Will the marijuana reform legalize harder drugs?
It’s difficult these days not to support marijuana legalization. In fact, most do. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that 69% of Americans believe the herb should be given a place in the ranks of the legitimate trade, like alcohol and tobacco.
You’ve heard the stories of how cannabis has therapeutic benefits, is safer than alcohol, creates tens of thousands of new jobs, and brings a great boon to struggling economies. Now they are learning about social justice and how cannabis reform is part of eliminating racism in the United States. After all, without a terrified nation of bigots, cannabis wouldn’t have been banned at all. If you don’t support cannabis legalization in 2021, you may not be a good person. And nobody wants that label. They are all afraid that abandonment culture will come next for them.
So for legal weeds, full speed is ahead. The democratically controlled Congress even speaks of trying push a bill by this year the paper will legalize nationwide. If so, more states could enact similar laws, giving way to the likelihood that marijuana, a plant primarily associated with the oppressed society, will be lawfully grown and sold. This is what cannabis advocates have fought for since the beginning of High Times Magazine. But there are still enough naysayers out there who think this legalization business is a bad idea. They believe the nation has been tricked into believing that weeds are safe, and they believe that efforts to get rid of the ban in the US will not stop there.
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“This was a very, very smart and coordinated campaign,” said former New York Times reporter and award-winning writer Alex Berenson told Tucker Carlson from Fox Nation today. “Not just about cannabis, but really about all illegal drugs, that’s been the case for 25 years, that it won. It has won with cannabis and they are pushing for psychedelics. “
If you recognize Berenson’s name, it’s because he published a controversial book called Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, which critics have called “a brilliant antidote to all the false tales about pot”. The book suggests that the nation should support decriminalization better than legalization as it eliminates the arrests and incarcerations without creating a huge market for retail sales. “For the marijuana lobby, which now includes for-profit companies, decriminalization is not a satisfactory compromise. Proponents want cannabis to be equated with alcohol and tobacco. ” reads the book.
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Cannabis advocates called Berenson’s document “Reefer Madness,” but is it really that? He’s not wrong: marijuana is winning, and now proponents are taking the same steps with regard to psychedelics. It is all true. Last year, Oregon became that first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms. While I’m not against it personally, rest assured that more states will be making similar changes to their drug laws in the near future. Berenson is also right about how the cannabis community is striving for full legalization as opposed to decriminalization.
Sure, they will wholeheartedly support policies calling for the elimination of criminal penalties – a win is a win – but they won’t stop until full legalization is in place. All one has to do is look at the history of marijuana legalization to see that this is true. Almost every state that has legalized weeds for adults aged 21 and over has started a “medical marijuana” program. The pro-cannabis narrative usually starts with “compassionate use” for the seriously ill and then turns into a game about legalizing weeds like alcohol. However, if the ultimate goal of national drug advocacy groups is to stop the hundreds of thousands of marijuana-related arrests each year and release drug offenders, decriminalization and deportation policies should be enough. And it works.
Finally, if you look at Portugal, a country that decriminalized possession of ALL illegal drugs nearly 20 years ago, you will no longer have problems with overcrowding of prisons for drug offenses. They also have no legal means for users to buy drugs, and government officials don’t even entertain the thought. The result is one of the most respected and discussed drug reform policies in history. Portugal now has fewer overdoses, more people seek treatment, fewer AIDS cases and most importantly, no one is going to jail for drugs. It works out.
But the United States is not going in that direction.
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No, we will soon be living in a world where marijuana dispensaries are as common as liquor stores and pharmacies. This is already a reality in many countries. As soon as the federal government lifts its cannabis ban, watch out! More states will follow the path of pot reform and the cannabis industry will continue to be a powerful force to be reckoned with. You can bet on it. However, based on Berenson’s predictions, other drug warriors believe the legalization effort will not end in one pot.
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“If you think legalization will end in marijuana, I can sell you a bridge (and a lot of Coke),” said Kevin Sabet, PhD, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and author of the upcoming book Smoke Screen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know, wrote in a recent tweet.
Sabet’s message came in response to a Twitter thread showing how the Drug User Liberation Front, a Canadian drug reform organization, was distributing heroin, cocaine and meth for free in Vancouver. They do this because the drugs have been tested for fentanyl and other harsh cutting agents that can prove deadly to drug users and are therefore safer than those on the black market. It’s a campaign that could well save some lives.
While an admirable indictment, Sabet believes campaigns like the Liberation Front and the American legalization trend could collide to collectively create taxable and regulated markets for hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. It’s not a route. After all, many of the same arguments for legalizing marijuana (and psychedelics) could apply to these substances as well. We soon could hear proponents giving America a sales pitch such as:
“Drugs like cocaine, heroin, and meth bought in the legitimate market would be safer (and there would be fewer overdoses) due to government oversight. legal drugs would help destroy the black market and eradicate violence; These substances would be more difficult for children to get their hands on. And … just think of all the tax revenue the United States could generate from a fully legal cocaine market. “
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The legalization of feel-good substances in the United States is sure to be the next billion dollar industry. Currently, the US illegal drug market is worth over $ 150 billion. It would also grow immensely if the population believed that it was socially acceptable to consume hard drugs in ways similar to beer. Don’t laugh, that’s exactly what cannabis advocates for marijuana have done for years. Now it’s about to normalize. So if the legal manufacture and sale of drugs like cocaine, heroin, and meth were allowed, it would be an inevitable financial boon to state and local governments. But that doesn’t mean it’s the smart move.
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However, decriminalizing these drugs is something the country should be thinking about. It would ensure that no one had a criminal record of minor drug offenses or spent years in prison. Nor would it encourage Americans to use drugs anymore. On the other hand, there is the question of personal freedom. Some argue that it is unconstitutional for Uncle Sam to tell people what they can or cannot put in their bodies. Perhaps it is time for the country to adopt a live-and-let-live philosophy, with intelligence, education, and common sense governing everything. That’s what the US did with alcohol – a substance that kills 95,000 Americans every year.
The question is: where is the line? So far, the legalization of marijuana has shown no sign that it is contributing to the deterioration of society. Of course, there is conflicting evidence out there, and depending on which side you are on, you can argue ad nauseam for or against. But how far is the United States ready to go with drug legalization? Will it stop at marijuana? Psilocybin? Or is Sabet right, and we are at a time when there will be a compelling argument as to why America would be better off with legal meth. What do we do now?