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Legalization of Marijuana – My 2 Cents

Tammy S. Pinkerton

For decades, the public has clamored for the legalization of marijuana. It has medicinal benefits, is less harmful than alcohol, and nobody has ever died from an overdose from smoking the plant. 

Despite marijuana being deemed a federal crime for over 80 years, and a public clamoring for the legalization over the last forty years or so, it has remained a federal crime to purchase, and use it.

Over the past decade or so, that is beginning to change on a state by state basis. Half the states have legalized marijuana recreationally, and or medicinally. 

A couple years ago, Massachusetts added its name to the list of places where marijuana is now legal, and has opened retail stores. Initially, people stood in long lines, eager to smoke a joint, or chomp on a chocolate pot filled brownie, all legal. 

At long last, Massachusetts would no longer be referred to as “Tax-a-chussettes”. Marijuana provided a solution.

There was no question about it, the tax collectors were smiling. At 400.00 for an ounce of medical marijuana, the extra revenue would fill the coffers. Legalizing marijuana would help a financially struggling state. The customers giggled all the way through munching on that brownie, that was no longer against the law. Everybody was happy. 

What could possibly go wrong?

Skipping over the traditional arguments, that have been used by the opponents of legalization, such as it’s a gateway drug, bad for children, and nutritionally out of synch with good health, although more people will munch on donuts and pizza, than pot infused brownies, there is a real problem with legalizing marijuana, that is being ignored.

The way that marijuana is being legalized threatens our freedom and  liberty as American citizens, and may actually lead to further erosion, of our basic human rights.

First, marijuana remains a federal crime. It continues to be considered a class one felony drug. Does this mean that people who live in a state where marijuana is legal, or visit a state where it is legal and use it recreationally, cannot work for the federal government? Or will they be fired from a federal job in a drug testing program, because they used marijuana, in a place where it was legal?

Does this mean that a person receiving food stamps or housing assistance who consumes marijuana cannot continue to receive that assistance, even though they live in a state where marijuana is legal,  since those are federal monies, granted to states?

As soon as the first state legalized marijuana, the federal government should have removed it as a class one felony. It did not. 

Why?

Building the conflict into the structure of the American judicial system keeps lawyers well funded with disputes. It provides a media driven by controversy, money making opportunity. The fact that it remains a class one felony gives sly provisions, for comparing it to heroin, or even murder. No difference between the two, right? We can lump all  the illegalities together as major federal crimes. Notice on job applications- Have you ever been arrested for a federal offense?

If the government wants to take a citizens property, and or products, and that citizen uses marijuana, the citizen can be targeted in character attacks by calling the citizen a class one federal felon, giving fodder for takings. People can be targeted for political views, race, religion, gender, class, and marijuana as a class one felony, can fuel the character attacks. Far fetched? Perhaps, but there are many underhanded tactics using pardons, that can turn a minor crime into a major one. It really can be used as a “gateway drug.”

If marijuana is legal in one place but not another, our government can create asset forfeitures through the back door, and create these forfeitures using legal methods, further eroding basic civil rights.

Let me explain. If somebody uses marijuana in one state, and drives to another state and has a car accident, and it is determined that marijuana is in the blood stream, can the state where marijuana is illegal decide to confiscate the drivers car? Suspend the driver from driving? Force the driver into court grabbing their money and time? 

The way that marijuana is being legalized today is building a system of legalized highway robbery into the law.

Today if an accident happens and alcohol is smelled on the breath, the driver becomes subject to a breathalyzer, and can be charged with drunk driving.

Alcohol is water soluble and leaves the body in 24 hours, but not so for marijuana. It is fat soluble and can remain in the body for 10 to 60 days with a urine test, and up to four years using a hair sample test.( more expensive, so used less)

Does everybody now involved in an accident from fender bender to major calamity have to pee in a cup to determine whether marijuana  is in their blood? This gives police the ability to create gross violations of civil and human rights through money making grabs. All happening through legal processes.

