Congress should stop blowing smoke: Weed to the Rescue in Budget Crisis?
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Imagine U.S. House Speaker John Boehner blasted on weed.
Given Boehner’s teary-eyed trait, he’d probably cry uncontrollably when high on pot alternating his crocodile tears with hysterical laughter…perhaps even laughing at some of that dumb shi-tuff he and his GOP colleagues constantly do on Capitol Hill.
With Boehner and his GOP congressional confederates battling the Obama White House over federal budget expenditures and debt ceiling limits, there could be value in putting pot legalization into this partisan wrangling if Boehner is honest when claiming these fiscal imbroglios are really about federal government expenditures exceeding revenue.
Putting an end to the federal government’s failed pot prohibition policies, now nearing the eighty-year mark, would provide tremendous sources of new revenue. The federal government could save the estimated $10-billion-plus now spent annually on just law enforcement. The federal government could reap additional billions from taxing what experts estimate is the now untaxed $113-billion per year illegal marijuana industry. Plus ending prohibition would save millions now spent on the anti-pot propaganda oozing from government agencies.
A prime example of the money wasted by the federal government on enforcement efforts is evident in the September 2012 invasion of a predominately Latino community in Santa Rosa, CA by dozens of combat-clad/assault-rifle-armed agents from Homeland Security, the FBI and the DEA. That massive raid, also involving state and local cops, did net a stack of just pot plants but some of those plants were lawfully grown under provisions of California’s state approved medical marijuana law. That invasion, however, did accomplish a mission to terrorize that community including the spectacle of handcuffing mothers in front of their young children.
Yes, the Latino community site of the raid evidenced the racially discriminatory targeting embedded in America’s War on Weed. Other evidence of racism in pot prohibition is evident in blacks being arrested for pot possession in the county encompassing Santa Rosa in excess of twice their percentage of that county’s population according to a 2010 study conducted for the Drug Policy Alliance.
Drug warriors and others quickly dismiss charges of racially discriminatory practices but is it just mere coincidence that of the 3,709 pot possession arrests in Philadelphia, Pa during 2012, only 629 whites were arrested compared to 3,052 blacks? More than 600 whites smoke pot daily on just college campuses in Philadelphia.
This year, as thousands of federal government employees endured having their paychecks slashed by the bi-partisan boondoggle called Sequestration, the National Park Service in Philadelphia wasted money paying park rangers and other police overtime specifically to arrest pot legalization activists...
For the rest of this article by LINN WASHINGTON, JR. in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1981