Owatonna, MN Correspondent-The world is finally waking up to the fact that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and shouldn’t be outlawed. Canada is the latest in the growing trend of countries and states who are legalizing pot for recreational use. Although Canada’s decision to legalize sends a clear message to other nations that the trend is growing, it won’t necessarily push the US government to legalize marijuana nationwide.
The main reason is that states are taking the initiative and not waiting for federal permission. The trend seems to be: legalize pot for medicinal purposes, then decriminalize, then de-emphasize law enforcement regarding pot, then legalize for personal use. Only four states have not legalized marijuana in any form. Marijuana is entirely legal in nine states, and twenty-two states have made it legal for unlimited medical use. Fifteen states allow medical marijuana with limited THC content. It seems inevitable that once a clear majority of states have completely legalized marijuana, the federal government will realize maintaining a double standard of legality is counterproductive and will change federal law to fall in line with most state statutes.
Another driver for a federal change of heart will be tax revenue. Legal marijuana is generating tax windfalls for many states. With rampant deficit spending and a penchant for enacting sin taxes, the feds will rush to legalize marijuana once they see what sort of boost to tax revenues pot sales, both medical and recreational, will provide.
If a large number of other countries suddenly legalize marijuana, it’s conceivable that might push the US down the legalization road faster, but most of the impetus will come from within our borders. When legal marijuana becomes the law of the land, it will be a huge victory for state sovereignty over federal domineering.
Myrtle Beach, SC Correspondent-I hope so! I don’t smoke, but the criminalization of marijuana is just rigmarole. I think we have talked about the legalization of Marijuana before here so I don’t need to go into a whole bunch of detail on WHY it should be legal. But the question at hand is will Canada’s new legislation lead to legislation in the United States and my answer is yes. From a logistical standpoint we share a large border with Canada. Are laws differ a lot but are for the most part similar. It’s kind of like the different laws in states, it gets difficult to enforce laws when they are SO opposite. So, with the legalization in some of our states, and Canada I think we are FINALLY on the road to legalization here. Fingers crossed!
Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Canada continues to position itself as our hippie neighbor to the north. They already invented poutine, which is the ultimate stoner food, and now they’re making it legal to achieve that state before ordering the fries with gravy and cheese curds. It’s not legal for Americans to cross the border and buy marijuana in Canada, but I’m sure enterprising Yanks will be able to get a friendly Canuck to make their purchase for them.
That said, I don’t see Canadian legalization as having much of an influence on U.S. drug policy. I think we’re 60% of the way to legalizing pot here, anyway, and as more states follow Colorado’s lead and start raking in the tax money from legal weed, I think national legalization is inevitable. My conspiracy theorist friends tell me that the major tobacco companies already have potent strains of weed locked away just waiting for the day they can plant by the acre, and with tobacco usage decreasing by the year not just in the States but globally, I can see them throwing their cancerous weight behind the push to legalize.
As long as the states that have legalized weed don’t turn into stoner-infested hellholes of sin and iniquity, and the rates of addiction to hard drugs don’t skyrocket there, I think the national experiment will begin. The makers of Twinkies, Cheetos and Nutter Butters await word with open arms and full trucks.