Every time I use the Internet, watch some TV, listen to the commentators on AM radio (possibly not the “in” thing by the stoned teenagers of the metropolis) or to Mo on a weekday morning, read a newspaper (whose ink doesn’t stink, like its editorial stance), and talk to people, I am frequently bombarded by opinions. I agree with some of them (Boracay shouldn’t be said as Bora, like what 3 girls did in a recent ad in the Philippines), and I usually get pissed when they open their mouth (Pro-truth to me is pro-truthiness; fuck your doubletalk).
From what I have read here, a state legislator representing San Francisco, California (not the U. S. House of Representatives) filed a bill to legalize marijuana. To quote the article posted on COED Magazine:
No matter how much evidence exists to the contrary, the drug [marijuana] continues to be villified from the media, demonized by the religions right [Evangelicals, Baptists, etc.], and described as a ‘gateway drug’ by politicians and law makers alike. (Italics and words enclosed are mine.)
The law was filed because of tax revenues (which will be very big, since the once-independent state is deep in debt) and to reduce the prison population over there.
There is a similar initiative, only this involves another type of addiction: gambling. And this type of addiction attracts many people regardless of financial wealth. (No, it’s not the lottery, which is regulated for over 70 years) It’s called Jueteng, which is one of the factors that brought down former president (and a wannabe at this moment) Joseph Estrada. Jinggoy Estrada (the son of Joseph Estrada) filed a bill advocating the legalization of the numbers game. He also stated that people involved in jueteng operations will be given a sense of dignity. That came after Pampanga governor Ed Panlilio accused the current president (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) and her son Mikey Arroyo (Pampanga) of being part of jueteng operations in the said province.
I bet that the guy managing the jueteng shack somewhere in Quezon province wlil be very happy, because he doesn’t have to remit some of his earnings to a local government official (and he’ll end up helping our conomy due to the tax collections). Checking out Yahoo! Search on the plans to legalize jueteng, there are at least 13, 000 queries regarding it. The oldest one was dated 1998, and it was a pastoral statement from the Roman catholic Archdiocese of Manila condemning the legalization (then) of jueteng. While searching for “legalize jueteng”, I also realized that there are a lot of people who do not want to legalize jueteng. Some people say that the bigtime operators want to legalize jueteng just to justify their operations.
I’m not concerned about the other pros and cons of legalizing jueteng. I say legalize them so that we have more pesos to spend for infrastructure and social services (and so that we don’t have to hike existing taxes). How about Mary Jane? Wait for the heat on the Boyz-n-the Hood to die down, then we’ll legalize it. If that hapens, we’ll have new problems arising from it. At least we are somewhat financially better when those things are legalized.