In my encounters with cannabis rights movements I have yet to encounter clear thinkers who think about the consequences of legalization. These issues must be addressed before any progress can be made.
1. Pot heads (burnouts)
There are people who abuse drugs as recreational that give others a bad name. I can not count the number of people that not only use cannabis to a extreme for years until they can barely function or worse yet those who do no discriminate between spiritual and recreational and abusive use of narcotics and other mind altering substances. These people give our cause a bad name .
These are the types of people who are typically alcoholics often involved in gangs and mix other drugs indiscriminately. If there was no such thing as cannabis these people would be doing hard drugs anyway. If there was no such thing as alcohol they would be doing chemicals they found under the kitchen sink. They are typically street people involved in crime and gangs and when all the other drugs wear off or they can not get anything else they settle for marijuana. Cannabis is definitely not their drug of choice. But they do it often enough that people outside of the psychedelic culture see them as typical potheads.
Ok onto the legal issues.
One consequence I forsee if I was in congress trying to decriminalize cannabis is this. If it were legalized tomorrow who would produce the cannabis cigarettes ? Not once have I seen advocates for making pot legal address this issue. If we are to be taken seriously we must not come off as ignorant potheads who ignore consequences. If we ever succeeded in legalizing and the tobacco industry was the main legal producer and supplier of cannabis cigs it would have dire consequences for society. The fact that the cannabis culture has not considered this in their proposals to legalize shows that most in favor of legalizing are acting the antisocial and ignorant stereotype people have of us. Not once has someone I have met pro legalizing suggested legislation that forbids the tobacco industry from being involved.
Do people realize the chemicals in cigarettes would make cannabis into a poison with no redeeming value? That the tobacco companies would definitely try to put nicotine in the cannabis thus making it a drug far more dangerous then cigarettes? Also if this is not addressed before hand then the tobacco companies would be the first to step in after legalization to increase their profits. So law makers knowing this will not take us seriously.
Taking this further since cannabis growers will be in direct competition with tobacco companies assuming we forbid their participation then they will use all their money and influence and power to shut us down just as the alcohol industry attacked legal Kava Kava when they were threatened.
We need a proposal that discourages recreation use, forbids tobacco company involvement, regulates so that no addictive substance is added nor chemicals for taste etc, age limits for possession and consumption, Distribution models that also limit age so that 16 olds can not grow their own and sell at school That means licensing and regulation.
Every issue that alcohol laws and regulation addresses so must we address. Can people smoke this publicly in the street? Do smoking laws prohibiting apply?
When considering legalizing the soft drugs meaning those that occur naturally we must consider all possible effects on society.
We must argue for the social value of cannabis versus crack . We must decide where we will draw the line and how we define abuse. We must push for tougher sentencing for crimes performed under the influence of any drug legal or otherwise. Preferably the maximum penalties. If we do not take the consequences of decriminalization seriously why should they take us seriously when we propose a major change in societies laws?