In Weed We Trust

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Erinn Smith

In Weed We Trust
Marijuana is a gateway drug, or so they say. The legalization of marijuana is a common topic talked about in today’s politics, and it should be. People have gone back and forth on the pros and cons this decision could have. The fact of the matter is though, that the pros seem to outweigh the cons drastically.

The spanish brought marijuana to America in 1545, and by 1611 it became a major commercial crop. However, marijuana didn’t really catch on till the jazz age in the 1920s. It became such the rage that there were clubs specifically for smoking, and since it was not illegal at the time and the people weren’t causing any problems the authorities let them be. From 1860 to 1942 it was even prescribed for various medical uses, but authorities soon began to see it as a “gateway” drug. By 1970 the Controlled Substance Act labeled marijuana as having a high abuse potential and having no medical use. Due to the illegalization of marijuana it began to be smuggled in from Mexico and Colombia, starting the “war on drugs.”In 1982 the Drug Enforcement Administration began to crack down on finding growers in the U.S., and by the 1990’s marijuana was once again in an upward trend of users.

For years people have said that marijuana is a gateway drug, but how can you really prove that it’s a gateway drug. There are many who have recreationally used marijuana and never progressed to further drugs, and realistically marijuana isn’t like the drugs they say it will lead to. For example, cocaine is one of the drugs people say it will lead to, but cocaine is an upper where as marijuana is a downer, so there is no link between what the drugs give you.

Comparatively, many say this will lead to more kids being able to get there hands on it. Marijuana would have a legal age limit put on it just like cigarettes and alcohol, so it would be just as likely to get in the hands of children as those drugs are. In addition, how many drug dealers care about the age of their buyer? The answer is none. They’ll sell to anyone with the money, so really it would most likely cut back the amount of kids using this drug since they would now have to show ID in order to purchase marijuana.

Correspondingly, anther con of legalizing marijuana is the issue of driving under the influence. There could be a rise in accidents because of this. However, just like alcohol there would be sever penalties for driving under the influence. In addition, it would be very naive to think people don’t already drive under the influence of marijuana, therefore I’m sure there wouldn’t be a drastic increase.

Furthermore, there are several benefits to the legalization of marijuana. It is very common in today’s world to get stressed. In order to relieve those stresses one could smoke marijuana to relax. It is proven to relax all the muscles, putting less stress on ones body. Today much stress is put on students to do well in school and to succeed. This is hard for many when they have to maintain a job, their grades, and a social life. In 2005 32,637 suicides were committed (Caruso 1). A leading cause of suicide is being overly stressed to the point of meltdown. If marijuana was legalized it could help reduce this number because people would have an easy way to relieve stress. Many may argue that there are healthier ways to relieve stress like yoga and other exercises, but everyone knows of these and they obviously haven’t appealed to many, so we should try other methods such as cannabis. In addition, may argue that it’s bad for your lungs, but there are many different ways to get the effects of marijuana. Some of the healthier ways are to use it in cooking (ex. brownies, tea) or one could purchase a vaporized. A vaporizer allows you to get the THC, which is what actually gets you “high,” without the harsh smoke which is the part that is seen as harmful to ones body.

Correspondingly, it is also proven to help depression and other health issues....
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