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What Happens After Marijuana Legalization?


marijuana prohibitionMy last article written was about staying away from believing marijuana legalization is inevitable, as that kind of thinking will only stall legalization efforts. However, I do not think it is crazy to think that marijuana legalization is highly probable and may be approaching quickly. So with that in mind, what will you be doing? What will be your next crusade? Or will you just be done with activism altogether?

Even though for marketing reasons marijuana reformers have taken the point of “marijuana is safer than alcohol,” I still think the heart and soul of marijuana reform is “it is your body.” Marijuana reform is centered along the ‘incredibly radical’ idea that we own our own bodies and we should do with them as we choose. With that in mind, why would you stop at marijuana reform?

Even though marijuana is not a gateway substance to other drugs, marijuana reform should be your gateway to ending the Drug War completely. This is something that actually keeps me up at night. After the marijuana reform movement has succeeded, will the slogan “end the Drug War” die out with it? Will people believe that ending the prohibition of marijuana is an end to the Drug War?

I sure hope not! While marijuana prohibition may be a huge part of the Drug War, it is certainly not the whole thing. And now is the time to start pushing for a total end of the Drug War.

Cocaine, crack, heroin, and meth may not be all as appealing as marijuana reform, but they are all just as important. Of course the marketing needs to be different and truthful. We can’t just paint over our weed banners so they say “Heroine is safer than alcohol!” Because that is clearly not the reason these drugs should be legal. Not to mention, drug reform is all about honest drug portrayal and information.

No matter how dangerous the drug is, it still is not the job of the government to protect me from myself. No matter how dangerous the drug is, it is still nonsensical to create a black market of violence and murder. No matter how dangerous the drug is, truthful drug information is still important.

So, why not start educating yourself now for the next big push against the Drug War?


About Author

John Knetemann currently attends South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he is a chapter leader for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. John has had a passion for drug policy reform since he was a senior in high school, and hasn’t looked back since. Along with his work in SSDP, he is a part of the North American Executive Board for Students For Liberty. You can find John on Twitter.


  1. I have a question. So once weed is legal (which it likely will be) will it become a felony to sell it without a license or certification? Like selling alcohol or cigarettes is a crime even though its legal to buy them but not sell them without a permit. Moonshine is a good example of illegal alcohol. Thanks guys and gals.

  2. No one said that it would be a utopia, stupid humans will continue to be and do stupid things. The only way to get a utopia is to abandon religion and have governments controlled by AI. Come on singularity.

  3. The problem will continue to be those who use cannabis but keep severely abusIng alcohol. A stoned drunKen is No more fun than an alcohol only drUnK

  4. Many folks have taken opiates for years without any problems,. when used properly , there is little reason to fear them. As long as you lay off of alcohol. And stick to your doseage

  5. Thank you John. I am all about personal freedom and the right to chose. And yes as long as I do no harm to any person.

  6. John Knetemann on

    My personal opinion on it is that if a person desires to wear a seatbelt, than they should wear a seatbelt. But it is not the job of the government or me to make sure people protect themselves. Respect choice. If a person wants to live in a certain way then go right ahead, as long as you are not infringing on the rights of others.

  7. I believe that weed has crossed the Rubicon, and that now regular folks can try it and decide. As you and I know, a majority will like it. Plus there is a huge value in medical cannabis that evolves through research, medical observation, and personal experience. This medical authenticity is what will lead weed’s global acceptance. Worry Not, it is inevitable.



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  9. This is kind of a bogus article. Weed isn’t dangerous. The sky won’t fall once it’s completely legal. The danger brought by people will go away when the law changes. Various outlets have proven the harder drugs will likely change you, and probably in ways you won’t want.

