Higher Ground: Marijuana prohibition, an alchemy that turns a weed into gold 

"Michigan State Police bust marijuana growing operation" reads the headline in the Freep.

"Marijuana smell on Michigan kindergartener leads cops to dad's homegrown pot" announces another.

And from The Washington Post's editorial board recently: "D.C. voters should reject the rush to legalize marijuana."

Every day stories like these bombard our nation, and we are sick of it. Tired. How long does this insane prohibition need to continue?

"... reject the rush to legalize"? The RUSH?

How long do publications considered reputable need to continue to spew falsehoods as facts? (Such as the Post's claim that since legalizing and regulating marijuana, Colorado has seen "increased use by youth." It hasn't.)

For any rational human, it's easy to see that prohibition doesn't work. Criminalizing people and incarcerating them for nonviolent drug offenses has turned this "free" country into the highest imprisoner of its own citizens on Earth. We're number one! Isn't that something to be proud of?

It's 2014, for goodness' sake. We have Google. Must we continue to live in the Dark Ages? Any moron can see successful people like our nation's president have smoked pot and didn't die. In fact, Obama became a world leader. Do you know why he was able to both smoke marijuana and become a world leader? Because he wasn't busted for pot when he was young, and his life wasn't destroyed by prohibition.

We've taken something that's renewable and easy to cultivate, relieves symptoms, may cure disease, and simply makes one feel good, and prohibited it. Do you see? Prohibition is the ultimate form of alchemy! We've taken a weed and turned it into gold! You know what happened: With prohibition, the value of pot has skyrocketed, and an entire industry is funded to enforce this system of alchemy. That's the single reason we still have marijuana prohibition. It's not because it's a dangerous drug. It's not because of the children. It's because a lot of people are making a lot of money — and on the sales and cultivation side under federal and many a state law, that money is tax-free.

Worse, marijuana is still considered a "Schedule I" drug by the federal government, labeling it dangerous, with zero therapeutic value. Even cocaine and methamphetamine are considered "Schedule II" drugs, recognized for medicinal use. Keeping marijuana in "Schedule I" and considering it a dangerous drug isn't just ridiculous, it's profoundly ignorant, out of touch with reality, and shows a commitment to laws used to harm Americans — not to the health and well being of our nation.

We're tired of reading who got busted for marijuana. It's a plant! We're tired of our fellow Michiganders and Americans going to jail, losing custody of their children, losing their homes and their land, all because of marijuana laws that are wrong and do nothing to protect the people or their children.

The damage marijuana prohibition has done to our state and our nation is enough. It took just over a decade to end alcohol prohibition. Marijuana prohibition has been raging since 1937 — and all the years spent drumming up a frenzy before it. That's 77 years!

Decriminalization and medical marijuana laws don't go far enough. We need a taxed, regulated system that also permits home garden cultivation, just like you can brew your own beer or make your own blackberry wine.

Anything less is doing more harm than the cannabis plant has ever done.

It's time we come out of the Dark Ages, and stop harming our fellow Americans in the name of a plant. — mt

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