Celebrating the end of prohibition

In the closing scene of “The Untouchables”, Mr. Nash (Kevin Costner) is informed by a reporter that the government intends to end the prohibition of alcohol and is subsequently asked what he might do next.

His answer:  “I think I’ll have a drink.”

As California becomes poised to legalize marijuana this fall, I can’t help but wonder what our federal government intends to do once prohibition finally ends in California.  The following clip comes from a recent article discussing just this topic, which thankfully offers more than a bit of hope for real drug policy reform in the near future:

“..If the federal government, during a crippling recession and a 42% approval rating for the president, acted to stomp out one of the few industries with growth potential in favor of decaying paternal laws, it would be perfectly just to associate Obama with “failure…”

Since their sole reason for allowing the medicinal use of ‘marijuana’ was budget concerns–and that situation obviously has not changed–there is no reason to expect they will go against the will of the fifth largest economy in the world on this particular issue at this particular time.  In fact, the more likely scenario is that federal lawmakers and savvy politicians are currently attempting to figure a fast way of getting their hands on tax revenue generated by the infamous plant.

If the Tea Party truly opposes needless government spending, argues Jeffrey A. Miron at NPR, it can’t support the costly, ineffective drug war

Democrats have already been advised to try and get out the “pothead vote”; Tea Party members including Sarah Palin have embraced the growing call for sweeping drug policy reform.

Economists, environmentalists, human rights organizations and even paper manufacturers have been fighting for decades to bring about significant change to our counter-productive drug policies.  Thanks in large part to the internet and a severely ailing economy, these desperately-needed policy reforms are finally being undertaken.

Although the current administration has not yet declared an outright end to our ludicrous drug policies, there is mounting evidence that the battle is effectively over–despite the fact that certain individuals in our federal government are apparently still deluded enough to believe prohibition has actual benefits for society, or perhaps just their own personal bank accounts..

It is a simple scientific fact that alcohol is far more damaging to the body than cannabis (marijuana), yet our government still locks up ‘offenders’ and guns down kids for distributing a plant that has been scientifically proven to have a multitude of medical uses–not a mention a safety record which puts practically all modern pharmaceutical drugs to shame.

But, of course, all of this only matters if our government has the required capacity and integrity to implement the policy changes which have become necessary in light of the current situation:

“..Since one part of the government applied for the patent of medical marijuana, and another part of the government approved that patent, it seems logical to conclude that the federal government knows that marijuana has some valid medical properties...”

The above quote was taken from an article that first appeared in 2008, referring to a patent granted back in 2003.  The attorney general’s office still refuses to acknowledge that cannabis is currently being used as legitimate medicine; yet, thankfully, our nation’s veterans were recently given permission to use the plant for treatment of a wide variety of ailments– from pain management to post traumatic stress syndrome.

It is now only a matter of time before the rest of the factions of our government concede that 1.) cannabis is medicine and 2.) prohibition is a horrible, horrible policy which only serves to empower criminals and fund terrorism–something the Bush administration was actually keen enough to point out, before they realized what they were really saying…


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