Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A New Mexican Book on the Regulation of (Yep) Pot

***UPDATE July 29, 2014: NYT on the "New Jim Crow" (Not really news, but well-stated)***

This blog steers far clear of politics, usually. Today I make an exception.

It seems to me that it doesn't take a coconutful of brain cells to recognize that (1) what one disapproves of and (2) what should be illegal for the greater public good, all costs considered, may not be one and the same thing.  (Though it may still need to be regulated.)

For example, I don't approve of pot smoking, except in the very few cases where there may be no other effective drug for pain relief. That said, I think it should be legal, as legal as many thousands of other completely daft things some people do, such as to become addicted to Coca Cola or Diet Pepsi, breakfast on Pop Tarts, watch television for hours and hours a day, care deeply about spectator sports (to the point of painting one's face an unnatural color and crying and screaming), wear high heels, drive motorcycles, join the Jehovah's Witnesses, keep gerbils as pets, forget to take their diabetes medicine, decorate with clashing plaids, get a nose stud, visit Las Vegas for any reason whatsoever… 

Gee, that's a long list and I haven't even gotten started! 

What I mean to say is, it's a free country-- or at least (hat tip to Mr Snowden), that's the idea. As long as you don't harm someone else in the process, I think you should be able to ingest whatever you want, go where you want, dress as you please, gussy up your fingernails if you feel so inclined, root for Red Sox or Manchester United or Hulk Hogan, and believe what you want about God and Jesus-- and the dinosaurs, for that matter.

At the same time, some regulation of some things is appropriate. For example, the ingredients on the label on a Diet Pepsi or a Pop Tart should be accurate. If you want to come into the stadium to watch a game, you should not be admitted without a ticket, nor if carrying a bazooka. You can keep pets, but not torture them. Etc.
Josefina Ricaño de Nava

It is a rotten shame that we spend so much taxpayer money to arrest and incarcerate people who grow, trade and smoke pot, and, add to the shame, this effort has caused no end of trouble and blood south of the border. So I for one am very happy to see this new book, just published by México Unido Contra la Delincuencia, a foundation that fights crime. (Read about its visionary founder, Josefina Ricaño de Nava.

My translation of the title: How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide.  I note that the back cover includes a quote from the President of Uruguay, who lead the way to legalize cannabis in his country (my translation): 

"The traditional approach has not worked. Someone had to be the first [to legalize non-medical use of cannabis]."

In other words, this is a serious attempt to provide a framework for making cannabis legal-- responsibly.

P.S. A little U.S. drug trade history for those with a literary inclination, over at Gregory Gibson's Bookman's Blog.

COMMENTS always welcome.