Students, former police officers argue for marijuana legalization at Libertarian conference

A common misconception about marijuana is that individual, recreational consumption is permissible, but widespread legalization would wreak havoc upon our society.

Several libertarians and other supporters of marijuana for recreational use were determined to break down that misconception at the International Students for Liberty Conference this weekend. If it were legalized they argue, recreational marijuana users wouldn’t serve jail time for something that maybe they wanted to try once or have done so many times that they know how to control themselves while they’re high.

Colorado and Washington state have already legalized pot for recreational use, and Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Rhode Island most likely to be the next states to ratify a legalization law.

Legalization is the ultimate goal for many libertarians, but 14 states, including California, Mississippi, Nebraska and New York, have decriminalized the recreational activity. This means that if cases of marijuana use are brought in front of a judge, then they will be tried as a civil action in a court, not as criminal cases. This would leave the plaintiff’s record clean for instances such as background checks from prospective employers.

If those states – and the rest of the United States – were to legalize cannabis use, then no criminal action would be taken against the citizen as long as that person was to partake within the legal parameters. Colorado and Washington laws have an age minimum of 21 years old, and Colorado allows six plants to be grown at home, said Rob Kampia, co-founder and executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project and a speaker at the Students for Liberty Conference.

According to Kampia, if a police officer arrests someone for driving under the influence of marijuana and takes them to the hospital to test their blood levels, then the hospital should only test for THC levels, not metabolite levels. People say, “marijuana stays in your blood for weeks,” but that’s not the intoxicating element.

“[The hospital] should test for THC in your system, the active ingredient,” Kampia said. “They should not for metabolites. Metabolites [is what] the THC converts into, the inactive molecules. They can stay in your system for weeks, or a month, month-and-a-half depending on how much you’re smoking or consuming.”

Legalization with regulation would positively affect other problems areas, like urban gang activity and illegal transports from Mexico and other hazardous nations, Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and former police officer, said at the conference.

LEAP is comprised of judges, former prosecutors, police officers (active and retired), federal agents, sheriffs, and active prison wardens who “provide a speakers bureau globally so that we can share our front-line experiences from working for this war on drugs,” Franklin said.

Franklin added the primary reason most Latin American citizens are coming to the U.S. is to traffic drugs for the profitability of the business. Urban gang members see the business side of it, as well and that is what primarily drives their lifestyle.

“Prohibition causes violence,” he said. “If we move away from prohibition into a model of regulation and control, we can start whittling away, tearing down this market, hence, the reason, the primary reason for these guns, these handguns, in our communities, and the manner in which they are used.”

If legalized, libertarians have given legitimate reasons why recreational marijuana, whether used responsibly or not, can give people back their lives, reduce illegal trafficking and regulate it as a taxable industry.

Comments

Comments

  1. Roger Mitchell says:

    I myself as a 64 yr old see no big deal with it, I was a beer drinker as a teen never used weed until I was in Nam and all the damn beer was hot , I toked it then when in base camp never in the bush I wanted to stay sharp.. But I’ll say this much I have never seen pot make any little banty rooster like Mayor Bloomberg to become all puffed up, 10ft tall and bullet proof after a few hits as I have seen alcohol turn Clark Kent into superman .. or A.J foyte when they got behind the wheel, Hell the tokers I ever knew here in the states never wanted to do anything but listen to Led Zeppelin and eat chips pretty much what we did in Nam.. Let alone leave and go riding around with 400 hp infront .. Honestly I feel weed is far less of a social issue then beer wine or hard liquor

    1. Jake says:

      It is good news to hear someone your age advocating for legalization. My grandparents are stubborn on this subject. Keep letting people hear your voice, and thanks for fighting for my freedom.

      1. Roger Mitchell says:

        I’ll tell you whats funny as hell as I said I never used weed until I was in the service and was exposed to it.. But after I got home and setting in my Mothers kitchen with her and my Stepfather in the early to mid 70’s they where like that is a killer marijuana is a bad drug and you will get addicted and o.d and die and they will find you in a pool of what ever dead on the floor someday..Its a habit that you will move to opium and heroin LOL

        I would reply hey you drink about 12 to 15 beers a night do you not ? He would fly crazy screaming beer is not a drug and you can not become addicted to beer I say sure you can we call them alcoholics and they have a club LOL He’d go ballistic as would my mother LOL Only thing I was ever addicted too where Marlboro’s and when I hit 4 packs aday i quit cold turkey.. But the mind set of your G.Parents I know well and lived it.. They will never change and thats not a bad thing just how it is.. But I know more to die from drinking alcohol then from toking weed.. As for an addiction hell I know people who are addicted to drinking tap or bottle water they can’t leave home with out a bottle in their hands .

        Then you have the two faced dick heads like Blomberg in N.Y you can’t smoke anywhere you can’t have a coke or Pepsi you can use salt or gook in oil bit now Pot is O.K ??? I call it the cha ching factor I say sell it tax it like cigarettes and or alcohol and control it better and remove the criminal element from it..
        Pot and Meth Coke crack and Heroin are all easier to buy as a kid then Marlboro’s or Budweiser or Jim Beam.. (:
        And drugs are not ever going to be gone

    2. Daniel Tang says:

      I was a MP. Many were arrested for drunken fueled offenses. I can’t remember any one arrested for being high on Pot.

  2. Roger Mitchell says:

    Oh and did this country not learn anything from Probation about crime and gangs that grew out of the 18th amendment ? Remove the profit from the damn weed and then remove the traffickers of that as its the weed take makes the Coke and opiates worth while to smuggle in here . You will never get rid of the hard addictive drugs until you take the $$$ cha ching factor from them..
    You will never be able to legislate morality I saw give the damn heads all they want that would remove the street crime they use to supply their crack and meth and they will simply die and they are done and gone . If they wanted to be saved they would stop the use but thats not going to happen

  3. We need to amend the Constitution to allow regular sale and distribution of Marijuana oercial distributionn not just wholesale but commercial distribution and for it to be taxed on the federal and local levels.

  4. Alison Myrden says:

    Thank You Molly.

    Sincerely,
    1

    Alison Myrden
    Federal Medical Marijuana Exemptee in Canada
    President – The Medical Marijuana Mission
    Retired Law Enforcement Officer
    Speaker for LEAP
    Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
    http://www.leap.cc/
    Speaker for LPP
    Lawmen Protecting Patients
    http://www.lawmenpro.org/

  5. Jose79845 says:

    After Obama just came back from Hawaii after influencing the defeat of marijuana legalization in the state, he and drug-war McCain are busy creating new Catholic-programmed Mexican voter immigrants who will support the drug war.

  6. This is a good piece Molly, but I have one point of clarification. Most Latin American citizens come to the US for employment opportunities, not to traffic drugs. Another reason is to escape the violent conditions of the northern states in Mexico. If we ended drug prohibition the violence in Mexico, at the hands of the cartel, would subside. With violence in Mexico on the decline, businesses would invest and employment opportunities would increase. More jobs and less violence in Mexico would translate into a major reduction in Mexican citizens crossing the border. No more tunnels will be dug for smuggling drugs and makeshift submarines would be on the decline. That translates into a safer environment for the homeland and its security.

    Keep up the great reporting.

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