Smoke ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em—Marijuana is Now Legal in D.C.
It is now legal to get high in Washington, DC.
Arguably the least effectual Congress in our nation's history just legalized pot in the nation's capital. Some DC lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to block the ballot initiative that city voters passed in November from becoming a law.
For the time being, and perhaps for the foreseeable future, residents of the nation’s capital city can possess up to two ounces of the drug (just not on federal land).
What does that mean? Well, Uncle Sam views the gram in your pocket the same way he’d view a satchel of heroin or a few tabs of acid. To put things in perspective, cocaine is a Schedule II drug. Therefore, the federal government — per its own classification system — thinks marijuana offenders are abusing some of the “most dangerous drugs” on the planet — but cokeheads are not.
Anyone who’s been alive on planet earth would probably say that marijuana is insanely less dangerous than most, if not all other drugs. Yet somehow, the federal government doesn’t think so.
It seems that the American public is gradually waking up to this nonsense. Plus, our debt-ridden country can’t really stand to stomach any more costs associated with the War on Drugs.
Already, more than $1 trillion has been spent on arresting and prosecuting drug users. As a result, America boasts the highest incarceration rate on the planet. Keep in mind that 76 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession are in their teens and 20s. But, are these people really criminals?
So much for land of the free, eh?
So, Now What?
Gradually, the American public is becoming aware of the absurdity of marijuana prohibition. After all, nearly four in 10 Americans say they’ve smoked at least a joint in their lives.
Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York City from 1933 to 1945, felt that marijuana should have been legalized a long time ago for that very reason. He said:
"[Marijuana] prohibition cannot be enforced for the simple reason that the majority of American people do not want it enforced and are resisting its enforcement. "That being so, the orderly thing to do, under our form of government, is to abolish a law that cannot be enforced, a law that the majority of the people in the country do not want enforced."
It appears as though that tides are turning. Even more states and municipalities will follow DC and resort to legalization, like a domino effect.
Despite the fact that a majority of Americans are in favor of legalization, it seems the federal government is doing what it can to cause some sort of panic regarding legal pot. According to a recently released survey, marijuana usage is on the uptick in Colorado in the wake of legalization.
Those results may or may not be true, but for as long as humans have been around, they’ve sought out substances to alter their perception. Whether it was the Native Americans sharing peace pipes, Jesus turning water into wine or ancient Egyptians using blue lotus to cop a buzz, drug use and humanity have gone hand-in-hand throughout time.
Still, will the sky fall if more people use marijuana? Probably not. If the government was really concerned about the general public's health, as it claims, why are cigarettes still legal?
Oh yeah, there’s that thing called lobbying.
DC’s legalization is good news for smokers, taxpayers and our prison and court systems. So, what’s not to like?