If You Think Marijuana Isn’t an Important Issue, You’re Dead Wrong

As the debate over marijuana legalization continues to heat up, those who’d rather duck the discussion are increasingly incapable of concealing their discomfort. We recently saw Mitt Romney¬†snap¬†at a reporter for asking about marijuana in Colorado, and in a recent segment, CNN contributor LZ Granderson went further still:

CNN’s Carol Costello asked contributor LZ Granderson to respond to any of the Colorado voters who might be less likely to back President Barack Obama because he does not support marijuana legalization.
“Well, they’re idiots,” Granderson explained. “If you’re voting for a president, any president, on one single issue — especially one issue that is so peripheral such as marijuana usage — you’re a idiot. I don’t want to mince any words here. We have way too many more important things to talk about as Mitt Romney said earlier, as the president has said earlier.” [Raw Story]

One scarcely knows where to begin unraveling such an arrogant and self-righteous statement about what other people should and shouldn’t care about. To call it a “peripheral” issue makes a mockery of the millions of Americans who’ve had their lives turned upside down by a marijuana arrest. It’s an insult to innocent victims of rampant racial profiling brought on biased and brutal drug enforcement practices. It dishonors the memory of the tens of thousands who’ve lost their lives at the hands of violent cartels to whom we’ve handed a huge stake in the lucrative American marijuana trade.
On a daily basis, the war on marijuana destroys families, ends lives, destabilizes communities and diverts limited resources away from the people who need them and into an endless cycle of drug war devastation. Either that, or it prevents all these horrible things, as its defenders continue to claim. In either case, the question of how we as a society choose to deal with marijuana is more than just a serious issue, it’s a matter of life and death. Of course it is. There’s no such thing as a multi-billion dollar question that isn’t worth asking.
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