Saturday, February 7, 2009

Green Revolution

So much has been written about the bailout and Michael Phelps that I'm loathe to add to the blog-o-mess. Can't seem to avert my eyes though, staring at America as it goes supernova these days is too much like the irresistible pull of the solar eclipse, truly blinding. However, I'm not going to waste your time by going on about the fact that weed is less harmful than many government sanctioned drugs, well maybe a bit. Nor will I bitch about the incessant bickering between the Democrats and Republicans over the stimulus package...well, that too a bit. In fact, let's talk about the two together, here's my plan.

Legalize marijuana. Period. That's your stimulus plan. None of this medical weed debate where 72 year-old milk carriers bring relief to dying patients. It's legal for everyone. By doing this you can save enough money to pay for the green energy investment that is necessary to pull the world economy out of depression. Oh yeah, it is a depression, even Gordon Brown says so. Depression is a euphemism created in the 30's, collapse is more descriptive (FYI the word recession was also invented in the 30's, during the 2nd downturn in '37). Anyway, the math is relatively straight forward. The savings to government spending would include enforcement, incarceration and social programs. There were 872,720 arrested on cannabis charges in the US in 2007, 89% of those for simple possession. Not thinking about police manpower savings, court time savings of these arrests would be $8 billion plus the US spends more than $1 billion/year to incarcerate only those convicted of weed crimes. Simply taking that $9 billion plus the $6 billion in taxes we could make on the sale of marijuana, say 16% tax rate on the approximate and conservative $36 billion in US production, (lots more coming in from Mexico and Canada) would bring a cool $15 billion total. California already makes over $11 million (as high as $100 million) on medical pot sales alone, America has a little jail overpopulation problem having the highest per capita jail population in the world, sounds like a perfect fit.

Of course, this is the green revolution, so we invest this stimulus solely in renewable energy. I'm talking bio-gas, solar, wind, geo-thermal, tidal, the works. The creativity of our newly empowered workers will aid in this as well. Both alcohol and tobacco are more harmful than weed. The Lancet journal (the Lancet for crying out loud, Britain's big medical journal) released a report in 2007 that ranked marijuana less harmful than the two based on harm to the individual, society and dependence inducement (addictive power). Heroine and coke lead the pack, alcohol and tobacco at 5th and 9th respectively, weed in 11th - my Yemeni favourite, khat, came in 20th. Not to mention the relief, even life saving benefits, it brings to those suffering from many chronic illnesses. Unfortunately, marijuana has been the victim of a propaganda war for a couple of centuries, from cotton producers who wanted to get rid of the more versatile and easier on the soil hemp as a competitor, to Mexican haters and even Mormons. The first federal US regulation was the Narcotics Act of 1914, which regulated heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. The only trouble is that cocaine and marijuana are not technically narcotics; the word "narcotic," when used in English, has historically referred to opium derivatives such as heroin and morphine.

Overcoming this disinformation, as when discussing many subjects these days is the biggest barrier. Logistically it would be difficult, but not as difficult as the hangover we're in for in a few years from the stimulus package that the government is going to feed the country. Guess that's the difference between whiskey capitalism and the green revolution, another benefit to smoking over drinking, no hangover. Somewhere around 6% of the US population smokes grass regularly (half the population has tried). Michael Phelps just lost his Kellogg's deal, hello, can we say perfect spokesman. With him on board we should be able to grab at least 10% of the market to grow revenues a bit, 14 gold medals dude. Go Reefer Man:


Troy said...

Yeah right, you expect us to believe those "stats"? When everyone and especially their grandmother knows that the moment you take a hit of marijuana you instantly become a perverted sex maniac who is addicted to Heroin.

What about all the well documented cases of kids trying Pot and turning into lizards!?

You liberals never learn, next thing you know you'll be questioning the fact that women came from man's rib and that Jesus could actually walk on water!

Michal said...

Haha, good one Troy ;)

Hey, I have one thing to say to you: look at the junkies in Amsterdam.

Troy said...

You prove my point Michal! Absolutely every single one of them was addicted from that first toke on their first joint!

We also all know that Michael Phelps swims so fast because of those track marks on his arms...or wait, was that photo his first toke? Has he raped any young girls yet or beat his partner? Only a matter of time of course if the second scenario is true.

Now that I think of it, we are going to need detention centres far larger than Amsterdam to hold all of these morphing pot junkies! The big problem is where to keep them. As they have a great possibility to turn into lizards, the camp should be in a tropical zone, shouldn't it? Or is that being too kind? Perhaps Siberia for those nasty pot heads?