As my readers know, I am for the legalization of drug sales. In a five-part series of posts, I outlined the pitiable state of the War on Drugs and why legalization is rational.
The first small step in legalization has occurred. It is now legal to purchase marijuana in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. This constitutes a relatively small portion of the American population. However, it gives one the opportunity to see what Americans are doing with this new freedom.
Do you like Oreo cookies? I do. Do you drink bottled water? Millions of Americans have fallen for that ripoff. But, despite the fact that tap water is usually better, they spend billions of dollars on the stuff. Sales of Oreos and Desani bottled water are national.
Let’s compare national sales of Oreo and Desani bottled water (the most popular brand) with marijuana sales – which is limited to the states in which it is legal.
Are there negative effects to allowing the use of a mind altering drug? Of course there are. Have they called out the National Guard to quell the lawlessness in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia? Are the headlines filled with the madness in the streets as drug crazed pot smoker rape and pillage these states? No. Are the negative effects any worse than those seen with the sale of alcohol and tobacco products? No.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug (22.2 million past-month users) according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Nearly all must buy the drug from an illegal drug dealer. Be sure to put that in your calculation of the “sanity” of marijuana legalization.