Nineteen Billion reasons (last year)

April 25, 2012

According to the White House, the federal government spends 9 Billion dollars per year on drug enforcement, and 10 Billion on drug education and treatment.  Have you ever stopped to ask why would the government agencies and bureaucrats who live on the public dime ever admit that legalizing marijuana is the right thing to do?  I think I see 19 Billion reasons in the White House's response to a petition to Stop Interfering with State Marijuana Legalization Efforts.

The author of the White House's official response apparently hasn't seen the video of candidate Obama promising to stop the Justice Department from interfering in states where voters have approved medical marijuana.  The Justice Department is on a rampage of asset forfeiture on businesses and buildings that house medical marijuana facilities.  They have reportedly threatened to arrest licensed distributors of medical marijuana if they do not cooperate with the federal investigations.  A cynic might say this is the government's way to raise money in tough economic times.  A revolutionary would say it's a government that has gotten too big and needs fundamental reform.  An American says we do need reform, but we need it through political means.

President Obama's National Drug Control Strategy essentially is to lock fewer people up, but keep the arrests rates climbing.  Instead of incarceration these newly minted criminals are sent through months or years of drug courts and treatment centers.  All the while, alcohol distributors continue to increase their wealth and decrease the health of their users. 

In the White House's response to the petition they list several reasons why marijuana is harmful.  None of those reasons comes anywhere close to making sense when compared to alcohol.  Alcohol has been shown to be way more harmful than marijuana to the human body.  Yet, due to the violence associated with prohibition, alcohol is legal today.  Maybe our politicians need to start looking at the violence associated with the prohibition of marijuana.  Then maybe we will have a national drug control strategy that makes sense and quits treating us like children.