American Majority Wants Federal Marijuana Prohibition To Back Off

It’s no secret that half of America smokes weed and wants to make it legal. What rational argument is there really against it so long as alcohol and tobacco are legal?

Everyone knows the onset of the great pharmaceutical empire has the globe strung out on uppers, downers, and anti-depressants. If there’s a substance abuse problem plaguing local communities nation to nation, it can be found there. It’s no coincidence most of our mass-murderers happen to be on pills of one kind or another. When’s the last time you’ve seen a marijuana smoker shoot up a school?

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Yep, the tides are a-turning out there for marijuana legalization, and those in favor of legalization, whether it be medicinal or recreational, want the federal government to butt out and leave it to the states.

Of course, that’s solely because the federal government has shown no signs of tolerance that would suggest it is leaning toward legalization on a federal level, which would be much preferred, taking the question mark out of the equation. But, since that possibility is still over the horizon, folks jump after what they can see, and state legalization is not only well within view across the country, but already in the grasp of a few bold trailblazers.

Centrist think tank Third Way released a report Monday that stated 60 percent of the American population believes states should have the right to decide whether marijuana is legalized in their communities, and that’s just the people who will admit it in the open.

Most likely, the real number is much higher. That’s what you call a landslide, folks.

Even higher than that (and no, that is not a pun), 67 percent of U.S. citizens believe the feds should mind their own business and respect the people’s vote once marijuana has been voted in affirmatively on the state level. You can bet your vaporizer that goes double in D.C., where voters voted overwhelmingly for legalization of recreational marijuana use without even having state’s rights to back them up. That’s a federal town, need I remind you.

And yes, that same 67 percent says that political leaning only goes if there is ample regulatory framework to go with it. No one is asking for a free-for-all. Instead, voters are simply saying, as intelligent, informed adults who have been fooled enough into believing they live in a “free” and “democratic” country, that they want a sane, regulated, taxable system for enjoying marijuana, exactly as the booze and tobacco industry currently do. There is an over-abundance of rational thought on the side of the pro-legalization crowd. Ironically, it is the federal government that remains irrational, most likely willingly so due to certain economic interests, but pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Out of our fifty glorious states, 23 – nearly half – have legalized medicinal marijuana in some form. Four brave states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized full-fledged recreational use, and good for them.

Enough dicking around, already. We, as free people, have a right to use marijuana recreationally as responsible adults, just as we do alcohol, and don’t let any bureaucrat tell you different.

President Obama did, at least, issue guidance that requested federal prosecutors act with a little less gusto when targeting legal state marijuana businesses. However, that is far from the protection of federal law. Again, at the federal level is where you will find the free-for-all.

Third Way is calling for a federal “waiver” system that would allow states that have legalized marijuana in some form to conduct the business their voters asked for without fear of federal interference and prosecution. In turn, those states that have legalized would have to jump through every blazing federal regulatory hoop in order to show that business is being conducted responsibly. That dog and pony show would be up for re-evaluation regularly, as well.

Third Way’s report states:

This ‘waive but restrict’ framework would provide consistency and protect public safety more effectively than either current law or the other policy proposals on the table.

The gray area resulting from the tug of war between state and federal rights, and law, has left many states that have chosen to legalize marijuana prone to fear of raids and prosecution, which does not really make for the most conducive environment for business. Legal marijuana businesses face many burdens as a result of federal stubbornness to accede to the people’s vote. For example, many banks will not accept marijuana money out of fear of becoming complicit in a federal “crime.” Marijuana businesses also often have a difficult time participating in payroll services, as well.

There are some members of Congress who have worked for years to reform the U.S. marijuana laws, though, and kudos to them. Roughly a dozen bills aiming to limit federal interference in state marijuana laws were introduced in 2013 alone. Though those bills failed, the House did pass a bipartisan measure last May that points toward limiting the Drug Enforcement Administration from tearing down legal medical marijuana businesses, as well as restricting interference in legal industrial hemp programs.

The report from Third Way also states:

A supermajority of Americans believe that federal policymakers have a role to play in this discussion, and that they should act to provide a safe haven from federal law for states that have already legalized marijuana and are acting responsibly to strictly regulate it.

Third Way’s report is based on a poll that was conducted between Aug. 21 and Aug. 24, 2014, in which 20 voters were interviewed, and again between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, in which 856 registered voters were polled.

How long before the federal government sees the light? Or, more to the point, can it ever see the light so long as so much money is made through the bogus drug war and the prison industrial complex?

In the meantime, how many lives and viable economies are ruined every day over this absurd charade?

H/T: Huffington Post | Featured image: Flickr

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