Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Carl Gibson

Spokesman and organizer for US Uncut

September 2nd, 2012 3:14 AM

How Legal Marijuana Could Save $72 Billion Each Year

Treat marijuana like alcohol

f there was something readily available that had proven to successfully grow brain cells, kill cancer cells, treat glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, PTSD, insomnia, loss of appetite and other ailments, how infuriating would it be to know that both state and federal governments were spending in excess of $26 billion of our tax dollars every year arresting and incarcerating people for having, selling and using that substance? Could you imagine this guy going to jail for simply curing his thyroid cancer?

I still remember my 16-year-old cat dying when I was in high school, and crying after it happened. Losing a pet is traumatizing for any kid, especially little ones. I can only imagine the fear, terror, anger and hatred felt by three kids in St. Paul, Minnesota several weeks ago when drug task force agents raided their home in the middle of the night, shot their family dog, and made them sit handcuffed next to the bloody carcass at gunpoint for over an hour while officers ransacked their home. One child was kicked by a cop and searched while loaded guns were pointed at her. Another child was deprived of her diabetes medication and went into diabetic shock induced by low blood sugar levels. And the drug cops weren't even raiding the right home.

Retired California Superior Court Judge James P. Gray argued in 2009, during the state's debate over the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to regulate and taxed marijuana like alcohol, that the more than 30-year War on Drugs has failed miserably. Gray went on to state that the prohibition of marijuana has only led to the proliferation of even more potent marijuana, just as the days of alcohol prohibition motivated bootleggers to peddle stronger booze to turn a higher profit. The facts back up Judge Gray: Mexican drug cartels currently kidnapping, raping and murdering thousands every year would be crippled if marijuana, their biggest source of revenue, was made legal in the United States.

With taxed and regulated marijuana, federal and state governments would suddenly free up $26 billion spent annually on the failed drug war. And the additional tax revenue taken in, assuming the states regulate and tax the sale of marijuana, would mean an additional $46 billion in tax revenue every year. China spent $70 billion modernizing their high-speed rail system, which simultaneously created jobs, streamlined transportation, and will drastically improve the environment over the years. What if we invested $72 billion in American high-speed rail with that new revenue?

While state governments in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, and yes, even Kentucky are waking up and realizing the benefits of both prescribing medical marijuana and regulating marijuana like alcohol, the federal government's chief drug enforcer, Michele Leonhart, is still blindly parroting vastly outdated talking points, even when confronted by members of Congress. And yes, this is the same federal government that has issued 300 pre-rolled joints every month since 1982 to stockbroker Irv Rosenfeld, who suffers from a condition that causes painful bone tumors. It's also the same federal government whose president said he would stop raiding medical marijuana farms and dispensaries in 2009. It's also the same federal government that continues to raid medical marijuana farms and dispensaries, like the ones at Oaksterdam University in 2012.

Confused yet? According to Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, the US government signed a treaty in 1961, with a host of other countries, that made marijuana a Schedule I drug, meaning it's flatly forbidden. Keep in mind, this was done not long after Harry J. Anslinger's lurid testimonies as US Commissioner of Narcotics, and racist fear-mongering by yellow journalists like William Randolph Hearst that insinuated that smoking marijuana would turn women into prostitutes.

But today, over half of Americans are ready to see marijuana legalized. And $3 million has already been raised to help the legalization efforts in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state. If you're ready to stop being confused and end the senseless prohibition of marijuana, demand your state legislators introduce bills in the following session that do just that. Demand members of Congress and presidential candidates to withdraw from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. If they won't, elect legislators, congressmen and presidents who will.

Creative Commons License This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? ...by Ray McGovern www.michaelmoore.com Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
12:58 PM
Read More

Second Guessing a Life: US Health Care System Robs Security and Human Dignity ...by Donna Smith michaelmoore.com The dysfunction of the US health care system...

Feb 27th
1:40 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles