News broke this week that California is considering the total legalization of marijuana through out the state in the up coming election in November. So I thought I would take some time to explain my position on the topic and how public policy should be created and enforced.
Thought it may surprise some, I am not strictly against the legalization of pot to the general public. I am not sure exactly where I stand with harder and chemically made drugs, like heroine, cocaine, crystal meth, and others, but pot is okay. Here is how I would write and enforce such policy.
- Any person, 18 years and older, may grow and use the drug for their own personal use within their own property. (California sets the age limit at 21 years old.)
- Any person wishing to sell the drug must be licensed, by the state, to meet certain standards for growing for commercial purposes. They can sell it online, to specialty stores, or to individuals. This includes those people who grow it in their homes, they may not sell it without a license. Anyone caught selling the drug without an appropriate license will be fined and possible imprisoned.
- The state and local municipalities may require a nominal tax placed on the purchase of said drugs by any consumer.
Simple, easy to understand and to the point. Also, in my opinion, easy to enforce. These regulations could also be used in the future to include other possible drugs to be legalized in the future.
Several problems this would clear up would include. No longer would local police be required to enforcement and incarceration of drug users for a personal choice. We could empty out or prisons of all these nonviolent felons drug users. My assumption is those convicted of a drug crime would be pardoned by governor of the states for those crimes since there is no real point in continuing to incarcerate them. We would have an influx of tax and licensing revenue to the state and local governments to help the deficits. The drug is now regulated and safer to use since there will be standard growing and selling practices.
One more thing about the topic. Now that the drug is legal, we would not have to fund the entitlement programs that help people get off the drug. Its a personal choice to use it so you have to fund your recovery if you need it, not the state or the people. Also insurance companies could offer an addition policy to cover you in the case of your addition to the drug. Hey, free market principles work again.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? As always they are welcome.