Denver Post Urges Feds to Legalize Marijuana

The Denver Post takes a bold step today in an editorial, urging the feds to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana.

The Post points out it's not just pot users calling for legalization: [More...]

Conservative, progressive and libertarian intellectuals alike have argued that we ought to legalize marijuana. The Post's editorial board has long called for an end to the war on pot.

I'm not crazy about the regulation and control idea, I'd rather see simple decriminalization, but taxing it and making it illegal only for those under 18 is a sound approach. Especially if the taxes go to fund treatment programs for those who use dangerous drugs.

Marijuana is not a dangerous drug. It's been improperly classified as such for decades. As the Post says,

Legions of studies have shown that marijuana isn't addictive. And as recent U.S. presidents have shown, use of the drug, even when inhaled, doesn't in and of itself ruin a person's chance at achieving full and productive lives. Yes, pot users face risks as potentially as devastating as other drugs. So do drinkers of wine and beer.

The editorial also highlights the cost of prohibition. It closes with an argument why the feds, not just state and local governments must act:

If you write your Congressperson today and send a copy of the editorial, asking them to introduce a bill to decriminalize adult marijuana use, will they do it? Maybe not today, but the time is coming.

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  • Display: Sort:
    wow (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 12:57:42 PM EST
    Im liking Colorado more with each new post today.

    Oh sure--AFTER the (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 12:58:43 PM EST
    record snow fall starts to melt!

    It's been gone for days (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:03:57 PM EST
    We're back to 75 degrees. One of the advantages of being a mile closer to the sun with low humidity, there's no slush, everything just melts.

    I wonder... (none / 0) (#4)
    by KoolJeffrey on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:22:39 PM EST
    ...if this would result in a stoner migration to CO. Not sure how you could measure this, but sounds interesting.

    Freedom! (none / 0) (#5)
    by bocajeff on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 02:59:28 PM EST
    They can take our lives but they can never take our FREEDOM!

    You tell 'em.... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:59:09 AM EST
    William Wallace...but unfortunately history shows they can and do take both...though I guess that is we the people's fault, ultimately.

    We already have a tax on MJ. (none / 0) (#6)
    by JSN on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 04:41:59 PM EST
    It is $5 per gram for processed MJ, $750 per plant for unprocessed MJ and if not sold by weight the tax is $400 per ten doses.

    Obviously the tax was designed to make MJ growing unprofitable. So what happens to these taxes if MJ is made legal?

    currently, (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 11:30:41 PM EST
    Obviously the tax was designed to make MJ growing unprofitable. So what happens to these taxes if MJ is made legal?

    federal law allows an individual to produce a certain amount of spirits, wine and beer, for personal consumption, excise tax free, per year. oddly enough, that's what, in part, gave rise to the whole "micro-brewery" industry: people making their own at home, who hit on a very popular taste among their friends.

    i don't see why the same approach can't be taken with pot: each individual is allowed to produce x amount, per year, solely for personal consumption.

    For the record... (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:19:32 PM EST
    Federal law does NOT allow an individual to produce any amount of spirits for personal consumption.

    From the TTB:

    S7: Can I produce beer, wine or spirits for my personal or family use without paying Federal excise tax and filing Federal paperwork?


    Yes, [...]


    Yes, [...]


    You cannot produce spirits for beverage purposes without paying taxes and without prior approval of paperwork to operate a distilled spirits plant.  [See 26 U.S.C. 5601 & 5602 for some of the criminal penalties.]  

    There are numerous requirements that must be met that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or beverage use.  

    Some of these requirements are paying special tax, filing an extensive application, filing a bond, providing adequate equipment to measure spirits, providing suitable tanks and pipelines, providing a separate building (other than a dwelling) and maintaining detailed records, and filing reports.  

    All of these requirements are listed in 27 CFR Part 19.

    Spirits may be produced for non-beverage purposes for fuel use only without payment of tax, but you also must file an application, receive TTB's approval, and follow requirements, such as construction, use, records and reports.

    However I do agree that the home beer/wine paradigm would seem to be easily applicable to MJ.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:25:47 PM EST
    ...if I could produce spirits at home, I'd be distilling away making tasty infused potato vodka.  Or, would have blown-up my abode.  Probably the latter.