While wandering throughout midtown Manhattan with my brother, his wife, and their kids, we remarked on how many people were smoking cannabis on the streets of the most 'law and order' neighborhoods of the city. In broad daylight, on the most heavily trafficked streets of the city, people were smoking up, and the sweetish smell of marijuana smoke wafted throughout the humid air. Frankly, I was surprised... in my experience, people tended to smoke in their outer borough neighborhoods, typically at night, in out of the way locales. My perplexity was cleared up when I read today that a partial decriminalization of marijuana went into effect yesterday. While, technically, people could have been stopped for smoking weed in public, still a violation, that didn't seem to put a damper on people's indulgence.
Personally, I believe in a broad spectrum legalization of drugs, with regulation and taxation being features of legalization. Basically, treat narcotics in the same manner in which alcohol is treated. My main concern is harm mitigation, by having narcotics legally sold by licensed distributors, fewer users would purchase products adulterated with fentanyl, PCP, or even formaldehyde. Full legalization with exoneration would also result in the release of non-violent offenders who never should have been incarcerated in the first place. Of course, operating motor vehicles or heavy machinery under the influence should remain a criminal offense... as I stated, treat narcotics like booze.
It seems like Peter Tosh's policy advice is being heeded after all:
Marijuana legalization just might be a big part of any 2020 electoral platform, on the local, state, and federal levels. Most people think that weed isn't a big deal, and there's revenue to be made. If legalization doesn't take place, though, I'd prefer that all elected officials be subject to mandatory monthly drug tests, with the results to be made public