Taken to an extreme, I suppose cities could fund entire police departments through building structural conflicts into the law.

legalization of marijuana

Who has opposed the legalization of marijuana? 

It has been those profiting from it being illegal. The drug manufacturers will soon focus on treatment for addiction to opiates, as a way of fighting back. Use marijuana medicinally, you must be sick and in need of treatment. Use it recreationally, you have a problem, and need treatment. The advertising has already started.

The drug cartels have made money with marijuana illegal, and losing revenue they will move deeper into pornography, and child trafficking, to compensate for the lost funds. The opponents of legalization stating that it’s bad for children might actually be right. Take the money away from those profiting from marijuana being illegal, and they may shift to buying and selling children. That is much worse.

The media will thrive on the back door conflicts, and the news generated from the back door conflicts because marijuana is halfway legal. A series of disputes arising … “Is it this, or is it that?” These gray areas are being built into the structure of marijuana laws.

The public will find themselves em-blazed in a series of conflicts further eroding liberty, not to mention draining their pocketbooks. Following legal costs in attorney fees and court costs and perhaps loss of job, the end result will be a pardon. “Everybody does it no big deal,” except for the person caught up in the legal trap.

These half measures are worse than it is totally illegal. Anybody who wants to smoke marijuana can. It is easy to find. It’s a plant. You can live in a place where it is illegal and find it just as easily as living in a place where it is legal. I doubt anybody who partook in consumption cared, whether it was legal or illegal, outside of the repercussions that would follow if caught.

Marijuana has reached mainstream America. Not everybody has tried it, but every adult between 20 and 70, knows somebody who has tried it at least once.

Four Presidents have been elected into office since the first state legalized marijuana, and 16 years have passed since then. All four presidents were baby boomers. They had grown up in a culture where marijuana had reached mainstream America, and understood usage, had transcended race, economics, and political ideology.

Two Presidents were Republicans, and two Democrats. All four brought marijuana legalization into campaign rhetoric. All claimed to represent “we the people”.

Half the states legalized marijuana. None of the presidents removed the class one felony status of marijuana.  It didn’t require an act of congress to remove marijuana as a class one felony. Each of them could have done it with a pen stroke. None of them did. Why?

These half measures towards marijuana legalization don’t work. They create unnecessary conflicts between federal and state law. Removing marijuana as a class one felony, is the first step towards reducing these conflicts.

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Presidential Quotes

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I was born at the end of 1957. The year I was born more babies were born than any year in history. Today we enter our retirement years, and there are quite a few of us, transitioning  into our senior years.

When I was born, Dwight D.Eisenhower was president of the United States.

Through my life, I only recall one year, when our country was not at war. That was 1975.

The issues that have plagued our country since I arrived, are the same issues we face today, only today they are more extreme, and worse, than ever before.

In 1957, a distant cousin of mine, Senator Sam Dash, cautioned us about electronic surveillance, and its intrusion on the American People. 

Today, Edward Snowden, lives in Russia, for fear of persecution, and prosecution, because he revealed the extremities of the deep state matrix of electronic surveillance, against the American people.

Senator Dash chaired the impeachment inquiry of Richard Nixon, which ultimately led to his resignation. I still remember Nixon boarding that airplane on that final day in office, waving goodbye.

Today, we have spent millions of taxpayer dollars on the Robert Mueller Russia investigation, investigating a president. Then we spent millions more on the John Durham investigation, investigating the investigators.

We have a President voted by the people out of office, who vows to retaliate, for this investigation happening, and is determined to overturn the results of this election.

I doubt I will be watching him board an airplane waving goodbye.

It’s not like we didn’t see this degradation evolving over decades. Every president since my birth has warned us. We the people have grown complacent in creating change. We have trusted our leaders, trusted congress, trusted the media, trusted everybody except ourselves and our higher power.

We need to restart.

The following are quotes from presidents of my past.

Eisenhower

“A people that values its privileges above its principles, soon loses both.”

