Like many other states Washington State has a measure (initiative 502) in the ballot that would legalize Marijuana. I’ve heard many people claim that “it’s inevitable” or that “it’ll benefit the state” or other nonsense. Many of the concerns about legalizing the use of Marijuana are as expected. Too easy of access for minors, driving while under the influence, etc.
My reason for voting against I-502 is more of a moral issue with taxing something that habitual and dangerous.
Think of it this way. We see warnings about the fact that tobacco is cancerous. We all know that it’s addictive and habit-forming. We’re told that the tobacco companies are evil for profiting on the health and lives of those who have come to be dependent or killed by their product. Yet, people cheer when Government raises the “sin” tax. Pundits lament about how smoking causes an increase in the cost of health care so we need to increase the sin tax. But why is it immoral for a corporation to profit from cigarette sales while it’s moral for the Government to do so?
It’s immoral for Government (and by extension, us) to profit from the dependency of people who are addicted to using tobacco. The Government is allowing people to buy and used a substance that they KNOW is addictive, causes cancer, and will kill. If this were something such as a drug used for maintenance of pain the FDA would have pulled the product from the shelves. But, since Government gains a large amount of “revenue” from the sales of tobacco products it’s something that is allowed.
This is the same thing with marijuana. It’s habit-forming (don’t think it’s habit-forming? do a search for marijuana anonymous support groups in your area), it’s linked to testicular cancer, it will be deadly if someone drives while under the influence. Granted, the dangers aren’t as severe as tobacco, however with the added danger of driving after use it’s just about as equivalent. It’s morally corrupt to suggest that the government should profit from the sales of marijuana.