The legalization of marijuana seems to be a pretty hot topic lately. People argue back and forth over whether or not marijuana should be allowed, but no one can quite seem to come up with a good answer. Little do most people know, to reach a solution, both sides must compromise. So let’s get this started. First, we’ll look at some of pros and cons of smoking the plant.
-Cannot kill you
-Dulls and alleviates anger
-Inspires artwork/different outlook on life.
-Can kill brain cells
-Impairs natural/normal decision making skills
-Waste of money (opinion)
There are probably more of both, but none are coming to mind right now. Marijuana has been smoked since prehistory and countries around the world only started illegalizing it in the early 20th century. But why was it illegal? I was wondering the same thing. How can tobacco and alcohol be LEGAL when this virtually harmless plant is treated like 200 pounds of crack cocaine? For the answer, I turned to my good friend, Mr. Internet.
In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. The revolution in Mexico in 1910 spilled over the border, with General Pershing’s army clashing with bandit Pancho Villa. Later in that decade, bad feelings developed between the small farmer and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the depression came and increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce.
One of the “differences” seized upon during this time was the fact that many Mexicans smoked marijuana and had brought the plant with them, and it was through this that California apparently passed the first state marijuana law, outlawing “preparations of hemp, or loco weed.”
However, one of the first state laws outlawing marijuana may have been influenced, not just by Mexicans using the drug, but, oddly enough, because of Mormons using it. Mormons who traveled to Mexico in 1910 came back to Salt Lake City with marijuana. The church’s reaction to this may have contributed to the state’s marijuana law. (Note: the source for this speculation is from articles by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law at USC Law School in a paper for the Virginia Law Review, and a speech to the California Judges Association (sourced below). Mormon blogger Ardis Parshall disputes this.)
Other states quickly followed suit with marijuana prohibition laws, including Wyoming (1915), Texas (1919), Iowa (1923), Nevada (1923), Oregon (1923), Washington (1923), Arkansas (1923), and Nebraska (1927). These laws tended to be specifically targeted against the Mexican-American population.
When Montana outlawed marijuana in 1927, the Butte Montana Standard reported a legislator’s comment: “When some beet field peon takes a few traces of this stuff… he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico, so he starts out to execute all his political enemies.” In Texas, a senator said on the floor of the Senate: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana]is what makes them crazy.”
-Drug War Rant
My point? Marijuana has been SEVERLY exaggerated by the government and idiots alike. Now, planning out this paper would take out some time, so I’ll do what will be fastest. FAQ/bullets.
- Isn’t it true that marijuana is illegal because it can cause cancer to both lung cells and somatic? Plain and simple, no. Recent studies have concluded that marijuana can actually REDUCE the chances of cancer. “the experts say it might have something to do with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is a chemical found in marijuana smoke. Cellular studies and even some studies in animal models suggest that THC has antitumor properties, either by encouraging the death of genetically damaged cells that can become cancerous or by restricting the development of the blood supply that feeds tumors”
- If marijuana were legalized, it would be easier for minors to obtain it. Wrong. Which do you think is easier for a child? Getting his hands on some marijuana, or getting some cigarettes? Obviously the cigarettes because there are laws that prohibits minors from buying tobacco products, and the same goes for getting an adult to buy them for minors. Do you honestly think that a pot dealer cares what age this person is? Not really. They want their money, and that’s it. If they get caught stealing, they won’t get any extra time for dealing to children, they’ll only get charged with possession with intent to sell.
- Marijuana’s legalization would cause a sharp increase in crime rate. Now, this statement seems to be a lot more of an opinion than a fact. Drug dealing is a very dangerous and scary industry. When you’re already breaking the law, it’s a lot easier to advance into another crime. Let’s say that Billy Bob the drug dealer is making his first sale this month with his fresh new batch of weed. He meets with Joe to make the deal. Joe attempts to take the weed from Billy Bob and run. Guess what! Billy Bob has a gun and shoots him. With marijuana illegal, you can’t press charges on someone for stealing your weed. Even if you could, it would be pointless. There’s another interesting side to this argument. Some people believe that being under the influence of marijuana can cause to put other people’s lives in danger. Personally, I believe that it can. You’re not yourself, your judgment skills are impaired, and things just aren’t the same as they were before you got high. Well, isn’t that the same for alcohol? In fact, I think alcohol is quite a bit more dangerous. One, it has the possibility to kill you just from alcohol poisoning. Two, men tend to get drunk and go out looking for a fight (lulz). Three, if you hop behind the wheel of a car, you’re putting everyone on the street in danger.
- What are your opinions on the regulations and guidelines if marijuana were legalized? Personally, I think that the age requirement should be 21 or higher. The base price should be reasonable; however, the tax should be identical or a tiny bit higher than that of tobacco.
(Those are actually all of the things I can think of as of now. I’ll keep adding to them as time goes on.)
Marijuana may have a few side effects that not everyone is happy with, but it is obviously a hell of a lot better than tobacco and alcohol. It doesn’t make any sense that marijuana users are being punished for using the safe alternative. Lastly, I would like to say, I do not smoke marijuana. Why? Because it is illegal and I’m not going to throw my life away for being a little rebel. I am strongly in favor of the legalization, but until that happens, you won’t see me smoking anything.