdered in order to protect them. It created criminals out of our American entrepreneurs. It prevented the collection of over an estimated $100billion in tax revenues over the 13 years prohibition lasted, and that figure is not adjusted for inflation. To put it in perspective, by today’s currency value, the federal government failed to collect over $1trillion in tax revenues.

Prohibition does not work. It didn’t work when special interest groups bought the politicians and the legislation to prohibit hemp and marijuana, either. Of course, cannabis prohibition will turn 90 years old next year, far older than the prohibition of the spirits we drink on a regular basis. You might wonder why, in spite of the many shared failures each of the prohibitions have, cannabis prohibition has lasted so much longer. The answer is the same here as for the question, “why should I vote in November to legalize it?”

Because we were lied to.

For years I believed what I had been told through my education; that marijuana kills your brain cells and impedes your development; that it is a highly addictive gateway drug, inevitably leading users to try more dangerous, illicit drugs; that it is as dangerous as heroine and methamphetamine; and that hemp and marijuana are one in the same. Years of research and discourse proved to me otherwise.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]In addition to being fully and well informed on the facts of marijuana, there is something I want you to know; that voting to end prohibition isn’t an endorsement for the use of marijuana. [/mks_pullquote]

Let me first introduce you to the Heath/Tulane study. In 1974, researchers set out to test the effect marijuana had on the brain. To do this, they pumped 63 Columbian-strength joints through a gas mask over a period of just 5-minutes. As you could imagine, the monkeys that the gas masks were attached to suffered from oxygen deprivation, and by the end of six months, all had suffered atrophy and died. The researchers of this study then created a false causal link from dead brain cells to marijuana use, rather than creating the link to suffocation.

Science also doesn’t support the accusation that marijuana is highly addictive, as there are no physically addictive properties to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Nor are there any scientific or statistical proofs that say marijuana leads to the use of other drugs.

What science does support, however, is that marijuana is one of the most comprehensive medicinal treatments available to use today. In fact, it can treat over 200 diseases and illnesses commonly diagnosed; HIV/AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, cataracts, epilepsy, anxiety, Crohn’s, insomnia, impotence, and the list goes on. As dangerous as meth and heroine? Hardly. The fact that it’s one step shy of being a cure all – and an incredibly affordable one at that – allows you to draw a line between Big Pharma and Washington as one big reason marijuana is being slandered and suppressed.

To compound the potential success of legalization, hemp is a cannabis plant that contains virtually no THC that can be processed to create over 25,000 products commonly used on the market today. Paper, biodegradable plastics, oils and fuel, food, concrete, clothing, fabrics, and more can be created and utilized by this strong, versatile plant.

In addition to being fully and well informed on the facts of marijuana, there is something I want you to know; that voting to end prohibition isn’t an endorsement for the use of marijuana. You are certainly able to be opposed to using marijuana while also opposed to the government prohibiting it. Voting for legalization could also mean that you believe that the social and economic environment government has created via prohibition is worse than what it would be without it. And if you do happen believe this, you are 100% right.

Truly, what is more evident of that than the fact that we have now, just has America had in the 1930s, vicious gangs willing to kill in order to protect their products and their “turf?” What is more evident than the fact that now, right in our own back yards, Mexican Cartels operating their black market trades?

Voting to legalize cannabis isn’t saying “yes” to smoking marijuana. It’s saying “no more cartels and gangs.” “No more shootings and no more murders.” “No more filling our jails and prisons with non-violent smokers.” “No more innocent victims,” like Andrew Sadek (may he rest in peace). “No more lies and propaganda; no more agendas and corporatism.”

The time when it will be our turn to make the right decision is drawing near. We need to follow the lead of the 28 states that have legalized industrial hemp and the four states that have legalized marijuana fully. It’s time to end prohibition and the disasters it has created.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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