Even for those who hate cannabis and believe nobody should ever use cannabis, there are countless good arguments as to why cannabis should nonetheless be legalized. This John Legend quote nicely highlights one of these arguments, which is that keeping cannabis illegal does more harm to communities than legalizing it.
This quote harkens back to the episode from The Wire where Major Colvin seeks to move all of the drug sellers into one “tolerant zone” so as to keep them away “from the decent people in the neighborhood.” Colvin had come to the conclusion that because the police were not able to stop the buying and selling of drugs, they should instead move it to one area so as to stop the collateral harm it was having on the neighborhood. In other words, the illegality of the drugs had created an illegal and harmful presence in the neighborhoods and setting up an essentially legal zone would actually mitigate the harms.
In one of our previous posts in this series (we are now at number 86!), we used the following Abraham Lincoln quote:
Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
Abraham Lincoln, December 18, 1840 before the Illinois House of Representatives.
Lincoln’s quote joins nicely with Legend’s quote in that Legend talks about how prohibition harms communities and Lincoln talks about how prohibition harms the cause of temperance and even our souls.