Potty Mouth

Saturday, August 14, 2004
A study by Spanish researchers shows that an ingredient in Cannabis could be useful in treating brain tumors. The discovery adds to a long list of proven medical uses for marijuana.

Of course, the Bible-thumping moralists of the Religious Right would like us to believe that this largely harmless smokable plant is a spawn of Satan that must be eradicated through a holy crusade.

The drug war, which was launched in the 1980s by Ronald Reagan (one of his few mistakes), has cost the nation billions, overwhelmed our prison and law enforcement systems, devastated inner-city communities, and all the while failed to reduce drug usage by any appreciable amount.

By all measures, the drug war has been a unmitigated failure. Yet for a politician to argue this point publicly, or to advocate on behalf of marijuana legalization, would be tantamount to political suicidal. Since our nation is fundamentally puritanical in character, any discussion of drug legalization is considered intolerable at best, heathenous and evil at worst.

Yet the case for legalizing marijuana, or at least relaxing punishments for smoking and selling it, is so transparently logical that even the Euro-weenies are catching on.

The arguments are numerous. To begin with, if marijuana were legalized, it could be regulated and taxed, thus resulting in coutnless billions of dollars in new tax revenues. Furthermore, legalization would also put the network of drug traffickers, dealers and nieghborhood gangs permanently out of business, thereby resulting in a dramatic fall in the drug-related violence that has plagued our country, ravaged the inner-cities, and clogged our prisons with harmless pot-heads.

Finally, legalization would end marijuana's status as a so-called "gateway drug"; after all, if users were able to get their supply of pot from a pharmacy rather than a back-alley dealer, then the oft-repeated claim that marijana usage takes place in shady environments and thus leads to more deadly drugs could no longer apply.