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Friday, May 4, 2012

My Stuff

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Adena Andrews





Smoke and Mirrors


The fact is that marijuana is already widely used as a recreational drug. Harsh laws, fines, and punishments have not deterred people from using it,&more than 11 million do so [smoke marijuana] regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it(www.norml.org). Marijuana should be legalized and controlled. If the government controlled the distribution and growth of marijuana it could be a safer drug. It could be a safer for users and non-users alike. The government should not fight the natural progression of society but rather change with it.





Some states have already begun the journey of change, with the help of federalism. They have created separate laws from the national government that pertain to marijuana usage. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws states,


Since 17, 1 state legislatures -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Oregon -- have enacted versions of marijuana decriminalization. In each of these states, marijuana users no longer face jail time (nor in most cases, arrest or criminal records) for the possession or use of small amounts of marijuana.


Theses states utilized their amending power in their State constitutions and changed with the attitude of their residents. Why is that our national government cannot do the same? Change is natural and our legal system is built for it. Our forefathers implemented a system of amendments. Amendments are there to make sure our Constitution, the backbone of our judicial system, is kept current and reflects the attitudes of current Americans. Many argue that even if small amounts of marijuana were made legal nationally marijuana usage would rise along with crime rates.


I agree that marijuana is now unfortunately coupled with violence. But this happens because the drug is so expensive to purchase. Addicts do not commit crimes because they are using drugs, but in order to meet the high cost of drugs. Since legalization will likely make illegal drugs more affordable, they argue that this should reduce drug-related crime (Richard, Trivino 1).


The prices can vary from city to city. Because dealers can charge whatever price in order to make a large profit, Economists argue that drugs are very inexpensive to produce, but are sold at high prices due to the fact that they are illegal (Richard, Trivino 1). If the government made marijuana legal it would prove to be inexpensive to produce and even profitable is taxed. The same thing is done with tobacco. Since no one kills over the use of regulated tobacco, the argument that crime rates will rise with regulated marijuana is unsound. One aspect I agree with is that a normal citizen should have the ability to distribute large quantities.


Gaining a license with the government is a way of ensuring people dont distribute marijuana illegally. Licensing almost eliminates the black market. Of course there will be people who try to sell marijuana without a license. However, they will eventually dissipate because they will have no consumer. Illegal marijuana is not regulated and the consumer has no guarantee of getting quality marijuana. It could be laced with other chemicals. All those with a license will sell the same kind of marijuana. Marijuana will become a licensed, controlled substance that will be safe in moderation.


Marijuana is a mind altering drug just like alcohol and tobacco, That is why I think it should be treated like alcohol and tobacco. 11 million people and more use marijuana but must do it in secrecy, because of the stigma attached to it. With legalization, over the years it will become socially acceptable, no man shall have to fear punishment for recreational use of marijuana.





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