A Pro-Life Defense of Marijuana Legalization
by Jason Vaughn on April 10, 2015 at 12:22 PM
Three years ago, I don't think I would have ever imagined myself defending the decriminalization of marijuana, much less the legalization of it. My first ministry internship while in college included living with and working in a half way house. I've seen the self destruction that drugs cause, and I am not a supporter nor do I condone drug abuse. Yet, since I founded Pro-Life Texas almost two years ago, my thought process has started to change. So if you'll indulge me as you read this, I hope to join others speaking in defense of marijuana legalization on a pro-life basis.
30,000 Economies Destroyed
It wasn't really a huge leap for me to move to a decriminalization stance. I've always been a fan of limited government and personal responsibility. When I started to really consider the facts of how many Texans are jailed each year for possession, it really clicked.
One of the number one reasons for abortion is the feeling of loss of financial stability. Being jailed for simple possession is a very quick way to destroy a family's personal economy. If a pregnant woman finds out her boyfriend or husband is in jail and will likely have trouble finding a job, then it is easy to see why she may then consider an abortion.
It is not the role of government to sustain an individual's personal economies, but neither should we place laws that hinder and destroy them if the citizen has not caused harm to another.
Laced Drugs and Harder Drugs That Lead To Death
It's long been said by opponents of legalization that marijuana is a gateway drug. I completely agree, but I don't think it's simply because of people looking for a better “high,” but rather based on economics. Say I want to purchase something at the grocery store. I may only want to purchase one or two quick things and leave, but it is the role and duty of the store as a business to try to encourage me to purchase other products. Why do we expect drugs to be any different? If you can only purchase something on a black market, then those salesmen will of course attempt an up-sale to harder products that will risk the users life.
Along with that economic variable, some may lace product with dangerous substances to increase potency or weight. Users may be greatly hurt or die from use and unwilling to seek help due to the illegality of the product.
Cartels: A US Prohibition Creation for Destruction
The main reason I support legalization over decriminalization is because decriminalization does nothing to stop the deaths due to cartels. Whether it be through human smuggling or border violence, the U.S. and state's policies on marijuana has killed thousands.
Drug cartels are the chief promoters of illegal immigration and human smuggling. They work to push as many people over the border as possible because it distracts from their carriers getting across. While many illegal immigrants are just seeking a better life for themselves, they are are pawns in cartels' hands. Sometimes they use people seeking to find a better life as a drug mule and other times they are used as part of sex trafficking. Many are dying on our border because we can't properly secure it as long as cartels have billions of dollars in incentives to guarantee it stays porous.
Along with this comes fights over territory and extreme border violence. My own church had a regular mission to a city in Mexico, but the violence has become so bad and the cartels so well-funded with American dollars that it had to cease as we were putting people in danger with every visit.
Maybe all of these reasons aren't dealing with abortion, but they are all dealing with life. This probably isn't a popular stand amongst many of the followers on Pro-Life Texas, and on this issue I'd love to just keep quiet, but I truly believe this is about saving lives.
Why is marijuana law such a big deal? Is it because supportors of reform just want to get high? No, it's because it is one of the simplest changes we can make in our law to drastically change and save the lives of tens of thousands of people (and save hundreds of millions in the process).
Many are against this idea. Many support it but are scared to death of their primary voters. I'd ask our representatives to truly consider what is right in this situation. If you can't save lives and protect liberty, then what are they there for? Is it simply to wait for the next election?
Rep. David Simpson said something to me when I spoke with him about this that I hope our Texas representatives will all consider. He said that his prayer was that “representatives would vote with the faith of their convictions rather than the fear of retribution.”
It's is a great day to stand with courage and save lives. I hope our representatives take heart.