Friday, September 2, 2016

3 Simple Reasons Why Conservatives Should Support Medical Marijuana

3 Simple Reasons
Why Conservatives Should Support Medical Marijuana
by Anne Salter

Like most of the nation, Conservatives are divided in their opinions about the legalization of medical marijuana. On the one hand action group, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) lobby hard for the legalization of marijuana, whilst on the other Republican politicans such as Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush do not agree with or advocate the legalisation of the drug. Even the Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump is unclear as to where he stands on the situation, saying in 2015 that: “I would really want to think about that one…Because in some ways I think it’s good and in other ways it’s bad. I do want to see what the medical effects are. I have to see what the medical effects are, and, by the way, medical marijuana, medical? I’m in favor of it a hundred percent.”
The legalisation of cannabis, either for medical use or for wider public use, is a wildly complex issue and is hugely divisive. However the fact is that Conservatives should be supporting the legalisation of medical marijuana, and here’s why:
The Right to Individual Freedom and Responsibility
One of the cornerstones of American conservatism is an individual’s right to take responsibility for their own actions, and their right to individual freedom. The issue of personal liberty makes an appealing case for marijuana legalisation, because most conservatives are opposed to a government that tells them what they can do, what they can eat, what they can or can’t put into their body: it stands to reason that that attitude to personal liberty should also include the right to use marijuana should you wish to do so.  Conservatives are often vocally opposed to the “nanny state” that attempts to take away their personal responsibility and their ability to make decisions freely. The logical extension of this is that they are opposed to being told that they legally cannot use marijuana, either for medical or for recreational use.
A Commitment to Free Market Capitalism
Economically, the conservative stand point is one that is committed to the free market economy and capitalism, and that they should support legalisation. This is because the legalisation of medical marijuana would serve to strengthen the already established industry that is building in the states where the drug is legal, and this industry could also be established and built up in other states around the country. This is all free market capitalism, and is in the true spirit of the conservative approach to business and to the economy. By legalising marijuana we would enable new businesses to be established (in the production and distribution industries) which would lead to new jobs, billions of dollars being earnt in personal revenue, and a huge tax revenue being generated for the government at the same time.
Recoup The Cost of the War on Drugs
The War on Drugs has failed, and has been a very expensive mistake. In 2010 alone, the U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars on the War on Drugs, which equates to a spending rate of about $500 per second.  And yet the number of drug users in the country has not been affected by this targeted campaign. By legalising marijuana we can stop this war and put the American people’s tax dollars to much better use, or simply use that extra money to chip away at the country’s deficit, which is in line with conservative fiscal policy.
Using this logic, then, and it is clear that the very nature of Conservatism in America means that as a political organisation, the Republicans should support not only the legalisation of marijuana for medical use, but the wider legalisation of the drug for recreational use as well.
“What’s the conservative pot position?”, CNN Politics,
“Compassionate populism on the road to rediscovering cannabis as medicine”, Rehabs.com
“5 reasons why conservatives should support marijuana legalisation”, Civilized
“A blunt guide to how Republican candidates feel about pot”, Mother Jones
“Marijuana Legalization 2016: Where Do Donald Trump And Other Republicans Stand On Cannabis Use?”, International Business Times
“In a hasty vote, Texas lawmakers show their (lack of) appetite for marijuana research”, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition
“Drug War Clock”, Drug Sense


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