The Bee’s position on Proposition 64 is wrong. In a free society, the burden of proof is on the party seeking to restrict the behavior of adults. That means marijuana prohibitionists must prove (1) that marijuana is harmful enough to merit criminalization and (2) that prohibition actually works.
The Bee argues that “there hasn’t been sufficient research into the long-term health effects of using marijuana.” This is highly debatable, but that’s beside the point. Because prohibitionists in a free society are charged with the burden of proof, it is insufficient for them to simply claim that the jury is still out on marijuana’s health impact. They must affirmatively show that it is harmful.
The Bee argues that we should continue prohibition because – horror of horrors – people might make money selling pot. People are making money selling pot right now. That has been the case for decades, and it will continue to be the case. Marijuana is going to be a multi-billion dollar industry whether it’s legal or not.
All prohibition does is give a monopoly on that lucrative industry to criminals. Legalization would allow legitimate, job-creating, tax-paying businesses to take part in an industry that’s going to exist anyhow.
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Jackson Waste, Fresno