Should Marijuana be Legal?

United States capitol now has taken up the issue of legalization of marijuana. A District of Columbia councilman is supporting it strongly. An inordinate number of Blacks have been arrested there for possession of the drug. The proposal is that businesses in the district be able to sell pot and accessories used to smoke it, and that both the drug and the paraphernalia would be taxed at 15%.

Businesses would have a license to sell pot just like the license to sell alcohol. The city's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration would issue the licenses. Previously another D.C. councilman had proposed that possession of less than an ounce be punishable only as a civil offense with a $100 fine. This would "decriminalize" possession by most users of the drug.  

One main argument in favor of legalization is that police in D.C. are stopping and frisking people for marijuana, but that the "stop and frisk" tactic is being targeted mainly at Blacks and therefore racially discriminatory in violation of their constitutional rights. Now 17 states have joined in the trend toward decriminalizing pot. More states also recognize the right to "medical marijuana," as does the District of Columbia. Legalization appears to be almost certain in Washington D.C. where the vast majority of the council members support it. Those who argue against it believe that legalization could lead to free use of more dangerous drugs as well.

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