ILLEGAL DRUGS: The Case for Revising Current Laws
LEGALIZATION VERSUS DECRIMINALIZATION
Cannabis Activists are a-buzz with excitement at the prospect of California’s “Tax and Regulate” campaign, as well as other “legalization” attempts about the Nation. The arguments seem favorable, and the current recession is but another tool in the arsenal of reasons why legalization, taxation and regulation would be the right thing to do.
Rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I (with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine; addictive drugs that have NO medical use) is an obvious first step to redefining both laws and public paradigms regarding marijuana. Regardless of the “Schedule” cannabis appears on, the medical and popular consensus is that it does indeed have legitimate medical uses.
Yet, lest we forget that “taxation and regulation” of cannabis is the main reason for the original early 20th century federal prohibition of cannabis, be reminded of “The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937” placed into federal law requiring only a $1 tax, but with unachievable and public bureaucratic record-keeping and inappropriate punishments for not following the tax act to the letter, ranging from a $2000.00 fine to LIFE imprisonment. Will a Marijuana Tax Act of 2011 reverse this language and the “legalization” ruse or add to it? Will another tax and regulate act remove the legal and political bricks which have built impenetrable walls around the production, harvesting, use, transfer, and possession of Marijuana.
Although California is the thankful forerunner of medicalization, let us also not forget that it was California that made the first laws restricting, regulating, and criminalizing cannabis. It was not drugs that California was against then, however. Remember, Cocaine and Heroin were still legal in 1913. Alcoholism and opiate addiction were rampant. It was racism that doomed Cannabis, not a scientific study or a social necessity. Cannabis was smoked by Mexicans; and although they were the indigenous population of the state, the U.S. and Local governments used their superior political and media powers to spread reefer madness.
Mike Meno, a contributor to the Marijuana Policy Project blog, wrote about the news article Colorado’s Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Regulations . It was a glowing review about this important bill, and how Colorado can set the pace for other state models. It sounded as if this was indeed a “groundbreaking” event. Yet Colorado citizens, caretakers, patients, and smokers, emotionally wrote that this bill is a disaster for Medical Marijuana and the dispensaries.
My response to both the article and the theories of cannabis legalization is simply this:
“The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy” – Chief Justice John Marshall
Anytime a democratic people must convince the government to stop enforcing unjust laws through mechanisms such as “tax and regulate”, that government has succeeded in extorting its citizens. We talk of MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION as a panacea, the end of a war, a freedom. Yet this freedom IS ALREADY OURS, simply because the “laws and regulations” that make possession or use of marijuana a punishable offence are indeed UNJUST laws. It is not “legalization” that will make cannabis free. Legalization implies the inherent right to tax and regulate, to govern the growth of a natural indigenous plant for which our bodies were designed to receive (see “cannabis receptors”), and to exact taxes from the sick, or from the fruits of the earth and human labor, that which was grown by ones own hands. Decriminalization, the repeal of those laws and loopholes in Federal Interstate Commerce laws, and all other administrators and administrations that knowingly or unknowingly created a police state. Just give back what you took one hundred years ago, and let us go on about life. Already, citizens hungry and overdue for medicalization are willing to pass initiatives that give up their right to grow their own cannabis, in return for a highly regulated cannabis medicalization plan. Giving up the right to grow a plant to a seed in one’s own soil with ones own hands is a slippery slope that gives away the very ability to survive. Imagine those sweet tomatoes in the garden being taxed. We may be willing to let the government extort money from us through taxation and legalization, but how many inherent human rights will we allow the Government to take before we realize we have a DUTY to make things right?