It was 1970.…a time before the planet cooled-dinosaurs walked the Earth and the Beatles were still together. I was but a mere lad of 18 and like all 18 year olds, I was a complete dunderhead.
Full of myself, I believed I was more brilliant than I actually was. To paraphrase an old saying….if you could have bought me for what I was worth and sold me for what I thought I was worth, you would have made a fancy profit.
An example of one of my dunderheaded notions was my thoughts on why marijuana was illegal in the United States. Mind you, I had not come up with this notion on my own. I had heard it from someone whose dunderheadedness surpassed even my own. We were certain that the only reason for the United States’ ban on reefer was because….are you ready?…..we believed it was illegal because the government had not figured out a way of taxing it.
It’s hard for me to believe I was that naïve. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that, while the government may not know how to do many things, it does know how to levy taxes.
Common sense, if I had had any at the time, should have told me that. True, I wasn’t working, so I had little first hand knowledge of income tax, but I was perfectly aware of the taxes on beer and cigarettes. It should have been obvious, even to me, that the government would not have had a difficult time taxing marijuana if it had been legal.
Fast forward to the present.
Today, I can’t explain why marijuana isn’t legal in the U.S.. I don’t have a dog in this fight, as they say; I would not smoke it even if the current laws were changed. I don’t drink hard liquor either. You won’t see me buying vodka or rum or anything of that sort. Still, I see no need to outlaw the use of those drugs by adults.
The reasons behind the ban can’t be based on the risks involved. Alcohol and tobacco are hardly health foods.
If I were prone to conspiracies, I’d say the prohibition is work of the various alcohol lobbies “funding” congressmen’s pet projects……nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
I suspect, though, that it’s simply the lack of interest on the part of the general public to have the current laws changed. I’m sure that if enough people wanted it to happen, it would happen.