We're hearing a lot of talk lately about legalizing marijuana. Allow me to weigh in, as a lifelong construction worker and someone quite familiar with "stoners." And, no, I don't do drugs myself.
On a purely philosophical level, I believe in the legalization of all drugs. Why? Because what you decide to put into your body is nobody's business. Feminists use a similar argument to justify murdering their own children, and getting high is certainly less of a crime than infanticide; only a madman would argue this point.
On a more practical level, if you wanna smoke crack, go ahead and kill yourself as quickly as possible, and stop bilking the taxpayers for rehab and prison costs. Additionally, the fact that street drugs are illegal keeps their prices shored up, ensuring that meth heads will keep breaking into houses to fund their expensive habit. Just as Prohibition led to the rise of organized crime, drug laws have caused a similar tidal wave of muggings and burglary. Make 'em cheap already!
The flip side is this: When Colorado legalized marijuana my company (at the time) lost a half-dozen men, eager to go somewhere where they could get high with no legal fallout. Trust me, those guys weren't exactly our best and brightest.
Now, the people I know in Colorado are complaining about increased real estate costs and job competition because the state has been infested with "bud-toking" immigrants. Colorado is also struggling with smuggling issues involving the surrounding states.
I'm all for drug legalization, but it must be done at the federal level. If it's not all of the states, all at the same time, then every miscreant in the country will be heading your way. Only through federal legalization will we all reap the benefits of lower jail populations and fewer enforcement Costs.
As long as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, the states are only inviting headaches by individually legalizing it. This is a mistake that North Dakota simply cannot afford to make.
Moser lives in West Fargo.