National Review: Colorado’s Marijuana Law Is Sensible

This article probably has blown the minds of a few liberals. Here’s NRO’s Editorial Board

Launching 17 million “Rocky Mountain High” jokes, Colorado has become the first state to make the prudent choice of legalizing the consumption and sale of marijuana, thus dispensing with the charade of medical restrictions and recognizing the fact that, while some people smoke marijuana to counter the effects of chemotherapy, most people smoke marijuana to get high — and that is not the worst thing in the world.

Regardless of whether one accepts the individual-liberty case for legalizing marijuana, the consequentialist case is convincing. That is because the history of marijuana prohibition is a catalogue of unprofitable tradeoffs: billions in enforcement costs, and hundreds of thousands of arrests each year, in a fruitless attempt to control a mostly benign drug the use of which remains widespread despite our energetic attempts at prohibition. We make a lot of criminals while preventing very little crime, and do a great deal of harm in the course of trying to prevent an activity that presents little if any harm in and of itself. (snip)

Perhaps most important, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado — and the push for its legalization elsewhere — is a sign that Americans still recognize some limitations on the reach of the state and its stable of nannies-in-arms.

While NRO does discuss the fact that pot is, yes, a drug, and can be abused, they seem to be taking the position that 1) government wastes too much money on resources and enforcement of what is a minor drug, as well as judicial proceedings and incarceration, and 2) if a State wants to do this, hey, that’s what the Constitution is for, particularly the 10th Amendment.

While there can certainly be some negative affects from Colorado’s pot law, most particularly making it easier for people in the surrounding states to obtain pot in a “black market”, I’ve argued before that if people want to get stoned, or even buzzed, go for it. I won’t get deep into that argument, as I’ve done it before. Just don’t blow it in my face. I don’t smoke pot. I used to, long ago, but I stopped enjoying it.

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10 Responses to “National Review: Colorado’s Marijuana Law Is Sensible”

  1. Jillian Galloway says:

    If the greatest “harm” of legalizing marijuana in CO is that it becomes more accessible in neighboring states then that’s easy to fix – legalize marijuana in every state!

    Marijuana is a significantly less-harmful and less-addictive alternative to alcohol and we could prevent a lot of the harm that alcohol causes by giving people the right to choose marijuana instead of alcohol. But we can’t do that until the federal government listens to the will of the American people and legalizes marijuana like wine.

  2. david7134 says:

    I agree with you, but desire to clarify some things. From my research and clinical experience, I have found that there is no such thing as addiction. You can certainly become physically dependent on a drug, such as the abrupt withdrawal of heroin. But, in the context that we are fed propaganda, there is no such thing as a drug compelling you to use it over and over. Instead, what we have and what is not addressed is that people who chronically abuse drugs are sick. They are mentally deficient and should be treated as such. Now, I am not saying that Teach is ill because he used to smoke dope. But he stopped on his own and did not continue to self medicate as those who abuse the system do. I have to take pain medication for my back. But I stop and switch drugs and do not abuse them for pleasure, in fact, I hate the stuff. So why in hell do we prosecute people, put them in jail, abuse them, because we are afraid that they will take a puff on dope and be instantly hooked? That answer is because our government has taken away our rights and is in an area that it should not be. This all started 100 years ago at the same time they took away alcohol. We need to take back our right to have ready access to medication. If some want to self medicate, treat them, if some want to get high, who give a damn (to quote Hillary). In short, we need the government out of our lives.

  3. gitarcarver says:

    It appears that from initial results, this liberalization is in trouble.

    Federal contracts for certain work still require mandatory drug testing which will leads the challenge of being fired for an offense that is legal within the state.

    At the request of insurance companies, trucking companies are instituting more random drug tests in order to prevent who may use on the road in company vehicles.

    After the medical marijuana use was granted, accidents from DUI of marijuana began to creep up. The result will be higher (no pun in tended) insurance premiums. When the “smoke if you want to” / non medical marijuana starts to kick in, one wonders what will happen to rates of accidents and insurance premiums will go.

    But the interesting thing is the taxes. The taxes on marijuana (which is one of the reasons people called for it to be legalized) are 15% for the transfer and sale between dealers of the stuff plus a 10% sales tax for end users. Many people are predicting that with a 6 plant grow allowance for people in their homes, people will stop buying marijuana and simply grow their own thus getting around the taxes. (There goes the tax revenues.)

    Then there is the fact that no new shops can open up until Oct of 2014 leaving the medical marijuana shops with a monopoly (so much for competition which would keep prices low which was another “benefit” of the new law) and in Denver, no new shop dispensing marijuana can open until October 2016.

    So let’s see….. more accidents, the pubic at higher risks, higher insurance rates, more costs to companies, high taxes fueling what will be the illegal, underground market, and protectionism for the establish shops.

    No wonder liberal Colorado voted this in.

  4. Excellent points, GC. Even though it is legal to use, doesn’t mean that companies, and government, will tolerate people using. And THC stays in the system for up to 30 days, so random drug testing can be problematic.

