WOODLAND HILLS- Ron Gold, last man standing to challenge Kamala Harris in November for the office of Attorney General of California, has boldly gone where few Republicans, except the most Libertarian, have gone before. Gold says it is “common sense, reasonable and rational to change laws that have driven the market for marijuana into the hands of drug cartels and street gangs.”
Like ’30s gangs –Capone, Torrio, Moran, Maranzano, Luciano -today’s seven Mexican cartels –Sinaloa, Los Zetas, Gulf, Juarez, Knights Templar, La Familia, and Tijuana– have battled to control markets for illegal drugs in over 1,000 US cities. During Prohibition there were 400 mob murders a year in Chicago alone. One hit man for a Mexican cartel claimed to have murdered 800 before he lost count. Bootleggers disappeared after prohibition fell, we can hope for the same for the cartels after legalization,” said Gold.
Gold argues that marijuana use is largely a victimless crime that fills state prisons and county jails with small time marijuana users. According to FBI statistics, marijuana made up nearly half of all drug arrests in USA in the past 20 years.
The US has spent $1.3 trillion since 1972 on the drug war. The results? In 2014 drugs are cheaper and easier to get than in 1972. These costs of incarceration are far greater than any benefit gained. Legalization will reduce the cost of law enforcement for victimless crimes, allowing scarce resources to be used for those more dangerous predators who victimize Californians. “It makes more sense to focus upon thieves, rapists and murderers than those possessing an ounce or so of marijuana,” says Gold.
Gold admits that marijuana abuse, like alcohol abuse, creates health and social problems. Legalizing marijuana will bring these problems into the open and encourage treatment. Taxing marijuana will provide new revenue to “help fund our schools, improve correctional facilities, and provide funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation as well as better mental health care access,” says Gold.
Gold’s views were recently well-received at the debut of a medical marijuana market in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles over the Fourth of July weekend.
Over twenty states have already adopted medical marijuana laws and several have adopted legalization for recreation. In short, “The time has come to legalize marijuana,” says Gold. Gold favors the full legalization of marijuana adopted in Colorado. Limited to: persons over 21; licensed processing, testing, distribution and sales; possession of one ounce; growing six plants; taxed at nearly 30%.