As Mitt Romney toured Colorado last week and gave an interview to a local CBS reporter who ultimately ended up asking a viewer submitted question inquiring about Romney’s stance on medical cannabis.
Agitated about the question, he responded “Aren’t there issues of significance that you’d like to talk about?” After the reporter persisted Romney stated ““The economy, the economy, the economy. The growth of jobs. The need to put people back to work. The challenges of Iran. We’ve got enormous issues that we face, but you want talk about, go ahead, you want to talk about marijuana?” I’m sure he’ll make it a top priority in the war on drugs though.
He went on to say that he believes cannabis is a gateway drug and that drug users are responsible for the actions of the drug cartels south of the border. A previous article addresses the junk claim that puts the blame for what the drug cartels are doing on drug consumers. As for his other statements, my, where to begin?
The economy is the most significant issue at hand right now? For once I find myself in agreement with Romney. Indeed, the economy is a major issue right now and cannabis is entirely a significant issue here. The legalization of both cannabis and hemp would be a boon to the economy creating agricultural, industrial, and service jobs while decreasing the amount of funds needed to enforce cannabis laws and imprison non-violent convicted cannabis consumers, with the added bonus effect of helping to unclog our already severely bogged down court system and focus police resources on more pressing matters.
Throwing that old gateway theory out there is pathetic though. The real gateway drug is prohibition and ignorance. By making cannabis illegal and then feeding incorrect information to kids about it and other drugs, we are ensuring that many people find their way to hard drugs.
Since you can’t go down to the store and buy cannabis like alcohol and tobacco, people are forced to go through often unsavory people who generally deal in more than just cannabis. These people have every incentive to sell to kids since they don’t have to check any ID’s and want to get them hooked on highly addictive drugs, which ensures that they’re always coming back for more.
Considering our current scheme essentially feeds false information to kids about drugs in an effort to scare them into not using them, when someone finds out that cannabis isn’t the terrible drug that people make it out to be, they begin to wonder what else they’ve been lied to about and may then start experimenting with drugs that really can do some damage.
There isn’t a shred of evidence that backs up the theory that cannabis is a gateway drug. We need a system that treats both adults and kids with respect; adults so they can buy and consume a non-toxic plant responsibly, and kids so that they can acquire and understand genuine knowledge about drugs so that they know why they shouldn’t be consuming drugs and can make informed decisions in life, rather than simply being told “because they’re bad” and “because I said so” which has obviously and utterly failed.
Just say know to drugs…
By: Stephen Carter