Wednesday, October 30, 2013

As legal cannabis spreads in the US, surprise! The sky has not fallen.

A map of the USA showing states in green that have
legalised medical marijuana use. States in orange
have legalised recreational use (as of November 2012).
It must be a worst-case scenario for prohibitionists. Their horror scenarios warning against legal cannabis, always evidence-free, are quickly being roundly refuted by reality.

As this New York Times story shows, there are no armies of stoned teenage zombies staggering around the streets, crime has not increased, there is no carnage on the roads and it looks as if less alcohol is being consumed - explaining why self-interested alcohol industry bodies oppose legalisation.

Meanwhile some counties are raking in a nice little tax earner.

True, there are some downsides. Some people have complained about the smell emanating from their neighbours' cannabis crops, a very serious first-world problem I would say. And precincts that didn't properly regulate medical marijuana outlets have had some local nuisances.

Still prohibitionists bang their drums, one police advocate complaining that new relaxed rules have resulted in "robberies of cash-rich marijuana farms in Northern California". I guess he would prefer to continue locking up disproportionate numbers of Blacks and Hispanics on pot charges instead of solving actual crime, or the old system where illegal growers could not report similar robberies and perhaps resort to illegal means of obtaining justice (the Al Capone/bikie gang factor). Or maybe he's just concerned that his fiefdom will shrink now it is no longer so super-sized by prohibition.

Meanwhile 58% of Americans support legalising the drug. Prohibitionists must be panicking (because one thing's for sure - most of them will not let reality change their ideology-based opinions).

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