Since pushing for the legalization of the demon weed last week Mike Fitzgerald's blog has apparently turned into his own version of "High Times". I guess when Schwarzenegger said now was the time to debate its legalization Fitzy decided that debate would happen on his blog. Which is both very pro-active and very un-stoner like of him.
One post in particular stood out, naturally it's the one where Fitzy puts his ignorance on full display.
A reader e-mailed him coming out against legalization, not because he's a party pooper, but because the man would totally keep the quality of that shit down through their regulations and stuff man! And while that's an interesting concept about one possible outcome of ending the reefer madness (even though I think, if anything, quality would probably increase because it's not like the government would grow it themselves), Fitzy's firm in his belief that quality Mary Jane is an acceptable sacrifice to stop the Mexican Tony Soprano (a term I wish I was making up).
So, because we can, here's the flaws in Fitzy's rebuttal. For one, this is Cali-motherfucking-fornia. And on top of that, it's Northern California. I don't know where or when Fitzy bought his last sack, but nobody smokes that shitty, Mexican dirt weed here. Nobody's smoked that shit since like the 70s. All the grass floating around here is from the Bay Area/Mendocino County, where, as the reader states, they got their shit down. Those "narco-states" that Fitzy finds so menacing realized long ago that they can't compete with the hippies and have moved onto, you know, actual narcotics (hence the term "narco-state").
It's actually kind of funny that Fitz invokes the name of Tony Soprano (mostly because combined with the Godfather and Scarface, that seems to be all he knows about the mafia lifestyle, so it must apply to the Mexicans too, right?), because if he just watched that show a little bit closely he'd see where the real problem(s) with his entire theory lies. For one, the big drug problem isn't pot, it's pretty much everything else harder than pot. Meth, Coke, Heroin, all over the fucking place. How he didn't realize this while talking to those homeless people I'll never know. When homeslice said that most homeless people were just looking for their next high, he sure as shit wasn't talking about some Medocino Greeno.
But let's imagine for a second that the big illegal drug trafficking racket was pot. Would legalizing it stop that at all? Just because it's legal doesn't mean people still won't try and sell it tax-free illegally. You can buy bootleg DVDs at the flea market for fuck's sake. Legalizing something is not a deterrent for illicit sales, if anything they'd benefit because without having to give their slice to the government, they'd have cheaper prices than in the stores. So not only would it not stop these theoretical pot cartels, but the government would still have to crack down on the illegal sales of bootleg weed. So the theory that legalization would save millions on enforcement is short sighted at best.
But let's pretend (yes, pretending within imagining. Just roll with it), that somehow these cartels can't take the heat from the legal competition and give up selling the reefer. Guess what? They're not going away. No, they spent too much time networking and setting up a system and paying guys to go to America and set up the operation. There's too much money invested to pack it up and go home, so they start selling the harder, illegal drugs (you know, the one's they're actually selling in the real world right now).
So even if we did live in Mike Fitzgerald's mythical wonderland where the Tijuana Cartel (which is a fucking ridiculous name, they're the Arellano-Felix Organization and they're fucking everywhere, not just TJ.) is just hucking pot and killing anybody who stands in their way, his solution just ends up where we are now, with the pushers pushing harder drugs.
Look, we're all for the legalization of pot and we're all for the getting the debate started (obviously since we're engaging the debate), but like we said last week the reason all those prohibitionists are so willing to dismiss Fitzy's arguments for legalization is because he's presenting flawed, weak arguments. Legalizing pot isn't going to neuter organized crime just like the end of alcohol prohibition didn't. They're a business with a sophisticated network, they'll just do what other businesses do when someone eats of their market share. They'll adapt and find new markets to dominate. If they just went away, well then they wouldn't be the tough, scary sons of bitches Mike Fitzgerald says they are.