Make marijuana legal - treat it just like alcohol.

As I sit waiting for the election night returns, one of the items I am interested in is the proposal on our ballots in Michigan pertaining to the medical use of marijuana.
Interesting note on our household. While both Julie and I think pot ought to be sold like alcohol - we split on the medical use question. I felt it was a step in the right direction and voted for it. She felt that the issue SHOULD have been to make it legal and that the medical use effort was just a half-baked effort.
First and foremost, let me say I am not a pot smoker. Yes, I have smoked pot in my younger days (unlike President Clinton - I went whole hog and even inhaled it!), but it was never really my bag. So I am not advocating the legalization of pot for my personal gain.
I just believe there are far too many legal resources being wasted on pot. Cops spend way too much time on it - there are far too many people in prison or jail because of it - and it seems that lots of folks in Mexican border towns are being killed over it. (I know the drug cartels smuggle more than marijuana, but it is part of the problem.)
Lets look at the War on Drugs. Is pot any more difficult to obtain than it was 10, 15, 20, or 3o years ago? Well, if sniffing the air at concerts is any indication, I would say NO.
Is marijuana debilitating? I do not know a lot of potheads, but I am acquainted with a few people who smoke pot on a very, very regular basis. You know what - every last one of them is a productive member of society. Their pot smoking does not interfere with their family or professional life from what I can see. I have not known anyone in my 50 years who let their pot smoking ruin their family life or lose their job over it. I cannot think of one.
Back in the days of my youth, some of the most powerful weed I ever smoked was grown by a surgeon! I smoked his pot once or twice - it was too strong for me. I could not handle the buzz. However, he NEVER smoked on the day of or even the day BEFORE he was scheduled for surgery or when he was on call. He also introduced me to single malt scotch and he treated his pot the same way he treated his hootch - he used both in moderation and he never used either when scheduled for surgery or when on call.
On the other hand, I can name several people I have known over the years who have let their use of alcohol ruin their marriage and/or their careers. I have seen drunks commit random acts of violence - saw a drunk guy at a Tiger game punch the living hell out of another guy who accidentally bumped him when we were leaving the game. He landed 5-6 punches to his face before anyone could react or stop him. I have never seen anyone who JUST smoked dope turn into a violent creep. (I have seen some pretty stupid behavior on weed, but stupid and violent are a long way away from each other. Mostly people just thing they are really funny or tell you the same joke 6 times in a row and want you to laugh every time.)
That example of the surgeon says it all for me - treat pot the same way we treat alcohol.
Let the state regulate it and TAX it.
(Take it out of the hands of the drug cartels - just like we took booze BACK out of the hands of gangsters when we turned Prohibition around.)
Make it legal after the age of 21.
Anyone using underage will be prosecuted.
Anyone operating a motor vehicle while under the influence will be treated like a drunk driver.
Let adults grow it if they want - just like we can home brew beer, or make wine or distill spirits if we are old enough to drink.
Medical Use - we sure as heck ought to let people with serious illnesses grow and smoke all the pot they want. If a WEED can ease the pain or help someone regain their appetite after chemotherapy, then who are we to prohibit or prevent it? I can see why the drug companies will fight it - marijuana is darn near free. No R&D to pay for....no advertising budgets.....no huge expense. NO HUGE PROFITS.
Let the cops go after real criminals. Treat pot like alcohol.
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