Benefits of legalizing marijuana

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Mary Jane, loud, pot, whatever the word of your choice is, should be legalized, like tobacco products and alcohol.

Marijuana has been documented since 7,000 B.C. It is said to have originated in Asia and was used as medical treatments for cramps, aches and pains. When the United States first got a hold of the drug, it was used for the same purposes.

After the Prohibition Era, from 1920-1933, which declared alcohol to be illegal, marijuana was used for recreational purposes. Many have declared that marijuana has no medical benefits. According to research marijuana has in fact helped ease the pain of headaches and create an appetite for those who are sick with cancer or HIV and AIDS.

Why is it that a substance that causes cancer such as the tobacco in a cigarette is allowed? I have never heard of someone getting high off of marijuana and going home to beat his or her wife and kids. Granted there is a downfall to doing anything excessively, and one’s productivity may not be very beneficial if getting high was on the agenda 24/7, but marijuana should be legalized.

My grandmother died from alcohol poisoning; therefore  I am constantly being warned about my alcohol intake and the addictive behavior that runs on both sides of my family. Unlike other drugs and liquor, studies have proven that marijuana is not addictive. If anything people may over indulge. You do not break into midnight sweats, itch uncontrollably, or overdose which is common with other drugs.

While watching  a documentary on legalizing cannabis with a good friend, doctors and law enforcement both shared stats and opinions on the plant being legalized. One police officer began to address that marijuana would cause a problem because it would be easier to obtain for school children. When I was in high school many of peers were getting high before school. The first time I  heard about the drug in elementary school when one of my friends identified the “gut” of a cigarillo on our playground concrete.

Marijuana is already easy to obtain. Similar to alcohol, marijuana should have restrictions, such as an age limit, do not smoke and drive — wait at least 4-6 hours for the THC to get out of your system — maybe a two blunt minimum at the bar before the bartender tells you that you have had enough. The excuse of children being at risk is unacceptable.

For those of us who took the rebel route through high school, all it took was knowing one cool adult to go purchase the goods for you. There are numerous ways to work the system if there is not strict control over the system. If the possession of marijuana is held  at the same standard of alcohol, it will make it difficult for those under age to obtain it.

One of the doctors stated that it could in fact cause memory lost. As a part of the hallucination process one may believe  that they can smoke and take a test.  One who has common sense should know that it is probably not the most appropriate thing to do if you are trying to pass your classes. Then again people go to class, and or work drunk. If there is no drinking or being drunk on the job and, or class, why not make it the same standard for marijuana?

Marijuana may also be a way to boost our country’s economy. According to the Gazette’s article “Road to Legalization,” the state Department of Revenue reported that medical and recreational marijuana revenues totaled $3.5 million, which was collected from 59 outlets in January. In February they met a total of $ 4.1 million from 83 businesses. In March it was reported that 189 retail stores had licenses to sell along with 249 cultivators and 49 manufacturers. Legal prices are still expensive resulting in drug dealers remaining relevant, however, prices are expected to drop causing more people to utilize retail outlets opposed to black market dealers, this will increase taxes.

Overall, marijuana may not be morally acceptable but it does not bother anyone personally.  No one is getting hurt in the process, so I say let the stoners be stoned.

—Email Meagan at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @itsme_agannn

  • Meagan Jordan, Opinions Editor