Marijuana is in North Dakota’s news. Expect it to be an ever more common topic as we move closer to November. As reported yesterday – on “National Weed Day” – the North Dakota Health Department received 17 applications for potential medical marijuana growers. The state will register just two of them. Also in the news was the fact that the group known as “Legalize ND” is within striking distance of getting the necessary 13,452 signatures to put total legalization of marijuana to a vote of the people in the general election.
The fact that voters approved medical marijuana way back in 2016, but the state is still working on full implementation in 2018, actually leads some people to suggest that we should just legalize recreational and be done with it. Given the costs of regulation for medical marijuana – which will inevitably drive up prices for those who will use it – I tend to agree. Not to mention the associated costs to taxpayers for prosecuting non-violent drug offenders.
Of course, not everyone agrees with those of us who believe it’s time to give up the War on Marijuana. But among those who oppose total legalization, it’s the ones who admittedly use alcohol that baffle me the most. How can someone who uses alcohol oppose legalizing marijuana? To me, it’s a bit hypocritical.
As noted on Legalize ND’s website:
“…marijuana has never caused a single medically documented overdose death in recorded history. Alcohol causes hundreds of overdose deaths each year, and in 2013 (the latest year for which data is available), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 29,001 ‘alcohol-induced deaths.'”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average there was one death every 50 minutes in 2016 due to alcohol-impaired driving. That’s over 10,500 deaths. Where’s the cry for a return to prohibition of alcohol?
I honestly don’t mind a difference of opinion on the issue of total legalization. At least when it’s coming from those who are consistent in their views. North Dakota has had the sad distinction of being the drunkest state in America and state where people drink the most beer. Perhaps part of a winning strategy for Legalize ND is to simply get more alcohol users to realize their inconsistency when it comes to the legalization of marijuana.
It took a constitutional amendment to make prohibition of alcohol a reality in 1920. Just over 13 years later, in 1933, the nation saw the failure and another amendment was passed to end the prohibition. It’s interesting to note that no such amendment was ever passed in relation to the prohibition of marijuana. This was, is, and should be a state issue. And when it comes to the ballot in November, those who imbibe in the use the alcohol should cast a vote of consistency in favor of total legalization of marijuana.