Western Standard
email print

Legalize it

Arguing from self-ownership, Scott Carnegie thinks we should legalize marijuana.

Scott Carnegie - July 9, 2009

* when illicit drugs are legalized, drug use increases
* marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drugs
* decriminalization would send conflicting messages to young people
* marijuana is harmful

If murder wasn’t on the books as being illegal, would people murder each other? Laws don’t dictate behaviour, marijuana is illegal right now yet people still use it, the law doesn’t stop that. If it was legalized, people who were going to do it will still do it, and people who weren’t going to do it won’t. There is a taboo in doing something illegal, and once that taboo is gone, then a small part of the thrill is gone.

In September 2007, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse reported that marijuana use in teens has gone up (opens PDF).

(marijuana use) is reported by 17 per cent of students in grades 7 to 9, about 29 per cent of 15- to 17-year-olds, and almost half of 18- to 19-year-olds

Would arresting 50 per cent of Canadian teens do them any good? How would that help them in life? It won't stop them from using the drug, just put them into the legal system and make it harder to move forward with a productive life.

Let’s look at a place where pot is less restricted, Amsterdam and parts of Australia. The usage of marijuana in those areas is actually lower than that of the U.S.

Marijuana Prohibition Has Not Curtailed Marijuana Use by Adolescents

This report shows that the prohibition of marijuana in the United States has not curtailed adolescent marijuana use.