I see some interest here at Blogcritics in the issue of the legalization of marijuana, a.k.a. pot, mary jane, weed, reefer. Ah, "Beware the friendly stranger!" Pot for everyone will be welcome in Colorado, and Washington State; hopefully, soon, everywhere.
Libertarians and freedom seekers are likely to applaud these early victories in the legalization of marijuana. A few points come to mind.
I wonder if there might be a chance that the new legalization, which statesmen anticipate will generate considerable revenue, will fail. Perhaps the days when young musicians and philosophers opt for pot is over. I remember a time when an outdoor jazz festival or blues festival would take place under a light cloud of sweet, aromatic haze. And that was when the pot was most definitely illegal. Now these festivals are smoke-free, and anyone thinking of lighting up is seen as a public nuisance. Experience may have taught us that yes, pot can be fun, but it puts a burden on Monday morning. And while a shot was a nickel in the early days, an ounce for $100 now is a lucky find.
Pot is popular among the young who still have the prospect of not working. If their parents don’t mind feeding them, they may lie around and groove. This may be a boon. If those who smoke the weed are not counted as “unemployed”, then the ranks of the unemployed are diminished.
As far as the predicted rise in crime, the opposite may be true. Prior to The Beatles, and Dr. Timothy Leary, the young and rebellious eased their boredom by alignment with street gangs. Knife fights and a West Side Story mentality were the order of the day. Came the colorful '60s, and the gangs disappeared, to be replaced by love-ins and sweet music; a definite improvement. So, we might see a decline in crime, to be determined by social efforts to disconnect the pot and the more lethal drugs from the minds and hearts of the users.