by Nicole Johnson
Check out this video! It might open up your mind to the discussion we’re about to dive into!
The decision to make marijuana legal again after it has been so many years since it was deemed illegal, will inevitably be much harder and cause twice the controversy. However the matter of the fact is, no matter how much Governor Christie is displeased with the statement in the video that, “the legalization is inevitable,” the changes within our culture as a society most definitely are inevitable. Therefore, the government, if it is true to its definition of serving for the people, should be keeping up with these changes in society before anyone else!
The re-legalization of marijuana is going to be a process in which many scenarios and situations are going to have to be considered. The different state governments that have not made marijuana legal are being placed under pressure to act fast, as the legalization clearly holds, as seen in the touching video above, high priority for many families. Marijuana affects almost all Americans because of the high popularity of its usage country-wide and is an issue that should continued to be pushed forward at the podiums of justice.
The most obvious reason as to why marijuana should be legalized is the mere fact that the drug alcohol, which has far worse consequences than weed, has been legal in our country for years. I agree with fellow blogger, William Lolis in his blog post, “Marijuana: The Steps Towards Legalization” that a drug that like alcohol that is responsible for several thousands of death a year should not be legal over a drug that has no documentation of being a cause of death. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 37,000 annual U.S. deaths, including more than 1,400 in Colorado, are attributed to alcohol use alone. Meanwhile, the CDC does not even have a category for deaths caused by the use of marijuana. The image below helps separate the two drugs and lists clear facts about the effects of each compared side by side, for those whom are skeptical.
It does not make sense that we allow one drug that is so detrimental to our society and us as humans continue to run ramped across the country but yet had so much hostile opposers that with their opposition are taking away the chance at life for individuals such as baby, Vivian in the video above.
In the controversial article, “Why Marijuana Should be Legal, and Expensive” posted on The Atlantic magazine website by Olga Khazan, the question that stood out to me as an important factor in this debate was, “Is there a way to let adults toke while keeping marijuana out of the hands of high schoolers?” One prominent issue that arises from this is situation is whether or not the government should have control to intervene on behalf on those American adults who are considered irresponsible, in the eyes of society. Would they be able to monitor their teenagers enough and prevent them from gaining access the marijuana? On the other hand it is completely unfair to those parents who are responsible enough to smoke without their kids being around or prehaps at an hour of the night when they are alone and will not be interrupted by their children. I agree that there should be an age limit on the consumption of marijuana so that teens can have a fully developed brian out of their adolescence stage and into their adulthood and then make the decision is they want to becomes users of the drug. That being said when it comes to the decision of marijuana being the only way of saving one’s life, there should not be any age restrictions.
To go hand in hand with the point right before, if there are teens who do get into marijuana, in a state without a legalization law, then the process of decriminalization should definitely be considered. having a criminal record for possession of weed, just seems so miniscule to the numerous amount of gang member s running ramped through certain neighborhoods putting the lives of many innocent people in danger. Due to the fact that I am very much on the fence about this issue, in my opinion the idea of drug decriminalization as opposed to complete and full legalization of marijuana seems like a promising change to make. The amount of teenagers getting charged with possession is high and happening daily. The feeble generosity of the court system to grant a conditional discharge to first time offenders, has been an important option as a way out of inheriting a criminal record for many teens. It is often that the prosecutor of a court will speak to teenagers who slipped up this one time and got caught smoking with a group of friends around the way somewhere. Along with the statistical information, the following statement “In sum, there is little evidence that decriminalization of marijuana use necessarily leads to a substantial increase in marijuana use.” – National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM). 1999 This quote proves to show that just because the punishments will be less harsh and not place such a strain on young people who are just starting to build a future for themselves.
The background as to why marijuana became illegal in the first place is about as concrete as a foam ball pit in the arcades. In the article, “Why was Marijuana made illegal in the first place?” by Tom Hoff, he dives a little more depth into the reasoning behind the illegalization of marijuana since 1910. Hoff goes on to reveal racist remarks that at the time had very influential meaning to the point in the eye of any people living in this era. Below in an excerpt form the article that highlights the point I am referring to.
Check out this racist quite from the authority on drugs in 1930s, Harry J. Anslinger of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (the original DEA):
“Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others.”
In addition, the different meditation and focus methods that people participate in should be taken into account. Many users of marijuana look to it in order to relax after a long day similar to a working business women downing a bottle of red wine, as we see so eloquently played out by Keri Washington’s character Olivia pope, in one od televisions’ hottest shows out right now. Or prehaps the way a man would come home from work and poor a shot of scotch in his cup as done by President Fitz in the abc family show Scandal as well. These are okay to show even though, meanwhile the relaxation factor of marijuana is completely dismissed and many people have this option taken away from them as well as their right to make a decision as to which stress reliever they choose to use.
As “One Nation Under God” it is crucial that our states across the country begin to learn to conform and do what is best for the greater good and make decisions more promptly so that we are not at war with one another over issues that should never be drawn out and pushed to the side for as long as they have been. At one time, us people lived with this hemp plant as means for many different purposes for multiple resources and although we have evolved from the days of it being completely legal, in the end we will never know how much better our society can be, if we do not try life will marijuana legal across the U.S.