Nolan Finley (a staunch libertarian) of the Detroit News weighs in on Michigan’s medical marijuana mess:
it’s not just cops and judges who are confused. Employers have fired medical marijuana patients for failing drug tests, even though the law prohibits that, and landlords have evicted users for violating no-dope clauses in their leases.
You don’t have to be struggling with the effects of chemotherapy to qualify for a certificate. The medical marijuana industry has physicians lined up to certify patients with mysterious pains, anxiety and other ailments often visible only to the sufferer. The law isn’t very specific on the diseases covered. Chronic headaches can get you approved, and who doesn’t have headaches these days?
Kids roam downtown events passing out cards with 800-numbers and websites where you can get certificates. This isn’t what voters envisioned, but it’s what they’ve got now, and putting the genie back in the bong is impossible.
Critics of medical marijuana have called it the first step toward legalizing all pot use. They’re right. And it should be.
It’s absurd for Michigan to still be arresting and jailing pot growers and users whose only real crime is that they were too stupid to apply for a medical marijuana certificate.
Give it up. Stop wasting taxpayer money in a futile fight to keep marijuana away from the people who want to use it. If current trends continue, most pot users will soon have a license to smoke anyway.
It’s clear the current situation is a mess and I’m opposed to incarcerating anyone for possession–card or no card.
However, Finley had to go for the tax argument:
Better to focus our efforts on bringing the marijuana growers out of their basements and onto the tax rolls. Michigan could use the estimated $32 million in annual tax revenue it would generate, and the untold savings in law enforcement and Corrections costs.
The idea of a centralized, rich, politically empowered marijuana industry is pretty frightening. Look at all of the abuses over the years by the alcohol and tobacco industries. Imagine the advertising, lobbying and product innovation (4 Loko for weed?)!