The City of Los Angeles recently voted on a city-wide ban of all medicinal marijuana dispensaries which could put more than 1,000 shops out of business. Police Chief Charlie Beck has claimed that, “dispensaries can be hot spots for crime” and citied various burglaries, armed robberies and killings before a city council. Whether these dispensaries contribute to the crime rate within these “hot spots” is unknown.
I would pose the question, “What about the crime rates surrounding liquor stores and strip malls in certain neighborhoods?”
He continued to say, “Most pot shops are for-profit businesses engaged in the sale of recreational marijuana to healthy young adults.” To which I must ask: so what? How Mr. Beck can discern between healthy and unhealthy recipients of medicinal marijuana seems quite the arduous task. I highly doubt he will have an easy time backing up that claim.
While the laws and regulations surrounding the sale of medicinal marijuana state that only individuals suffering from specific health conditions are eligible to receive a license and thus purchase from dispensaries, many people who don’t necessarily “need” the dispensaries’ services still purchase and use marijuana to their own ends. In the clouded eyes of our Draconian government and their hopeless “War on Drugs,” this is a serious no-no. After all, the government knows what is best for each individual and society as a whole, and thus has every right to determine and enforce what we do with our sovereign minds and bodies.
Never mind the fact that since allowing dispensaries to operate, the revenue in taxes gained from these operations has been in the high millions. Never mind that, by legalizing and regulating marijuana distribution and sales, the Mexican drug cartels are suffering the loss of a prosperous avenue of income. Sure, the cartels still sell marijuana by the ton, but as anyone who has ever smoked both legal and street marijuana will tell you, the Mexican product doesn’t come close to the medicinal grade stuff. Weed enthusiasts highly favor medicinal weed over the dirty schwag that makes its way over the border and up the I-5.
Let it be known: I am clean and sober today. Ten years ago, in my early teens, I used to smoke the fuck out of weed. I would get faded beyond reason and just listen to music for hours upon hours, day after day, year after year. I adored weed but now can hardly fathom the idea of getting stoned again. Not solely because I made a conscious decision to stop using drugs altogether, but because over time I became far too paranoid and could not cope with the thoughts racing through my head that everyone was out to kill me and that my friends were all undercover cops.
With that said, I could not care less about what other people do with it. Let us face the facts – smoking weed will not ruin an individual in the same way heroin will. A weed habit will not force anyone to sell their grandmother’s jewelry collection in order to buy a few grams. No one is going to overdose and die from too large of a bong hit.
I am sure there are people out there who take their habit to a very dark place – one of laziness, apathy, and despondency. But they are the exception (and every habit has its exceptions). I am a strong proponent of abolishing prohibition for all drugs because: a) The government has no right to tell anyone what they may or may not do with their bodies; b) Anyone who wants to buy illegal drugs can access them with a little bit of willpower and street smarts; and, c) by ridding the system of its silly and futile attempts at controlling the illegal drug trade, the black markets that profit from the illegality of these substances will be forced to either shrink into a shadow of their former selves or give up the game entirely.
Filed under: Latest News, Life · Tags: black markets, Charlie Beck, clean and sober, drug laws, drug trade, illegal drugs, law enforcement, Los Angeles, Medicinal Marijuana, medicinal marijuana ban, Mexican Drug Cartels, Mexican drug lords, Police Chief Charlie Beck, schwag, sobriety, war on drugs