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One Nation Under Drugs

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Right now, China and Russia are having a great laugh at America’s expense. For a once proud country with strong moral character and intellectual ambition, we have become a nation intent on destroying itself from within. The publicly sanctioned and widespread celebration of indolent potheads toking themselves into oblivion in Colorado is only the latest example.

We have come a long way from Nancy Reagan’s largely successful “Just Say No” campaign to educate students on the dangers of drugs and their consequences. Call it “You Can Say Yes. “

In the minds of many conservatives, the lines are becoming quickly blurred on the legalization of mind-altering substances as well as the punishment of drug offenders. Libertarians are taking up the cause to push for universal legalization of marijuana around the country. Some are doing this because of Americans’ growing fear of our government’s intrusion into our private lives while others are doing it because of easier access to their favorite recreational pastime. Indeed, the latter motivation seems to be so popular, that it quickly turned into one of the most popular battle cries amongst the young adults for the election of Rep. Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican Primary.

Unfortunately, many traditional Conservatives are also getting on the drug bus because they have bought the Democrat lie that the money collected by drug users could be fiscally beneficial. In the most recent year, Colorado generated $9.1 million in retail sales tax from the sale of medical marijuana. This figure is bound to grow with the introduction of recreational sales and the additional 25% in excise and sales taxes since becoming legal on January 1st.

Looking beyond just the tax revenue, the industry generates millions of dollars every year for the state from licensing and application fees. To apply for and obtain a license to run a medical marijuana facility serving more than 500 patients, for instance, the necessary application and license fees alone approach $40,000. Colorado has agreed to take this new revenue and use it for the education of its children and construction of new schools. Does this mean at 18 every high school graduate will be handed their diploma and a doobie with the instructions to get addicted in order to help fund future generations’ educations?

We are now seeing a very odd mix of bedfellows. One of my favorite Tea Party Senators, Mike Lee of Utah, and one of the most odious liberals in the Senate today, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, both are now in agreement to reduce the mandatory jail sentence time on non-violent drug offenses in hopes of reducing prison expenses. A federal inmate’s yearly cost for one inmate ranges from $21,000 to $33,000 depending on the prison's level of security. Because of the current system, about half of the nation's more than 218,000 federal inmates are serving time for drug crimes with virtually all of them subjected by some form of mandatory minimum sentencing.

Am I living in the twilight zone right now? Has our country become so ignorant that we have abandoned one of the few positive goals of eliminating substances from our cultural landscape? Drugs that have reduced the productivity, health and advancement of our society? Don’t think drugs have a negative effect on the community? Just look to Washington State, where within the first 6 months of pot being legalized, 745 drivers stopped by the police tested positive for marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient THC and over half of those tested were over the state’s legal limit of 5 nanograms. This means there are more impaired drivers on the roads of Washington and now Colorado driving alongside families on their way to school and people on their way to work. Please tell me how a price can be put on their safety or tell me that drugs cannot hurt innocent bystanders? Please go ask a family who has lost a loved one to drug use or more importantly whose family was affected by someone under the influence.

We are witnessing the steady decline and intentional corrosion of America’s social structure. This is the ultimate goal of leftists: total control of the state that would make middle and lower class its feudal subjects. What better way to destroy a culture then to encourage mind altering substance use by the general public?

Ronald Reagan often quoted John Winthrop’s shining “City upon a Hill” but ultimately under these types of legislative policy, we might suffer more the fate as predicted by Alexis de Toqueville who said “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

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