John Ransom – Mile High Idea: Smoke Dope, Build Schools

Their pitch says that by state regulation and control of dope deals, the consequent revenue collected can benefit K-12 in the state, now under tight budget constraints.

Yeah, you heard that right: Make pot legal and build schools with the first $40 million in proceeds.

marijuana joint

marijuana joint (Photo credit: Torben Bjørn Hansen)

From a libertarian perspective marijuana use ought to be free of any government constraints. But Ransom decries such attempts to “decriminalize” its use as backward and destructive.

For proof he lists those who support the idea:

A score of parties, including the Party, county Democrats in Denver, Boulder, Pueblo, El Paso and Douglas counties- some of the largest populations in the state- have endorsed the measure. They are joined by their allies at the ACLU, ProgressNow, the and of course, my favorite: Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies.

Because these outfits usually call for more government, Ransom is automatically opposed to whatever they support. But interestingly, a poll shows that the measure, Amendment 64 – the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act” – looks it could pass this fall:

The poll, conducted by the Denver Post, found that 51 percent of likely voters surveyed support Amendment 64, while 40 percent oppose it.

The best Ransom can do is to criticize the idea that revenues extracted from users will be used to fund education:

More worrying is the long-term implications of trying recreational drug use to funding. To say the least, this seems like a really bad idea.

Why? Because marijuana use has been linked to schizophrenia:

“Repeatedly, studies have found that people with schizophrenia are about twice as likely to smoke pot as those who are unaffected,” writes Time. “Conversely, data suggest that those who smoke cannabis are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as nonsmokers. One widely publicized 2007 review of the research even concluded that trying marijuana just once was associated with a 40% increase in risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.”

Doesn’t this sound to you like social engineering? WE know that marijuana is harmful. Therefore WE must restrict its use! Isn’t that a totalitarian concept?

To give the guy credit, however, at the end of his diatribe, he writes:

Do we really want the government in the drug business? Isn’t this the same government that sued the tobacco companies?

The answer to that question, obviously, is no. Let people alone. They’re figure things out on their own.

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