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December 22 2009

New Orleans as Marijuana Mecca

Fleur_de_Lys_Variante.pngLegal weed in the Big Easy? What a genius idea! One of the 12 candidates running for mayor of New Orleans is Jerry Jacobs, running on a platform of Social Change, and some say a long-shot to win but he's put forward a great plan: Legalize Marijuana, to reduce crime and increase sales tax, in an attempt to triage the city's budget crisis. During an interview with WDSU Jacobs said:

Legalizing marijuana will do for the city of New Orleans what ending Prohibition did for the country in 1933, it put the gangsters and bootleggers out of business and increased sales tax revenue.

Imagine the positive impact that Amsterdam type regulations could have on New Orleans? Tourism, which some predict will never come back to pre-Katrina levels, would grow faster than an indica plant in a hydroponic grow-op. New cannabis coffee-shops would spring-up all over the city to create new jobs and commerce. Industrious citizens would be able to apply for a license to grow weed at home and supply to the shops and/or medical marijuana patients. New Universities would open their doors, like Oaksterdam to teach students bud-tending and cannabusiness management. The increase of weed would even cause a greater demand for food to help the restaurants get back to where they once were. The Big Easy would become popular once again.

As for crime? Which is a problem in New Orleans and partly responsible for keeping tourists away, anyone in doubt about what a dramatic decrease would happen, need only study the reports from other cities that have decriminalized drugs, such as Portugal, or regulated cannabis cafes such as Amsterdam. Anyone who doesn't take this idea seriously should use common sense to realize that crack cocaine is much more of a problem and by isolating that one illegal substance by making the other legal, allows enforcement a much better chance of addressing the cocaine epidemic.

Pharmaceutical drugs have become the scourge of our culture and the biggest risk to our young people. Designer drugs and prescription pills are the biggest problem amongst young adults and interestingly marijuana spoils the high of all narcotics, for most people, in most cases. Crack-heads only use marijuana as a currency to buy crack by trading in enough weed to save up for a rock. A heroin junky will only smoke weed when they can't score heroin, why? It helps to keep them mellow and takes the edge of substance deprivation. Marijuana can be used in an effective treatment for the recovery of all other types and forms of addiction. New Orleans could be a destination city for substance abuse treatment.

new_orleans_bourbon_street.jpgAny police officer, anywhere in the world, will tell you that the most dangerous suspect to handle is one that is drunk on alcohol and/or stoned on chemicals drugs, more and more often of the pharmaceutical type. The very non-toxic, chemical composition of marijuana is what makes people peaceful when they use it, and therefore much easier to handle as a crowd, or individually, which is why marijuana has been allowed and accepted in European cities that host large football (soccer to us) tournaments, where they previously witnessed incidents of mass rioting, civil disobedience and destruction of public property. When the crowds of rabid football fans smoke weed no-one or nothing get's hurt.

The Big Easy is the perfect place to open the doors to legal marijuana. There's nothing to lose and everything to gain. Besides, it's the birthplace of Jazz so shares a long tradition of smoking weed and to this day it's as easy to score as a good Jambalaya, even quadruple the police force and I can promise you the herb will still be easy to find in the French Quarter. Please, just take it out of the hands of crack-heads, thieves and junkies! Stop empowering the criminals and start growing a friendly city.

Don't be the product, buy the product!