Former Republican Colorado congressman and runner-up in the 2010 Colorado gubernatorial election as a Constitution Party candidate, Tom Tancredo, has created a bit of a stir by making a detailed case for the legalization of marijuana in his home state. In an op-ed in the Colorado Springs Gazette, Tarncredo writes “Prohibition has failed us:”
Throughout my career in public policy and in public office, I have fought to reform or eliminate wasteful and ineffective government programs. There is no government program or policy I can think of that has failed in such a unique way as marijuana prohibition.
Our nation is spending tens of billions of dollars annually in an attempt to prohibit adults from using a substance objectively less harmful than alcohol.
Yet marijuana is still widely available in our society. We are not preventing its use; we are merely ensuring that all of the profits from the sale of marijuana (outside the medical marijuana system) flow to the criminal underground.
In addition to the economic and public safety arguments for ending marijuana prohibition, I also support Amendment 64 for a much broader, philosophical reason.
Marijuana prohibition is perhaps the oldest and most persistent nanny-state law we have in the U.S. We simply cannot afford a government that tries to save people from themselves. It is not the role of government to try to correct bad behavior, as long as those behaviors are not directly causing physical harm to others.
To be clear, I do not consider marijuana use a good thing for society. I have never used marijuana personally and do not encourage others to indulge. But as the son of a violent alcoholic, I know enough to appreciate that it is irrational to have laws in place that allow the use of alcohol, yet punish adults who choose to use a less harmful and less dangerous substance.
Amendment 64 is an upcoming Colorado ballot measure that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate the production and sale of the substance. Tancredo joined “Real News From TheBlaze” Friday to debate the philosophical, law enforcement and economic arguments for Marijuana legalization: