Funny anti-marijuana arguement.

With the decriminalization of marijuana in California, there's been a lot of talk on television regarding the issue.   There's the people who are for it, for pretty obvious reasons, and those against it.

I heard one particular argument that a lot of anti-pot people are talking about... and it is a concern.   Access to children.  They say that since we completely failed at making sure kids didn't have access to cigarettes and alcohol, we will also surely fail at making it hard for kids to obtain pot.   I dissagree.

I remember a day... in my life time... that cigarettes were a common practice.  With a note a child could go to the store and buy a pack for their loving parents.  Smoking in general was a pretty socially accepted thing to do.   In recent years we have banned the use of tobacco in most public places... there are strict rules and penalties for selling to minors.   Now, and I'll quote the guy on TV and say that "Instead of people asking if you'd like a smoke, you ask if you can smoke here, and people say no".   In Canada, we have gone as far as to not show cigarettes in stores.  We have them covered, because some people believe that the "cool packaging" will entice children customers.   We've also plastered warning lables all over our cigarettes, warning people of their health effects.

With alcohol, we teach people that it's ok to drink.  Drinking is acceptable.... doctors say that one alcoholic beverage a day can even be beneficial.   Sure we tell people not to drink and drive, and regulate the purchase of alcohol in licensed establishments... but we don't do much else.  We don't really tell kids not to drink, and that's why almost half of students try alcohol before the 7th and 8th grade.  It's found in most homes... even left overs from events like weddings and christmas parties (my main supply from ages 12 - 16).

It's not really fair to say that weed will end up the same way.  I think it already is very easy for kids to get weed.  It isn't regulated, so it's impossible to evaluate just how many minors are being sold weed, or any other street drug for that matter.   I know for a fact that it has always been a hassle for me to get alcohol under age (and even now that I am of age, without ID)... if I knew someone who made home made wine... it wouldn't be such an issue.   I would either have to steal it without being caught, or convince and sometimes even pay someone, of age, to make the trip and buy it for me... and even then sometimes I would have to share.   My access to weed was quite the opposite.  By the age of 14 I had 3 reliable dealers... who often gave me a good price.  It was so easy... I didn't even bother trying to break into my mother's grow-op.  I didn't have to go out of my way to contact these people.... most of them were my mother's friends, or the parents of people I had grown up with.   It wasn't in the least bit hard... in fact if I ever wanted to get high, I had a few hang outs that would guarantee me a free buzz.

With that being said... if weed was regulated, it would harder for minors to get.  It would be a lot like alcohol and cigarettes.  Sure it wouldn't stop everyone... but that's simply impossible.  We know that from other substances... even prescriptions are abused, and sold by their users.
I think the real problem lies in profits, and changing the face of marijuana.  They want to change the public view of marijuana from acceptance (like cigarettes), to rejection.  It will be difficult... but regulating it, and getting major advertisers and government agencies involved, it will be easier... we did it, and are continuing to do it with cigarettes.   It's also about competition.   The government needs to figure out how to gain control of the trade.  Do they privatize?   The abundance of weed is supplied by established growers who make quite a bit of money, depending on their size.  They have their own networks, their own product... and I highly doubt that they are for any government regulation.  I couldn't see too many of them being bothered by health inspections, and quality liability to the public... but there will be limits.  They will have to get vending permits, start a business, talk to the banks, claim their income with their taxes.... and will be penalized in one way or another.  Many growers, grow just to avoid all of that.   They will never be able to eliminate bootleg operations regardless of law... this is a problem for large competitors looking to monopolize on this industry... which would eventually find a way to turn weed into profits in some evil way.

I don't know if weed should become legal.  It would be nice to be guilt free about walking down the street, smoking a joint... but I do that now anyways.  I like having this anti-government, anti-corporation consumerism in my life.   The only good that it will bring, is the change from tax spending on pushing these people through the system, to gaining tax revenue on regulated sales.   That's the only reason the government is considering this.  They know they can't control it all.. and the demand for large corporation just isn't there.  It's not a question of morals... us folks are going to do this regardless of what the government says.... it's a question of how and even if we can change the industry to work in the favor of the government and people looking to monopolize or build large corporations on this.  I don't see them coming to an agreement with current dealers, users, and the system.   I would pay tax, but know that it would end up costing me quite a bit more.  I would like to see legitimate jobs come from this, but I'd also like to see many of the kind-hearted, hardworking, family oriented growers maintain their establishments, and not be pushed out of house and home by brand name competition, or strict government regulations (associated fees, entrepreneurial costs, etc etc).

I'm not for legalizing weed because it's fun to use, or because I don't think it's bad.  But I don't think it should stay illegal for the sake of trying to keep our kids safe.

Uploaded 10/08/2010
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