RON HART: Jobs, and how to avoid getting them — Washington State legalizes weed

Published: Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 05:23 PM.

When California legalized having pot with a fake doctor’s prescription, the real winners (aside from glaucoma diagnosis) were the state tax collectors. Doctors suddenly could spot glaucoma in "patients" as soon as their credit cards cleared. These liberal states have taxed and spent themselves to death. And what does a desperate person do when he is out of money? He resorts to selling drugs. 

Under federal laws, pot smoking is illegal. In California it is mandatory. Left unregulated by liberal politicians, the true free-market trade in marijuana was the only business that grew in California. Only Jerry ("Governor Moonbeam") Brown could rationalize legalizing pot while outlawing plastic grocery bags.

Wars are always easier to start than to end. Nixon started the War on Drugs and, like so many wars, it has been a costly disaster. It has eroded freedoms and created intractable bureaucracies. Nixon's premise was that pot caused crime, so it went underground where drug cartels and gangs can assure that we get more crime and violence. Prisons are filled with victimless, drug crime-related prisoners, and we are no safer.

Our government totally ignored the lesson of Prohibition. Americans still drank, but Prohibition gave rise to organized crime. History has a way of repeating itself if no one is paying attention. Tellingly, Mexico opposed Washington State and Colorado legalizing pot.

I would like to see decriminalization without taxation. Like everything else government does, it is not about morality or freedom, it is about money. 

Obama will not do anything about states legalizing marijuana for two reasons. First, 64 percent of respondents in a recent Gallup Poll said the states should decide for themselves. Second, Obama likes laws — thus his powers — that he can selectively enforce when they benefit him politically. It is a simple fact that Washington never divests itself of any power. 

The American Medical Association asked the feds not to classify pot as a "dangerous" drug. Sarah Palin and Bill Clinton admitted that they tried it but didn't like it. 210 million Americans have smoked pot; it seems only politicians say they don't like it. 

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