  10. Lawrence Goodwin on

    You seem to be on to something there, Ms. Silverman. In the waning hours of 1913, after many lawmakers had reportedly departed for their holiday break, the Federal Reserve Act was somehow passed by the United States Congress and quickly signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson (who later regretted it). The authority over our nation’s money supply was delegated to private interests just months before passage of the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act, which started the modern prohibition of drugs and expanded the role of private interests in criminal justice. In 1936, one respected law-enforcer from California, Chief August Vollmer, detested the subsequent anti-drug madness that unfolded at the federal, state and local levels: “Drug addiction, like prostitution, and like liquor, is not a police problem; it never has been, and never can be solved by policemen. It is first and last a medical problem.” Still, our ‘leaders’ keep spending BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars every year to stop the flow of heroin, cocaine, cannabis flower, methamphetamine, LSD, mushrooms, etc., while illicit profits from the drug cartels get laundered in private US banks.
    Thanks again to John K., calling on all advocates to expand their demands along the lines of the good folks at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc). Their simple motto is, “Drug abuse is bad. The drug war is worse.”

  11. This is true Andre but the topic was personal freedom and not criminal issues and just to be clear seat belt laws are a civil misdemeanor and not a criminal offense. This being said any person incarcerated for Non Violent drug charges
    is wrong and a burden on society this includes drunk driving as long as no body has come to harm. This includes drug offenses. BUT IF A PERSON COMMIT’S A CRIME BECAUSE OF there habits (no matter if it is Marijuana, alcohol, crack,heroine or whatever then that person should be locked up for a time period depending on the severity of the crime. Just so your clear on this drunk driving and accidents, be a responsible drunk or do the time if you cause an accident of any kind this icludes not seeing that person on the side of the road walking at night in a blizzard. Or if you rob someone to get drugs or because of them there is no excuse these person should be locked up. A personal example is a friend of my daughers was still living in her parents house where they grew medical Marijuana she was 18/19 she was home by herself when a group of men and children (the oldest 30+ the youngest 12 year old.they kidnapped her put her in the trunk of their car where they shot her multiple times including this 12 year old. Her last words were mom I don’t want to die…..personally if I had my way I would of shot each and everyone of them in the same location. Her vagina. So no seat belts ain’t apples and oranges.

  12. Patricia Silverman on

    just plain truth is what we think we get from the fed and what we really get is lies as the fed acts more like the Mafia then my government should

  13. Seat belts and marijuana are apples and oranges. The bottom line is that drug addiction is a social ill, not a criminal justice issue. In other words, throw addicts in hospitals, not jail cells.

  14. I have severe backaches but no surgery (thank god) I do not sleep well and refuse to take opiates sometimes I can hardly walk. But as I said I never had a surgery. I do not have a medical Marijuana card because Michigan med laws offer no job protection and to many over zealous cops use loopholes on med users and suppliers. So I do Marijuana. Anyhow I just wanted to say I hope things change for you and your state

  15. John just a question concerning the government protecting ourselves and drug reform. To be clear I am for Marijuana legalization. As for other drugs I don’t have an opinion but then if a person wants there life controled by drugs not my problem. But my question is what is your opinion on seat belts? That is the government infringing on personal rights. Just so you know I don’t consider Marijuana a drug a powerful medication and a safe one at that. It’s better and safer than 90% of the pharmaceutical drugs out there including othe illegal drug’s

  16. The truth is as long as there is a pharmaceutical company making money off their synthetic forms of Gods creations and laws and politicians getting pockets full of cash to keep these laws in place the war on free growing medicine will never end !!! Then the prohibitionist will find the next great thing !!!

  17. I will continue the fight against the “Drug War”! I live in Indiana and have had 15 spinal surgerys so I have had to take a lot of pain meds unfortunately! Here in the Hoosier state they have made it so hard to get legal opiates that many pt’s have moved onto heroine! We are losing friends and family and loved ones by the dozens because of this war! People are afraid to seek help and either end up dead or imprisoned, and the cycle continues! When will this Insanity end! When will politicians finally start caring about what’s best for their voters instead of their political endeavors and corporate donaters!

  18. The world will change for the better because weed strengthens people’s bullshit detectors.

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