Legalization advances inevitable, admirable

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On Jan.1, the media waited in silence for something to happen on the first day of marijuana legalization in Colorado. Someone had to go crazy, yell at the police or give an embarrassing interview.

Pretty much nothing happened, of course; marijuana was legal in all but name in Colorado before full legalization, and many of the first-day shoppers were from out of state.

At this point continued coverage of marijuana legalization is basically a joke.

The plans in Colorado and Washington, which will have its beginning in the spring, are reasonably solid.  The only real threat is federal action.

The fact that Barack Obama’s regime has continued the crackdown on medical dispensaries is disgraceful.  Early in his career it looked like he’d be willing to compromise on marijuana, but his government has dramatically increased raids on legal sellers.

The debate over pot is now more about jurisdictional squabbles than any real moral or political features.  Practically nobody feels that the recreational use of marijuana by adults is immoral, provided the user is responsible.

And thus far, participants in marijuana legalization have been nothing but.

There are more good arguments than you can count on the legalization and decriminalization side, but I think there’s a greater point that isn’t made often enough. All the comparisons to alcohol, the medical and industrial uses and the extra revenue are great arguments to legalize. But marijuana should never have been made illegal.

Marijuana just isn’t sufficiently dangerous or destructive.  It just isn’t.

Sure, there are some side-effects to serious, long-term use, but nothing on the order of most other kinds of abuse or overuse.

Laws should not be based on such nonsense. Using drugs is not immoral, and for the most part marijuana in particular is just so innocuous no credible harm-based arguments remain.

The War on Drugs has been sustained for at least a few years by media hysteria and momentum more than substance.

Witness the hysteria over bath salts: mostly made up.  There were few confirmed cases of people using bath salts as drugs.

You may have heard of krokodil, an alternative for heroin used in Russia.  Reputedly, it causes gangrene, infection and even the loss of limbs.  Once again, almost none of it is true: desomorphine is dangerous, but more importantly it is cheap.

With codeine widely available over-the-counter in Russia, manufacturing krokodil was very cheap as the cost of heroin production rose.

Desomorphine, also known by its street name, krokodil, became associated with skin damage and horrific tales because most of its users are desperately poor and using a very unsafe, unhealthy drug with little access to medical care.  Infections would be common in such an environment anyways.

Now there’s a panic over the use of krokodil in the United States. It’s been whipped up by the media to no end, who delight in showing gory images of supposed addicts.

That only a handful of cases have been confirmed is irrelevant, as is the fact that codeine is not widely available in the United States, and creating krokodil would be much more expensive than buying heroin, for the most part.

Whenever people point out that the War on Drugs has failed in all of its objectives, that prohibition is a foolish strategy and that recreational drugs are widely over-hyped as a source of harm, the furor over scandalous new drugs like krokodil and bath salts gives defenders an easy way out.

So don’t watch the headlines for crazy legal-recreational-pot stories.  There won’t be any. There might be some media sensationalism over nothing, but it won’t be hard to tell when it is in fact based on nothing.

Medicinal marijuana is great.  Decriminalized is good. But legalization is transparently obvious.  There’s few people to oppose it now.

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