Post dated Thursday, July 16, 2015
As you’ve heard time and again business is booming in the states surrounding New Mexico and a reader drives the point home with this pic he snapped in Austin. Pizza delivery drivers there are pulling down $16 an hour, plus $1.00 for each delivery and get a $250 bonus just for signing up. Austin is about a ten hour drive from ABQ but it seems the economies are light years apart…
Reader Ron Nelson maintains that legalizing marijuana in New Mexico as has been done in Colorado is a lousy idea:
I’d like to rebut Representative Bill McCamley’s proposition to legalize marijuana here. The lessons learned from legalizing alcohol should be a stellar role model as to why this is a bad idea… The amount of money spent on the health, social and public safety issues that are a direct result of excessive alcohol consumption is staggering and in the billions of dollars. And yet we promote more businesses that solicit alcohol, with little to show for it at the medical and public safety end of the spectrum… Colorado has also cited a 68 percent shortfall in projected tax revenues. The politicians blame the medical marijuana program for underselling the legal market, but other sources claim black marketers are underselling legal businesses almost 3-1…
A recent survey says that New Mexicans are opposed to legalization, which I find hard to believe. Maybe its only politicians, old people and rich folks who respond to these surveys. Unfortunately, it appears they’re the ones making the rules for the rest of us.
Let’s see, what have we learned from legalizing alcohol? We’ve learned that prohibition doesn’t work. That a regulated and legal product is better than those cooked up in the underground market, and brings in millions and billions of tax dollars to support our government.
Of course, the politicians get to decide what to do with that money. Sure, a small portion is filtered to addiction services (that don’t work) and media campaigns. But like the money received by the states for the tobacco settlement, the majority of the tax money is used by politicians to gamble on Wall Street. And lose. I guess politicians haven’t learned the lesson about gambling and things that are too good to be true. An addiction to greed can be as harmful as an addiction to alcohol.
Comparing alcohol to cannabis is like comparing crack to caffeine. Cigarettes to chocolate. Medicinal benefits from alcohol are few and far between, and cannot make up for the damage this drug creates. Can’t say the same for caffeine, chocolate, or cannabis.
And the underground market would like to thank all those cranky old people who don’t want to legalize. After all, it’s expensive to become a legal business — fees, taxes, licenses, insurance, testing, and security costs really add up. Why would New Mexico want to create this kind of growth in local and small business markets? And all these fees are added to the cost of the legal product, so underground consumers would like to thank the anti-legalization crowd too.
But unlike alcohol which has very little medicinal value, cannabis is a drug that can replace many of Big Pharma’s more damaging products. Refusing to legalize cannabis is like refusing to legalize basic drugs like aspirin, decongestants, or the purple pill.