By Krystle Cole – July 24, 2009
I really like the idea of the MERP Model for Marijuana Re-Legalization. I think that, out of all of the different paths toward the legalization of cannabis, the MERP model is the most pure and has the best intentions. To the best of my understanding, the main tenet of the MERP model is that each person will be able to grow up to 100 plants legally, without taxation or regulation of any sort. And, of course, the use of marijuana will be decriminalized and restored to its original legal status before prohibition took place.
According to Bruce Cain, the founder of the MERP model, “MERP will destroy the Mexican Drug Cartels within weeks of its implementation. MERP will insure that people that require Marijuana for medicine will be able to grow their own for free outside or at nominal rates under lamps, if they decide to grow it themselves. MERP will deprive the same governments that have been arresting and imprisoning us for decades, to now profit from monopolizing the sale, taxation and regulation of our Marijuana through what could briefly be described as a ‘Government Dispensary Model.’ MERP will provide a counterbalance to the liberties lost in the wake of 911 through implementation of the Patriot Acts(1&2) etc. MERP will instantly remove all obstacles currently standing in the way of utilizing Marijuana for industrial, agricultural and other applications that will serve the needs of the People throughout the planet.”
I agree with all of these positive aspects of the MERP Model. However, there is a downside to the MERP model. The fact that it does not have a place for taxation or regulation by the U.S. government is a big weakness. Our government officials are money hungry bastards and, with budget deficits in many states, now they are even hungrier than ever. Because of this, I truly believe that the only way to get the use of cannabis decriminalized will be to throw money at them. I hate to say this but starting a bill that asks for the right to grow cannabis, use cannabis, and not give the government a dime for it is probably not going to pass in Congress. I know in some ways that this may look like we are selling out or that we are going to let big business take control of the cannabis industry. But, in my opinion, any type of legislation that we could get to pass in Congress decriminalizing the use of marijuana would be a positive thing irregardless of how much the government taxes and/or regulates it. This is primarily because it will put an end to a large part of the Drug War.
So, you may ask yourself do I support the MERP model or am I against it? I am not against the MERP model. Although, I am not in sole support of it either. There are several viable plans toward the legalization of cannabis and any one of them could work. I believe that any of path that gets us to a Drug War free world is a good one. If the MERP model gets us there, great! If another cannabis a legalization plan gets us there, that’s great too! The main idea here, is that CANNABIS MUST BE LEGALIZED.