Western Courier

Its time to legalize marijuana

Mark Tolliver, Courier Staff

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There are 29 states where medicinal marijuana is legal and nine states where recreational marijuana is legal. The controversial question today is should marijuana be legal both for medical and recreational reasons all over the United States? Looking at the whole marijuana idea in a general view, is the current federal prohibition on weed a good policy or not?

We are currently enduring an epidemic of drugs in today’s society, and this war on drugs has negatively affected people more than the drugs themselves. Something that’s backwards about this issue, is that no matter the laws, arrests and money spent, people are still doing illegal drugs. Should it be legal for recreational use for consumers 21 and over, as Washington and Colorado have done? The policy of drunks being able to drink, but those who smoke go to prison is reason enough to legalize weed; as marijuana is less toxic than alcohol.

Legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes would be a great way to bring in extra state and federal revenue. For those dealers who begin to sell marijuana, the buyers would now be taxed both on the state and federal level. In addition, those who sell marijuana will now be able to put that as a source of income on their taxes when filing. Marijuana prohibition creates a social norm of ignoring the law, all people are guided by both internal and external compass of right and wrong. When people want to do something that’s not wrong by their rights, they perceive it as their extended right to do it.

Alcohol is more socially acceptable, yet it kills thousands yearly and causes endless problems; health wise, mentally and emotionally. There are many other problems with alcohol; dealing with addictions and rehab. With alcohol, there are many who become addicted and crave it. They begin to have withdraws and long for it, even after they end up in rehab.

I don’t think that marijuana legalization will cause harm. I wouldn’t consider weed a gateway drug, because most people who smoke weed are fine with the high they get from weed and don’t need to turn to harder drugs such as heroin. If marijuana becomes legalized, there will be no change in the amount of users, it will just be easier to get. Those who are already using will just continue to use it, and those who chose not to won’t.

I find it ironic how the government makes something as harmless as marijuana a number one concern when gun laws are what need to be addressed at this time. It is disgusting to worry about this drug that has never been proven to kill anyone and is impossible to overdose on.

I think everyone needs to get their priorities straight and realize that marijuana is not the worst thing in the world and there are far worse things that people are doing than smoking marijuana.

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Its time to legalize marijuana