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

“Beware of the military industrial complex”

Kennedy

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

“We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.”

Johnson

“A rioter with a molotov cocktail in his hands is not fighting for civil rights any more than a klansman with a sheet on his back and mask on his face. They are both more or less what the law declares them: lawbreakers, destroyers of constitutional rights and liberties, and ultimately destroyers of a free America.

Nixon

“I think congress has spent enough time on ethics. I think it’s time they moved onto something else.”

“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam war. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. “

“When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.” “The press is the enemy.”

Ford

“The political lesson of watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant elite guard of political adolescents to bypass the regular party organization, and dictate the terms of a national election.”

Carter

“When you single out any particular group of people for secondary citizenship status, that is a violation of basic human rights.”

“We have become an oligarchy instead of a democracy. I think that’s been the worst damage to the basic moral and ethical standards to the American political system that I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“My constant prayer, my number one foreign goal is to bring peace to Israel, and in the process to Israels neighbors.”

“We cannot be both the worlds leading champions of peace and the world’s leading supplier of weapons of war.”

Reagan

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” “

“ I have wondered at times what the ten commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US congress.”

“Facts are stubborn things.”

Bush George 11

“Debates, I hate.”

I think the 24 hour news cycle has helped exaggerate the differences between the parties.” You can always find somebody on Television harping about something. That didn’t happen 20 years ago”

( add the internet to the mix)

Clinton

“Our democracy cannot survive its current downward drift into tribalism, extremism and seething resentment. Today, it’s us versus them in America. Politics is little more than blood sport. As a result our willingness to believe the worst about everyone outside our bubble is growing, and our ability to solve problems and seize opportunities is shrinking” We must do better. We have honest differences. We need rigorous debates. Healthy skepticism is good. It saves us from being too naive or too cynical. But it is impossible to preserve democracy when the well of trust runs completely dry.

Bush George W

Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don’t attack each other. Free nations don’t develop weapons of mass destruction.

When I take action, I’m not going to fire a 2 million dollar weapon and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.

Obama, Barack

If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists to protect them and to promote their common welfare, all else is lost.

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America, there’s the United States of America.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. America has a debt problem, and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I, therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase Americas debt.

Trump, Donald

I will reserve his comments until after he has left office.

For 63 years, I have listened to the rhetoric. I have watched one endless war after another, and i have watched our country move deeper and deeper into darkness.

We have debt in the trillions and so many hungry and cold. We are gagged in our homes and told to socially distance from others. We are fragmented as a people. Our businesses have closed, due to government mandates.

And our leaders from both political parties are preaching justice and liberty, and all the things we the American people want to hear, and it is the same rhetoric year after year.

One thing is clear. If we are going to remain a free country, where the statute of liberty stops shaking her fist, then it is up to the citizens to take our country back, and put some checks and balances on the money going out the door.

Somehow, someway, we need to return to basics and restart. And I don’t think it’s through another budget expenditure for the poor, or another tax deduction for the rich, it’s through creating, developing, and building businesses, and strengthening the middle class.

Back at the beginning, we went to nursery school, or preschool, as we call it today and we learned a rhyme.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the kings horses, and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.”

It is beyond time to build new. We have waited too long for our leaders to do something to take care of us, while they steal more and more from not only our wealth, but our liberty and justice, under the disguise, that they are “helping us”. 

Our government does a lot to help us when we are in a crisis mode. We have systems in place to prevent us from falling through cracks on many levels, but the one group that has been left out, is the middle class. 

We don’t need a handout. We need to use our money more efficiently, to become more resourceful with what we do have. We need to create jobs. It is the middle class that built this country and it is the middle class that needs to take it back.

It is time for the American people, the middle class, the citizens from every walk of life,  to take our country back, from leaders who are ripping us off in backdoor underhanded deals, and then adding insult to injury by saying we are doing it to ourselves.

It is beyond time to strengthen the middle class

We build a better back when we open doors.

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