Canna Law Blog

Marijuana Legalization

This quote by the late great Supreme Court Justice Brandeis describes exactly the process by which legal marijuana is currently being tested. In 2014, former President Bill Clinton also suggested we leave cannabis up to state government, saying: “I think we should leave it to the states. If the state wants to try it, they can. And then they’ll be able to see what happens.”

And we have been trying it, and to resounding success. In 2015, Colorado raised more tax revenue from marijuana than alcohol–to the tune of $125,000,000. Daily cannabis sales in Washington exceed $2,000,000. One Oregon dispensary alone made $50,000 on its first day.

What do you think? Is this state-by-state experiment going well? Have we now reached the stage where it’s time to make the entire country a part of this grand experiment, or will further federal liberalization, but leaving it up to the states be enough?

2 responses to “They Said It On Marijuana, Quotable Saturday, Part CVI”

  1. Prohibition is the experiment….cannabis, Kaneh Bos, marijuana, ganja, bangi, all been here for thousands of years feeding and providing medicinal benefits for peoples…these politicians and anti people are lying their socks off.

  2. Though I am an anarcho-capitalist and a libertarian, the “War on Drugs” is pretty far down on my list of things to speak out against when it comes to government. However, like many different issues, I see my fellow libertarians understand the problem correctly, but are advocating the wrong solutions. If the idea is to limit the government’s control over substances, legalization is the direct opposite of what we should push for. There’s a difference between legalization and abolition.

    We are beginning to see this play out with marijuana. Because the public’s opinion of it has changed, we will see many politicians and potential government officials push for legalization of marijuana. This has resulted in many people seeking legalization and celebrating cases where it occurs, much like we saw in Colorado. Politicians are very smart people, which is why you’ve heard some political figures begin to switch their stances. But this is nothing more than a political okie doke designed to boost the perception of the politicians. Legalization does not solve the issues, however, nor does “decriminalizing.” The government still makes the rules, thus the government still controls the usage and ultimately controls the substance in general because of this. I’m not suggesting that the wishes and desires to decriminalize drugs are wrongful, I just do not think people have thought critically about the actual solution. In many cases, it does nothing but strengthen the government and their monopoly.

    I like to use marriage to exemplify my point. Last year, the Supreme Court seemingly granted the “rights” for gay couples to seek marriage licensing. I saw many libertarians celebrate this as a victory, but was it really? The government still ultimately makes the rules and we should ask, why was it their decision to make in the first place? If the state still has to recognize one’s marriage for it to be considered legitimate, where is the victory? Again, if the objective is to limit the state we should have been pushing for abolition of marriage licensing all together.

    Abolition of laws help both sides but there’s a lot of money to be made in politicizing issues by government, so they tend to push for legalization. Even though abolition would mean that all sides win. In marriage, if the laws were abolished one would be able to see marriage in whatever way they see fit with whomever they wanted. Equally, if entities didn’t want to acknowledge others’ marriages they are not bound by laws to force them to recognize it.

    But that’s too easy, isn’t it?

    So legalization of marijuana would not be a victory, but it would certainly seem like one to those who have to use it in secrecy because they would be punished by law; it would also seem to be victorious for those who spent time in jail for such a nonviolent offense. But we must look at the source of the issues: the laws. Making new laws isn’t a solution. It simply means that the state makes new rules but they’ll just let you use it under circumstances they see fit. They’ll let you smoke a little weed but they can still control marijuana, dictate how and who can use it, and they will most certainly tax it to raise their revenue. So the state still wins and individuals lose.

    It’s expected of liberals to fall for this scheme, but libertarians should see right through it. Abolition of the laws surrounding drugs is the way to limit the state (that is, if that’s the goal). Legalization and new rules is nothing more than a way to get to shut up for a little bit, which legitimizes government.

    Abolition > Legalization.

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The Canna Law Blog™ is a forum for discussion about the practical aspects of cannabis law and how it impacts those involved in this growing industry. We will provide insight into how canna businesspeople can use the law to their advantage…

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Please be mindful that possessing, using, distributing and selling marijuana are all federal crimes and that this blog is not intended to give you any legal advice, much less lead you to believe that marijuana is legal under federal law.