A recent survey indicated that 42% of us baby boomers smoked some pot in our younger years. Some of us still do (I prefer a good Cab these days). Personally, from my experience, I think that 42% figure is probably low.
Given that, I can’t believe all of brouhaha about poor Mr. Phelps. The worst thing he did was allowing himself to be photographed in a compromising position. Yes, I understand the role model thing, especially as it relates to kids but if the irresponsible photo opp was not blown out of proportion in every print and online vehicle known to man, most of these kids would have never heard about it—let alone seen it.
Let’s face the facts. Alcohol and cigarettes are the big killers in our society. Last I checked, nobody died from smoking a joint. To prove my point, I have not yet heard of medicinal alcohol or medicinal cigarettes. Neither offers any medicinal effects (save for my red wine of course). Yet marijuana has proven benefits for certain medical problems.
All of this leads me to my real point. The war on drugs. If this country wants to save some real money, “soft” drugs like marijuana should be immediately legalized or at least decriminalized. Most of the prisons are filled with marijuana hustlers who were doing no more harm than your local liquor store manager. This would free up half the prison space for hard core criminals and druggies who can be a harm to society (crack, meth, heroin, etc.). In addition, all of the money being spent on keeping the borders free of pot would be saved. We are talking about millions of dollars here. Let the government sell the same marijuana that they are selling as medical marijuana and tax the hell out of it. You not only would save the cost of trying to round up these harmless people. You increase tax revenue just like was done on cigarettes and alcohol.
It’s a simple formula. And we need it now more than ever.