Once again there are talks of decriminalizing pot in California in order to grab those almighty tax dollars. As to be expected, there will be opposition.
I personally think all drugs should be decriminalized along with a host of other things, though my feelings have less to do with taxation and more to do with freedom. I think people have the right to be stupid and harm their bodies, and they should be left to suffer the consequences. It's called responsibility. There's that word again, and that's one of the reasons we may never see the day when someone can walk into Walgreens and come out with Wal Green.
Religious leaders, many social advocates, and some politicians have nothing but fear when it comes to responsibility. For whatever reasons, mostly those of control issues, they are scared shitless about what would happen if people were made to responsible for their actions. I think it's obvious what would happen the first few years.
When parents stifle their children, protecting them from the outside world and restricting everything they can do, those kids eventually lose it when they hit the "real world." Binge drinking, questionable sex (thanks!), drugs and so on. When the chains come off, the animals run free. It will be the same with society, and that's why we have to do our best to make sure people really are responsible for their actions because that's how they learn.
When it comes to drugs it seems we are slowly easing the restrictions, which is a good thing, but I want it all now. I think the way we are doing it is slowly teaching responsibility, but I don't think we should be making social/legal policy for the people who can't handle responsibility. We need to make it for the people who can and let the "law of the wild" deal with the rest.
I don't know anyone who says they don't smoke pot because it's illegal. We all know it's next to impossible to get in any kind of trouble if you are smart about it. Why should pot smokers have to hide it, though? Some of them have jobs and pay taxes. Some of them profit off the taxes of others. Some of them do neither. Pot smokers, like cigarette smokers, soldiers, and office executives, are just like everyone else. It's time to start treating what they do as nothing more than a personal choice issue, like dating someone with a different skin color or the same genitalia. But they need to be responsible or suffer the consequences.
That's where people will have problems. Lately it seems like any kind of consequences for your actions are met with pleads for mercy or to be treated as the exception. That's weak and doesn't deserve a response. Be proud of who you are and your actions or don't do them. It's pretty simple.
Our governor, Mr. Schwarzenegger, has enjoyed pot. My guess is there are plenty of other politicians who have who would not admit it out of fear or guilt. Again, cowardly. Arnie should be pushing this idea of decriminalizing pot, as should the Obama Administration. The situation is bad, more freedom is not a horrible idea. Tax revenue is necessary ... unless we all think that cash-aid and medical benefits disappearing is a good thing, and I am far from convinced of that -- and that's not just me trying to protect my job (I have nothing to do with cash-aid). This is me looking at the long-term picture, something politicians seem unable to do. Why should they be any different from the rest of society, though?
I refuse to beg politicians for anything. I'll write letters when I think they are being out of line, but I refuse to plead for my freedom, as I wouldn't deserve it if I did that. If I want to smoke pot (and I don't -- I ain't no stinkin' hippie), I'll do it. If I want to snort a line (and I don't -- I ain't no stinkin' Wall Street drone), I'll do it. I think all of you are the same. Maybe, just maybe, enough politicians will get their heads out their asses and realize the country can profit off others idiotic behavior. It's better to get their tax money than to put them in jail and feed them with our tax money. It doesn't take a genius to see that.