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Opponents of Marijuana Legalization Finally Noticed They're Losing the Debate

Submitted by smorgan on

I pointed out recently how silly it is for anyone to continue aggressively fighting back against marijuana legalization, given that the polls show public support increasing significantly every year. I've argued a few times now that our opponents' time would be better spent accepting that our laws have to change and joining the discussion of what legalization should look like.

Well, as a few people pointed out to me, some of our opponents have been doing exactly that. Incredibly, the perpetually panic-stricken rapidly anti-legalization alarmists at National Families in Action have launched the But What About the Children? Campaign, which spells out the conditions under which legal marijuana would be acceptable to them:

12 Provisions to Protect Children if Marijuana is Legalized

Click on “Why”? to read the rationale for each provision. A complete copy of all 12 provisions and their rationales can be downloaded here: 12 Provisions to Protect Children if Marijuana is Legalized

1. No Advertising
An advertising ban on legal marijuana. Why?

2. A Penalty Fee
on the marijuana industry for every underage user. Why?

3. Automatic Repeal
of marijuana legalization if underage marijuana use exceeds certain levels.Why?

4. No Product Placements
sponsorships, point-of-purchase marketing, or depictions in entertainment venues. Why?

5. An Industry-Financed Fund
from marijuana profits to pay for the damage legal marijuana will do, so that taxpayers won’t have to pick up the tab. Why?

6. A State Agency to Tax and Regulate
the marijuana industry, including marijuana purity and potency. Why?

7. Licensed Growers, Distributors, and Retail Sellers
Marijuana sold only in licensed retail stores where no other products are sold. Why?

8. No Drugged Driving
A ban on driving with marijuana in the systems of drivers or passengers. Why?

9. No Drugged Employees or Students
A ban on people coming to work or school with marijuana in their systems. Why?

10. Smoke-Free Laws Apply
No marijuana use where tobacco smoking is banned. Why?

11. Marijuana Controlled by FDA
Marijuana placed under the control of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, like tobacco is now.

12. A Surgeon General’s Report
on the impact of legal marijuana. Why?

The whole thing is really quite a project, with an entire dedicated website, blog posts, pictures, policy advisors and so on. On the surface, it really seems to suggest that some of the most hysterical anti-marijuana zealots on the planet are ready to compromise in exchange for a seat at the table, and if that's what this is, then it says a lot about how far the debate has come in just a few short years.

Buuuuut….if one goes clicking around through the numerous "Why?" links enumerating the campaign's conditions for regulated marijuana sales, you'll be reminded quickly who it is we're dealing with here. Their rules would make it illegal for anyone to attend work or school, or operate a motor vehicle with any amount of marijuana detectable in their system, which would mean any marijuana user would have to put their entire life on hold for about a week any time they took a puff.

They even propose that legalization be automatically canceled if use among 12-20 year olds rises above 5 percent, which is weird because use among 12-20 year olds is way higher than that already. So it's really just an unavoidable automatic cancelation provision designed to destroy legalization before it even starts, on the bizarre grounds that it didn't dramatically lower underage marijuana use.

There's more where that came from of course, and I'm left to wonder whether what we have here is actually a concession at all, as opposed to a weird sort of psychological warfare aimed at confusing everyone with onerous rules and ridiculousness, in the hopes that someone will be stupid enough to regulate any of this idiocy into existence. I really have no idea, but it's a fun read, and with numerous marijuana legalization measures hitting the ballot this year, there will likely be more where this came from. 

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