    I have a buddy whose wife works for a nationwide used car dealership, with a store in Colorado. One of the big things they were discussing at the store and nationally was what to do if someone wants to take a test drive who clearly appears to have used, and possibly smells like, marijuana.

  5. Kevin says:

    “Federal contracts for certain work still require mandatory drug testing which will leads the challenge of being fired for an offense that is legal within the state.”

    I don’t think that’s an issue. It’s legal to go to sleep at work in all states, but you can also get fired for it. You can get fired for doing a lot of things that are completely legal. This is just another one of those. Heck, you can even get fired for ‘inappropriate tweeting’ as we’ve seen in the past week.

    I have an active dislike for hippies, but I think this law is magnificent. I kind of wish they’d have legalized all drugs, and just seen what happens. For a study. I don’t think drug use will increase noticeably. People don’t avoid drugs because they are illegal – they avoid them because they are smart. People who take drugs are willing to risk breaking the law. It might even contribute to the excitement.

    The big question is whether it will increase or decrease crime. Now that we have our weed testbed, we only have to wait a year or two to find out. It should prove interesting.

  6. david7134 says:

    There is no doubt that traffic accidents secondary to dope will increase. But likely the issue will be people using dope instead of alcohol. Then there is the issue of whether the people are actually impaired or simply have the product in their system from the night before.

    The fact is that legal drugs will prevent money going to illegal drugs which will defund crime and terrorist. Then there is the decreased need for the courts, police, jails, etc. Then there is the decreased issues with people being hospitalized for bad drugs, 50% of my ward load is due to this one element. Then there is the fact that the government has no business tell us how to take care of ourselves. In fact, there is no argument what so ever for our drug laws, they don’t work.

  7. david7134 says:

    Forgot one thing, drug laws are not a conservative issue, they were enacted in the first spasm of progressive agenda under Wilson. So restriction of your freedom is secondary to the liberals/progressives/communist.

  8. AmPowerBlog says:

    Pot is really bad for you, and you don’t want your cab driver, your pilot, or your baby sitter stoned. But that’s where we’re headed. Legalization is a bad idea. Pot’s a gateway drug. Ask anyone who’s been a true marijuana smoker and they’ll tell they moved on to hard drugs, and that their “friends” were ready, right there with the supply.

    I have kids and I’ve drawn a hard line on this. Get stoned when you move out. It’s a bad deal. Makes you stupid at the least, and leads to much worse consequences down the road.

  9. gitarcarver says:


    But likely the issue will be people using dope instead of alcohol.

    The numbers don’t back that assertion up. The numbers of DUI’s have increased in CO. Prior to the legalization of medical marijuana the numbers of DUI were dropping as they have every year for the last 20 years. There is no reason to suspect that the increase would have occurred absent of the legalization of marijuana.

    The fact is that legal drugs will prevent money going to illegal drugs which will defund crime and terrorist.

    I know that is the argument david and I think that time will tell whether that is correct. Right now, after the legalization of medical marijuana, there was still an underground market for pot coming out of the medical dispensaries. That means that the drug was still being taxed and so called revenues were still being raised but the illegal market still existed.

    Initially the same thing is being seen due to the heavy taxation. With the 6 plant grow limit, the underground market is still there as the underground market can and will undercut the price of the stores selling taxed marijuana. That means to match the underground market, prices of legalized marijuana will drop to the point where the tax revenues designated for the associated problems with increased intoxication won’t be there.

    Then there is the fact that the government has no business tell us how to take care of ourselves.

    If you could guarantee that a drug user would stay indoors and never harm anyone else, I would agree with you. Just as I have no problem with a guy getting drunk on his property and not harming anyone, if you can guarantee that the drug user won’t harm others, I am onboard with your position. The fact of the matter is that it appears initially that increased access has led to increased accidents, injuries, etc. We all agree that you have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but “governments are instituted to protect those rights” which means governments can step in to protect my right to life, my right to liberty and my right to happiness.

    I understand that you take the absolute position that the government has no business telling people what they can do to their own bodies, but I submit that the government can tell people what they can do when they start to infringe on my rights. I would hope we both agree that an intoxicated driver slamming into someone’s car or killing someone is an infringement of the other person’s rights.

    A friend of mine who does not smoke and does not take a stance on the legalization issue one way or the other always brings up the fact that someone can go to lunch during a work day and have a beer or mixed drink and not be “buzzed.” No one can smoke marijuana at lunch and not be stoned. The fact that those people will get behind the wheel, operate machinery, input data, or basically do any job while stoned and operating at a decreased mental capacity should give pause to the idea that legalization won’t harm others.

    Time will tell how this plays out.

  10. Thawed_Gumballs says:

    I’d like to see the trend on the unemployment numbers following 2013. Will these tokers get fired from their jobs due to the policies of a drug-free workplace.

    Note that even now, many businesses and state-based agencies\contractors will fire someone for smoking cigs on the basis that it is better for healthcare premiums.

    Marijuana will be included.

    Leaving more jobs that dope-smoking americans wont be able to do.

    Welcome to our continued destruction.

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