In 2015, the State of Colorado took in more tax revenue from marijuana sales — both recreational and medicinal — than they did in beer sales. This is important to note because beer companies you might have heard of — Coors and New Belgium to name just two — have operated in the state for years and years. In fact, Colorado was home to its own microbrewing explosion that helped put its beer culture on the map. So the fact that last year tokers gave more to the state’s coffers than beer lovers should tell you a lot.
Apparently, it told Colorado’s neighbors in Nebraska and Oklahoma they needed to be buzzkills. Those states filed lawsuits against Colorado for its marijuana legalization on the grounds that it violated the federal law against pot. In a 6-2 decision — you can guess which two justices still alive that voted to hear the case — the Supreme Court pretty much told Nebraska and Oklahoma, “It’s just weed, dudes.” The high court refused to hear the case, in a pretty solid win for true individual liberty everywhere.
Unsurprisingly, conservative stick in the mud Clarence Thomas said he’d have liked to have given Nebraska and Oklahoma a shot to stick their dicks into Colorado’s mashed potatoes. The Huffington Post reported that Thomas seemed to take a decidedly “War on Drugs” stance to the case.
Nebraska and Oklahoma “claim that Amendment 64 has increased trafficking and transportation of Colorado-sourced marijuana into their territories, requiring them to expend significant law enforcement, judicial system, and penal system resources to combat the increased trafficking and transportation of marijuana,” Thomas wrote. (source)
Justice Thomas is ignoring, perhaps willfully, that neither state would have to increase law enforcement outlays if they stopped treating marijuana like crack. Let’s get real here — the states like Colorado and Washington that got in on the green boom early are going to have kick-ass schools and roads and other services. The ones that don’t? Won’t. People like Justice Thomas might never get over their puritanical objections to “street drugs” like pot long enough to get on board with legalizing it.
Which is why it’s vital to get real, medical research done on weed. It’s not a goddamned miracle drug, and anyone who tells you so isn’t your friend. But there are absolutely legitimate medical uses for it, just like cocaine, which is actually on a lower FDA schedule than weed, because “America.”
It’s a rare thing these days to read a news story about the Supreme Court that doesn’t make me want to rip my taint off with a belt sander. But this is one of those rare times. It’s beyond time for us to stop behaving like pot is any worse than booze or tobacco. In fact, many studies show it’s far, far less harmful. Nothing is 100% safe, of course. Just about everything has a level of toxicity to the human body that can kill you, but it would take you ingesting more pot than you could ever get your hands on to poison yourself with it.
It makes no honest sense in an honest country for a plant like marijuana to be regulated like it is. States like Colorado that have decided to push the envelope and drag our country forward into the 21st century should be commended, not dragged into court to defend their decision to treat adults like adults. Maybe if Oklahoma and Nebraska want to cut costs, they can start by not spending any more money criminalizing a plant with psychotropic qualities and spend more money on controlling access to it, like thinking people want to have happen now.
The bottom line though is that for one shining moment our system has worked the way it was supposed to. A couple of states took offense at what a third state was doing and they sued, taking their case all the way to the highest court possible. There, they were told to kindly fuck off. This is a big win-win. Not for people who are dumb enough to still believe all the hyperbole and propaganda about weed in 2016 of course, but well…who cares what they think?