November 8, 2010

Conservative Contributor Colin W. Maguire: Legal Marijuana is Good Business & Good Policy

What is the next big thing everybody privately talks about but publicly does not want to bring up? Marijuana. Not just the narcotic itself but the legalization of Cannabis. Which at this point is restricted to medical usage if sold commercially. This activity takes place despite federal laws against such activity but is permitted by certain states. Now, I do not smoke weed, I do not want to smoke weed and I certainly would not want my children to smoke weed. Still, do I think we should legalize weed? Absolutely and I know I am not alone in this sentiment. In fact, I have been a part of three separate conversations regarding commercial marijuana distribution in the past two weeks. You know who else agrees with me? The states of Michigan, California and others who now grant licenses to distribute the drug through “medicinal growing clubs.” In truth, these operations are likely a mere formality to an ultimate end. Here are my bullet point reasons for why weed should be and will be completely legalized (though tempered in its public use in a way similar to tobacco or alcohol) within the next five years:

1) People Smoke Anyway: They just do. I don’t get but I don’t have to. We are living in America; people may have well understood freedoms tempered by liberty.

2) The Black Market: Weed does create violence but it is because of the illicit nature of the business. The liquor trade was violent too when it was illegal. I don’t feel like drug dealers should get to drive fancy cars while I drive an economical option. Which leads me to…

3) Tax Revenue: As a fiscal conservative and tax payer I am so thrilled to be getting tax money off of marijuana sales. Anything to alleviate the taxation of productivity and fund government through peoples’ vices is fine by me.

4) Business: Did somebody say, “new emerging sector?” As a guy who was put through college on profits from commercial real estate leases, I smile when I see previously vacant storefronts displaying anything…even a green leaf.

5) States’ Rights: The states absolutely have the right to do this. The feds will counter with an interstate commerce law argument. That law reaches too far and could be hemmed in by the efforts of legal marijuana advocates. If not, the feds will continue to look like fascist idiots for busting old hippies growing pot with a state license. At some point, the public policy disaster will be too much for any administration to handle.

In conclusion, I say that the time is now for advocate of marijuana. With a slumping economy and a public angry with the federal government, there may never exist a riper moment to firmly entrench a legitimate business culture of marijuana distribution. Besides, if I’m not against it who is?!?!

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