I don't personally know diddly-squat about marijuana. Orange jump-suits and prison have never appealed enough to me to do any experimentation. However, I predict that as soon as NC politicians figure out what's happening in Colorado, they'll be making clucking noises about how they disapprove of marijuana ... while their eyes are secretly lighting up at the prospect of legalizing it here.

Think of the money to be made, the taxes, the patronage jobs to be awarded, new state-owned stores (like the ABC) and the wealthy friends and campaign benefactors they can award licenses to grow the stuff. In Colorado it's going for $40-60 for 1/8th of an ounce with taxes of up to 30% added. This is, like the state liquor business, legalized extortion.

Anyone with a flower pot, some seed, sunlight and water could grow this stuff essentially for nothing. But, that's "illegal." Why is it illegal? For some of the same reasons wine and beer and liquor and gambling are heavily taxed and regulated, and so on. Because somebody says it's a "sin" or "harmful." Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. Apparently, like the lottery, it's not sinful or harmful if legislators can fleece the citizenry and allow politicians and their friends to get rich off it.

As Mark Twain said, "Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it."


Not just revenues

The costs of incarceration for the insane war on drugs are mind-boggling: hundreds of millions here in North Carolina alone, not to mention the additional costs of law enforcement being distracted from real crimes.

But I don't think the political establishment has it in them to think clearly about this. Especially the so-called libertarian crowd who seems hell-bent on more government intrusion into people's lives. It's prohibition all over again, and the only people making out are criminal organizations who run the underground marketplace.

Makes too much sense

There's no way in hell Republicans would allow something that smart to be enacted.