Idaho needs to get off “the pot” and legalize marijuana

In my family, smoking pot was allowed at home by my parents. My parent’s line of thinking was that they would rather have their kids smoking pot at home than drinking and being out on the road driving. My brothers both smoked pot regularly and at one point they went a little too far and started growing it under our house. My dad got really mad about that one, however, they were still allowed to smoke pot. My mom gave my brother a bag of weed for his 18th birthday. We were a very liberal-minded family, to say the least.

I don’t smoke pot and have only done it a few times. It makes me very paranoid and I don’t like the way it makes me feel. Somehow, the magazine that I wrote for over the last 4 years elected me to be the 420-writer. I can only assume that they decided I was the perfect candidate because I am a musician and must have thought that I smoke pot. Even though I don’t participate I have many friends that do, both for recreational as well as medical reasons. Recently one of my friends got a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana. The penalties in Idaho are stiff. 

After writing 420 articles and ad copy for many companies in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, all states that have legalized pot for recreational as well as medical use, I learned a great deal about the marijuana issues. This last year I had the opportunity to go to Clarkston, Washington and interview 2 different marijuana distribution companies, Canna4life, and Greenfield’s Mercantile. I got to see the inner workings of the distribution side. 

In all states, you have to go to a legalized distributor and purchase marijuana from them and you have to be over 18 to purchase marijuana. Marijuana sales are regulated by both state and federal laws. Here’s the kicker that Idaho really needs to think about. Oregon is expected to generate $43 million in pot taxes for 2016. For Colorado, that number jumps to $135 million in expected tax revenue this year alone. In Washington, their tax intake for 2015 was a whopping 1 billion!

What could Idaho do with 1 billion dollars in tax revenue, or even 43 million? Think of all the programs we could improve here in the state of Idaho. Unfortunately, Idaho is an ass backward, conservative state that is controlled by too many Mormons and Republicans. Not to mention the fact that Governor Butch Otter chose to veto a bill that would allow children with epilepsy to be treated with marijuana oil. See the article from the Idaho Statesman here http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article40853778.html

Here is a short list of some of the health issues that marijuana helps with as reported by CNN http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/15/health/marijuana-medical-advances/

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Chron’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis

In Washington, a report published in 2015 showed that Washington “Finds Major Fiscal Benefits, Decrease in Violent Crime, No Increase in Youth Marijuana Use or Traffic Fatalities – And Massive Drop in Marijuana Arrests.” In Colorado, it was reported that “Marijuana arrests in Colorado fell from 12,894 in 2012, when voters approved legalization, to 7,004 in 2014, the first year of legal recreational sales—a 46 percent decrease. Marijuana charges filed in Colorado courts fell 81 percent between 2012 and 2015, from 10,340 to 1,954. Those dramatic changes saved thousands of people from unjust punishment and channeled law enforcement resources toward activities with a bigger public safety payoff.” Oregon shows similar statistics.

It’s time for Idaho to catch up with the times and put on their big girl panties. Pot needs to be legalized for the medicinal purposes alone. If Idaho were to step down off its high horse just think of the tax revenue that would be generated that would benefit the greater good. Come on Idaho! Get with the program and jump on board legalizing pot. At the end of the day, it is a win-win for law enforcement because they can focus on much bigger issues at hand. It’s a definite win for those suffering from major illnesses.

It’s time for Idaho, it’s time for legalizing marijuana! 

bernie

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