Potheads and libertarians (but I repeat myself) all across the great state of Indiana are big mad again this weekend as the Indiana legislature failed to advance a bill to legalize pot…..
To no one’s surprise, Indiana will go at least another year — and likely more — without advancing a growing number of marijuana legalization bills.
A House committee heard one such bill for the first time this session, drawing headlines, but it wasn’t brought up for a vote.
The dopers are all apoplectic, apparently due to the lack of herb to mellow them out.
At age 51 I have never toked even once and really have no interest in doing so. Life has enough pitfalls and distractions without getting baked to numb your mind.
Local news Facebook pages are full of angry stoners and stories about marijuana legalization tend to bring out some of the angriest comments. The same people argue the same thing every time, mostly that a) legalizing pot will somehow reduce crime and b) that Indiana is losing tax revenue by not legalizing and taxing weed.
The first argument makes an invalid assumption, namely that people who deal marijuana are otherwise decent people. They are not. They are just opportunists who see dealing as a way to make money without gainful employment. If marijuana is legalized they will not become small businessmen and pillars of the community, they will instead find some other illicit way to make money. Lots of petty criminals put more time and effort into making money criminally than they could by gainful employment.
Now, those who are in possession of small amounts and clearly not distributors? You can argue that they are not harming anyone other than themselves. On the other hand, we have seen repeatedly that ignoring low level crimes seems to invariably lead to worsening crime and “unintended” consequences, like the recent announcement by Wal-Mart that they were closing both of their stores in Portland, Oregon, no doubt a result of the decision to pull back enforcement of so called petty crimes like shoplifting, something that has led to store closures in other cities where rampant and brazen looting has made it unfeasible to maintain retail stores. So called urban “food deserts” occur because the customer base steals from the store at levels that make the store unprofitable.
When I look at states where marijuana is legal, like neighboring Illinois that legalized wacky tobaccky in 2019, we have hardly seen a drop off in crime. Three years of 700+ murders in Chicago suggests to me that the famous mellowing effect of Mary Jane isn’t keeping the fellas from shooting each other. I am not saying that legalizing weed causes murders but I am saying that legalizing weed seems to do little to reduce crime, especially of the most serious kind.
The second argument is likewise rather dumb, and reflective of the mindset of people who don’t seem to understand complex economic systems (perhaps as a result of smoking pot?). If the goal is to increase tax revenue, there are lots of way to encourage economic growth that doesn’t simultaneously turn lots of dumb, dopey people into even more dumb and dopey people. Reducing burdensome regulations, investment in economic development, on and on. It can be done and done without legalizing pot.
There are some reasonable arguments to be made in favor of legalization although I don’t find them compelling. Generally speaking, the people screaming about legalizing weed on social media don’t know how to make a compelling argument. Quit being dopeheads you freaking hippies and if you don’t like, no one is making you stay in the Hoosier state.