To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, October 09, 2006

No to Amendment 44, Just Don't Make Us Explain Why

From a recent Rocky Mountain News Editorial opposing Amendment 44(emphasis mine)
There must be hundreds of things that sensible Coloradans believe would benefit this state, but surely one of them is not an infusion of more illegal drugs. Yet here we are, thanks to Amendment 44, poised as a state to vote on whether we should make it easier to get high on marijuana.

But I thought that was the point of the proposed amendment? To attack the problem of illegal drugs head on, and make the possession of marijuana a non criminal offense. Not to mention, last time I checked we don't need a decriminalization amendment to increase the supply of drugs, our current policies do a fine job of that on their own.
That's the first problem with Amendment 44: It encourages people to enter the illicit drug market.
Again I ask, what are our current drug policies doing? Are they not encouraging otherwise law-abiding citizens to enter an illicit market already? Perhaps we might have less problems if just do away with the potentially dangerous black market for these illegal substances and instead allow buyers and sellers to operate in a safe, regulated market. According to the Rocky Mountain News this is an "atrocious" idea, not even worthy of the voters consideration. Bullshit.
What bothers us as much as anything about Amendment 44 is the message it would send to teens, and the possible spike in marijuana use among them if it were to pass. The national trend in teen use of marijuana in recent years actually has been fairly encouraging.
Whew. I was getting worried that the paper was going to forget about the kids--I'm sorry--teenagers, but there it is, third paragraph from the bottom, the always present cries of "What about the children?!?" The claim that use will go up (or as they qualify it, the "possible spike") is debunked by a NORML fact sheet on the effects of decriminalization, which can be found here.

Full editorial here, and be sure to check out the Colorado group that is responsible for this amendment SAFER.