Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peter Tosh Said It Best.

I just recently finished reading an opinion piece on CNN that reminded me of our ass-backwardness in this country. Regarding pills, we are growing increasingly dependent on prescription pain killers (read: Rush Limbaugh and his Oxycontin bout) which can sometimes lead to heroin abuse - if the drug is opiate based.

The sad part is that my tax dollars (through Medicare and Medicaid) and health care premiums pay for many of these peoples' "legal" drug addictions while it is still illegal to own the smallest amount of marijuana. I see, when a big pharma company makes a drug, everything is OK about it, but use a drug recreationally (in the SAME WAY in which alcohol is consumed) or even sometimes to self-medicate persistent pain and suddenly it's a terrible thing. We can truly be a backwards country sometimes still lost in its puritanical hypocrisy.

Want to find a way to fund healthcare? I do. Regardless of the proposals on the right and left to fix healthcare, it will undoubtedly cost some amount beyond what we can already afford. Legalize marijuana, regulate it, and tax it. Immediately it will serve as a means of tax revenue, but over the long term it will help to discourage small time drug dealers, make the cross-border Mexican drug trade multitudes less lucrative, and will clear our prisons for the violent and malevolent offenders. The economic benefits will be astoundingly one-directional in our favor.

I have recently said to a few friends that the drug trade is - in my opinion - the last TRUE free market out there. Prices are set by supply and demand. There are no bailouts. You have to build your business from the ground up and cannot make more lucrative money unless you start out small-time. Can you imagine what good it would do if we prevent the "gateway" drug from being one of the cheaper ones that dealers can start selling? Ask any dealer and I would BET they started by selling marijuana in high school or sometime close to then.

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