Legalizing marijuana clearly upsets conservative populist Bill O’Reilly; he says that it sends kids the wrong message. He said it again tonight while his guests, one from each end of the political spectrum, agreed (as did O’Reilly) that the recent shift in U.S. Polls of the public’s attitude toward pot are a result of the baby boomers and their offspring replacing the older generations. Of the three discussing this on the ‘O’Reilly Factor’ show, it seemed evident that the host was senior to both his guests…
Is ‘sending the wrong message to kids’ as O’Reilly insisted, reason for continuing the War on Marijuana? A recent report says that FBI statistics indicate that there is a marijuana arrest in the U.S/ every 42 seconds. Going back to a 1997 ‘Frontline‘ interview, we hear from Eric Shlosser that 17% of Federal prisoners are serving pot-related sentences. Federal prisons then held about 1.1 million people. That’s a lot of prisoners, related broken homes and interrupted kids and let’s not forget the money cost that runs between $30 and $60 thousand annualy, per prisoner. So is Bill O’Reilly correct; should we continue all this so as to ‘send the right message’ for kids, as O’Reilly states?
Let’s examine what we’ve bought with the payments listed above. Generally, everybody knows pot is illegal. And large numbers know where to buy it, usually nearby. That includes O’Reilly’s kids, who can easily find it too, often in their middle and usually in their high schools. Is it unfair then to say that what the War on Pot has honestly accomplished is mostly, to keep the prices high, the cartels in business, the jails full…and to deprive the chronically insolvent government of needed revenue? You decide.
The voters ultimately decided when the subject was alcohol. Booze is plenty problematic, probably more so than pot. We finally decided we were better off without the gangsters. O’Reilly differs with regard to marijuana; he believes sending the right message is more important than cleaning out the cartels and jails. What do you believe, these days?