Marijuana is a gateway drug. A gateway to spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to find, prosecute, and imprison Montanans. A gateway to losing tens of millions in revenue to neighboring states (and all of Canada). Moreover, we’re probably not preventing anyone from consuming the drug. A thriving black market ensures easy assess and that billions in revenue goes into the wrong pockets.
In other words, we are spending a lot of money to do nothing.
Not smart from a budgetary perspective.
Not smart from a human perspective. We are saddling people with criminal records — hampering their ability to contribute to society and to our economy. We are imprisoning Native Americans at 250 percent higher rates. All for using a plant widely used by our presidents, entertainers, industry titans, neighbors, and friends.
Prohibition is not freedom. And not smart from the perspective of people who love freedom. Few of us would want government to tell us what to read or eat or whom to pick as friend — even if we read trash, eat Twinkies, and have lame friends. America was founded on an inherent skepticism of concentrated power. Free people do not want government protecting us from ourselves. Morally, when we replace our own values with authoritative law, we erode the significance of both.
I am running to represent the Whitefish area in the Montana state house. I support the full legalization of cannabis — to reduce your tax burdens and because I trust in freedom.
Libertarian Cindy Dyson is running for House District 5.