Jul 20, 2009

America Going to Pot, Literally

Todd Strandberg
By Todd Strandberg

It is estimated that marijuana is the biggest cash crop in America. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the entire U.S. marijuana market is worth about $112 billion.

Around the nation, the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana use has been gaining traction. Pro-marijuana bills have been introduced by such prominent politicians as Reps. Barney Frank, Ron Paul, and Sen. Jim Webb.

The epicenter of the pro-pot movement is clearly California. San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has already introduced a bill that would allow adults 21 and older to legally possess, grow, and sell marijuana.
"It defies reason to propose closing parks and eliminating vital services for the poor while this potential revenue is available," Ammiano said in a statement.
It's not just the track record of California's liberal population that has it front and center in the legalization debate. Since California has a massive $26.3 billion budget shortfall, the argument is being made that pot can be a good source of income for the state. One headline made the trade-off very clear: "No Marijuana Taxation without Legalization." A tax on marijuana in California, like alcohol, would generate nearly $1.4 billion in revenue, according to an official analysis released by state tax officials.

The use of marijuana is banned outright under federal law, but It is unlikely that there would be a state- vs.-federal conflict since U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department would defer to state marijuana regulations. Holder is basically saying we are going to void the federal laws by ignoring them.

Over the last several years, the U.S. government has changed the focus of its anti-drug efforts, deemphasizing marijuana in favor of prescription drugs. Even private anti-drug groups have been retreating from the effort to control marijuana usage.

Recent polls show a sharp rise in the public's support for legalization. Thirty years ago, only 27 percent of the population was for marijuana being made legal. Today, there are polls that show nearly 50 percent of the public is for the lifting of such restrictions.

Any ads you do find today about pot are for its free use. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is using TV ads to urge California residents to support a plan to legalize and tax marijuana.

Once California becomes a haven for marijuana usage, the pressure will be on other states to join the party. The perfect template for how a vice can spread throughout the land is gambling. At one time, anyone who wanted to roll the dice or try their luck with a one-armed-bandit had to travel to Las Vegas. Today, nearly every state in the Union has some form of gambling.

In my home state of Iowa, they first had riverboat gambling. The twisted thinking was that betting on the river was somehow separate from betting on dry land. Now that people have gotten used to gambling dens, Iowa now has several soil-based casinos throughout the state. Some are equal to ones found in Nevada.

The problem with sin is that it has a very progressive nature. When we allow room for one “minor” sin, one of a more evil nature will quickly follow. I can see legalized euthanasia in the footsteps of the marijuana campaign. Oregon passed a law allowing doctor-assisted suicide, and the pro forces there have won every legal challenge. Gay marriage is another sin sweeping over the nation. Same-sex marriage is now legal in nine states.

All this moral erosion tells me is that tribulation judgment is coming soon. At some point, God will say "enough is enough," and will begin to pour His vengeance on this evil world. We, as believers, need to do our best to combat the forces of darkness. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, the Lord will want to know what role we played in this mess.
"Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences" (2 Corinthians 5:9-11).

Related News

Lawmakers cautiously weigh in on marijuana legalization bill - Times-Standard
Projection of billions would rank Ohio 3rd for gambling in U.S. - Lancaster Eagle Gazette
Calif. Judge Dismisses Challenge to Prop 8 - Christian Broadcasting Network