Republicans constantly make the dubious claim that fewer regulations on businesses would increase profits and encourage them to hire more people. There is something we could cut regulations on that would reduce costs to our local, state and federal governments, increase employment, reduce both violent crime and official corruption and increase tax collections without raising tax rates. That something is legalizing marijuana then regulating and taxing it like alcohol and tobacco. On Saturday June 9, 2012 the Texas Democratic Party took a giant step forward by adding a platform plank calling for decriminalization of marijuana.
Every year the police in this country arrest more people of marijuana possession than they do for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and other violent crimes combined. After over 40 years of the “War on Drugs” marijuana use is more prevalent and the marijuana is more readily available than it was when President Nixon declared the war.
By any measure the prohibition of marijuana possession and personal use is exactly the big government boondoggle that conservatives so often complain about. It’s way past time that all our political leaders recognize that prohibition today is just as counter productive as it was in the 1920’s and 1930’s and repeal it. As one who doesn’t drink alcohol and doesn’t smoke tobacco or marijuana I have nothing personal to gain, I just want to see sensible public policy.
I’m proud to have led the effort to add decriminalization of marijuana to the Texas Democratic Party platform.