In 1937 marijuana effectively became illegal to own, and use in the United States. Why this happened is the subject of many debates. But the reality remained the same.
In 1996 California voted to allow the medical use of, and sale of marijuana. Even though it was still illegal according to Federal law. There are now 20 states, including the District of Columbia, that allow certain amounts of marijuana for medical use. Of those 20 states, Colorado and Washington are the only states that allow recreational use of marijuana.
There are many arguments both for, and against legalization of pot. On the “For” side are the folks who say that it isn’t as bad as alcohol. That the debilitating effects of drinking are far worse than smoking dope. Then there is the fact that the “War on Drugs” puts approximately 86 people in jail an hour due to marijuana arrests. It costs approximately $21,000 a year to incarcerate a person. That is a lot of tax payer dollars. Then there is the argument that legalization would take money out of the hands of international gangs.
And that is just a few of the “For” arguments. There are plenty of others, believe me.
Now for the “Against” camp.
Legalization of pot could lead to the legalization of harder drugs. Marijuana is a “gateway” drug that will lead users to try harder drugs. Driving while impaired will increase. Legalization will result in a surge of use.
A friend commented on an earlier post saying that we have become a nation of people who just like to be numbed. That we are a “no limits, feel good” society. And I can’t argue that fact. Alcoholism, substance addiction, sex addiction…sometimes as I read the news I think we have an addiction addiction. We seem to be a nation that is at odds with itself. We want to be able to eat, drink, smoke as much as we want, whenever we want…..but we know that it is bad. Sort of like when we were kids learning about fire. Loved looking at the flame, but hated it when we got burned.
So what do you think? Should we legalize marijuana? Not just state by state….go all the way and change the Federal law that makes it illegal. What say you, public?
The comment section is below…weigh in as I really am interested in your point of view.