The Reality Of What Will Happen If Marijuana Is Legalized
There is a growing movement in most democratic countries to legalize, or at the very least, decriminalize marijuana use. It is being pushed by the progressive left and this is why I think it is a bad idea.
Progressives tend to cite things like the fact that marijuana is a reasonably benign drug, not much different from alcohol or nicotine. Others talk about its medicinal properties in dealing with chronic pain and diseases like glaucoma. Still others dismiss the idea of charging people with a crime for the recreational use of marijuana as just one more absurd and failed part of the war on drugs.
Those opposed to legalizing marijuana talk about it being a ‘gateway’ drug that eventually leads users to harder, more dangerous drugs like crack cocaine. Some talk about safety issues related to things like smoking marijuana while driving while others decry what they see as the road to addiction.
The arguments for and against are many and varied but there is one issue related to legalization that I believe has been overlooked and which is far more serious than any mentioned above.
I believe this is what will happen if we rush into legalization of marijuana without serious and informed debate and consideration.The government will do what government always does. It will tax and regulate the fun right out of it.
First, the government will create standardized packaging regulations with appropriate labeling in both official languages. Regulations will be drafted to establish size of brand name, product information and where safety labeling must appear.
Almost immediately, the government will also add an excise tax to every pack, provincial (state) governments will add sales taxes and in Canada, GST (goods and services tax) will be charged on top of it all. This will increase the cost of marijuana by approximately 300% as it has for cigarettes.
Agriculture Canada will establish standards for how marijuana can cultivated. A marketing board will be established to control pricing both in Canada and its export markets and to establish grade standards. This will result in monopolization of distribution and artificial inflation of pricing as it has done for milk and wheat. Quotas will be established and sold to growers, further driving up the cost of cultivation.
Health Canada will demand health warning labels complete with pictures, similar to those they demand be included on cigarette packages. The only real difference is that the marijuana pictures will be of people freaking out as they search frantically for chocolate chip cookies and potato chips after smoking a joint rather than the picture of a cancerous lung they demand on cigarette packaging.
Municipalities will ban smoking of marijuana in public parks and on restaurant patios as they have done with cigarettes in many cities and a non-marijuana smokers association will be formed and immediately apply for government funding to support its operation. They will demand more legislation to limit public smoking of weed and spend thousands of tax payer dollars on pamphlets, brochures and conferences to condemn marijuana smokers.
Companies like Sara Lee and Betty Crocker will develop marijuana brownies causing the Agriculture Department to send in food inspectors to ensure that both the production facilities and the product itself meet new standards set by the new legislation. Activists will alternately protest the intrusion into the production of marijuana food products and the need for more food inspectors.Health food activists will protest stores that refuse to sell organic marijuana brownies.
Health Canada will require the publishing of nutritional information on the side of packaging and PTA organizations will form committees to develop guidelines to prevent kindergarten children from bringing the wrong brownies in their lunches.
Major food distribution companies will produce generic versions of the brownies, undercutting the brand-names’ market share and the frozen food section of most stores will be cluttered with confusing packages of marijuana brownies and other goodies developed by the food industry.
Some stoners will injure themselves as they try to smoke the brownies resulting in increased hospital wait times as they clog hospital emergency rooms waiting for treatment.
Online, scammers will buy regular brownies at discount prices and sell them to the unwary as marijuana brownies. Thousands will be ripped off.
Eventually activists will protest marijuana. Environmentalists will protest against the use of land for marijuana farms instead of using the land for more wind turbines and they will insist that only organic marijuana is environmentally sustainable. University campuses will be aflame with protest that marijuana is not permitted in the classroom and the cost is not subsidized by government.
AdBusters will protest the commercialization of Mother Nature and Occupy will try to put tents up in marijuana manufacturing plants.
A new activist group will emerge. People Against Weed (PAW) will form and begin a concerted campaign to ban marijuana. This will not be the same people as those currently opposed to legalizing marijuana. PAW will be formed by former ant-smoking activists running out of smokers to harass. They will apply for, and receive, more government grants to fund their new signs for their old offices and to continue paying the salaries of an Executive Director and support staff. They will implement fund-raising campaigns to support promotional efforts lobbying governments and to compete with the environmentalists group that believes marijuana ruins the beauty of their wind farms.
Simultaneously a new movement will be formed to legalize Hashish or Hash as it is known. This will initially lead to more confrontation and protest as some will confuse the movement with an attempt to legalize cornbeef hash which they thought was already legal. PETA will protest believing hash (the cornbeef kind) is cruel to animals. Radical Islam will protest calling legalization of hashish an insult to their religion and suicide bombers will attempt to blow up hookah manufacturing plants.
In the end, it will cost taxpayers millions to keep so many employed to maintain the new industry that was created and the regulations and NGOs that will need to be staffed and funded.
There will political division, confrontation and strife throughout the kingdom. Anonymous will be angry but won’t know who to hack or will be too stoned to work the mouse and keyboard effectively.
PAW will lobby provincial and federal governments for new laws restricting the use of marijuana in various public locations. Cities will protest that the other levels of government are intruding on their jurisdiction,. Eventually, PAW will be successful at getting government to ban marijuana from rock concerts which will cause many top-name bands to refuse to play concerts in the country.
Marijuana will fall out of favour; more and more people will quit smoking resulting in declining ticket sales which will undermine the marijuana farming industry. Enforcement officers for Agriculture Canada and Health Canada Inspectors will be laid off. Some farmers will go bankrupt or be forced to sell their land to real estate developers and then retire to a small out of the way trailer park in Florida where they will live out their remaining days in bitterness listening to old Grateful Dead albums..
With fewer farmers growing good weed, the market will become unstable, prices will fluctuate and tax revenues will fall causing the government to raise taxes even higher on a 20 pack of joints. Income taxes will rise to offset the lost consumption tax revenue from marijuana sales causing yet more protests in the streets.Political parties will attempt to capitalize on both sides of the issue further dividing and polarizing the electorate.
Eventually, all of the fun of tokin’ with a few friends will be lost as marijuana users stand shivering outside in winter where the smokers used to stand. Rock concerts will become drab dreary affairs featuring Barry Manilow and Michael Bolton or second rate bands that even your mother will enjoy.
And all of this will happen because of the legalization of marijuanaSo a warning to all the sons and daughters of Mother Nature. Be careful what you wish for, it just might come true. If you like weed, before you rush into causing your government to legalize it, stop and consider what legalization has done for other recreational products like cigarettes.
Although, come to think of it, legalizing cigarettes did more to reduce smoking than all of the law enforcement efforts combined have achieved in reducing illegal drugs. It certainly was more effective at reducing smoking than the old British custom of cutting off the noses of smokers.
And in the end, maybe that’s all that’s needed to reduce drug use. Forget the expensive and ineffective War On Drugs. Legalize them and then let the bureaucrats take over. They ought to have drug use down by 70% within a decade.And that, my friends, is the real problem with legalizing marijuana. Progressive left-leaning governments that have advocated legalization for years will tax and regulate the fun right out of it. Taxes and regulation are pretty much the only two things progressive governments at which governments are very good.
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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