Going to Pot - Legalizing Marijuana in Texas

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I have a lot of friends, even conservatives ones, who are all about legalized marijuana. Some are even on the fence about it. After all, it's not much unlike alcohol or cigarettes so why not tax the crap out of it and bring in some additional revenue? As an added benefit, why not put the drug lords out of business? There is a flip side to all of this bud goodness, and it isn't pretty.

To be honest, I never really had much of an opinion about legalized marijuana, that is until I went to Colorado Springs last week for our summer vacation. It certainly wasn't the first time I had been there, but I do recall people being a whole lot more fit and health conscious in the past. Now? Not so much.

I was taken aback during this visit by the number of smokers, fat people, panhandlers and those just passed out in the park. If that isn't enough to tell you legalizing the wacky tobacky will cost taxpayers dearly, I don't know what is.

These loosers were everywhere. Nearly every corner had someone with a sign. Up and down the streets brought dozens of glass-eyed panhandlers sitting on benches, lying on the street corner or sitting on brick half-walls.

There was even an entire group of completely able-bodied people holding signs and lying down on the center median just outside the Old Downtown area. Next to them lay a guitar.

There were people passed out in the park, lying on the grass while on grass. They would even come up to people and ask them for money.

One guy we passed on Tejon Street held a sign that said, "I'm not gonna lie, I want $ for weed." Well at least he's honest about it.

It's disgraceful and it is well beyond what a reasonable person might expect, considering what we already know about the homeless and alcoholics.

Most of these people did not appear to be homeless, nor unfit for work; they just don't want to do the work necessary to make their own money. They would rather lie down doped up on a street corner and hold a sign and a cup. Less effort while they come down from the last high.

Oh sure, the people there are super friendly, like they used to be in Dallas back in the day. What's not to be happy about when you are sitting on the street corner, all mellow yellow, and living on the dole?

Meanwhile, your liberal policy-makers are happy to rake in the additional revenue and turn a blind eye to the increasing scourge that is taking over a once beautiful and healthy city.  This year in June alone, they took in nearly $17 million in taxes, licenses and fees. They are up 63.8% over this month last year.

Another byproduct of a lazy, doped up population is lower wages and prices. Frankly, we found the prices of everything in the city to be extremely low, compared to Dallas. I suspect that is because they are desperate to make a sale, what with so many people not working and all. When a city has a highly paid workforce, they can command more money for products and services. Just take a gander at the price tags in downtown McKinney's boutiques and you'll see what I mean.

Yet boutique after boutique, we found nothing but bargains from Colorado Springs, to Manitou Springs, to Denver.

What little in ordinances against panhandling exist, at least they are happy panhandlers. Clearly, liberal policies completely deincentivize people to work and if I were to dig deeper, I would bet most of these panhandlers are on welfare as well.

From their own handout on panhandlers, the City of Colorado Springs admits most are not homeless and cost taxpayers in emergency services for drug and alcohol use.
"Guidelines for dealing with panhandlers:
  • DO answer requests for money with a firm NO 
  • DO treat people with respect, realizing that only a small portion of panhandlers are actually homeless 
  • DO offer information on where they can get help, including the Springs Rescue Mission, Marian House, Urban Peak and ESM 
  • DO make donations to organizations that have a proven track record of helping the homeless 
  • DO contact your City Council representative with your concerns 
  • DON’T give money or food
  • DON’T allow anyone to camp on your property 
  • DON’T allow anyone to store shopping carts, bedding or other personal belongings on your property 
  • DON’T assume you’re making a difference when you give to panhandlers
In El Paso County, a $5 handout can cost more than $2900 in emergency services from police, fire,and medical response when that handout is used for drugs or alcohol." 
Is this something to aspire to in Texas?  No thank you.

For those of you thinking that legalizing marijuana might not be such a bad thing, you need to think again.