I work with a very sweet woman in her mid 60’s (who we’ll call ‘Sue’), and recently, she befriended me on facebook.com. Well, a couple of days ago, I decided to share a couple of news pieces I had read regarding Marijuana legalization, which I am a huge proponent for. The next day at work, Sue made this comment about the share, “You’re being bad on facebook.”
You see, her viewpoint is very simple. Marijuana is against the law. If you smoke Marijuana, you broke the law and should be punished for it. I attempted to turn the comment into a debate, but she didn’t see the point in debating the arguments either for or against legalizing pot. She feels that there are too many people doing drugs, and that there shouldn’t be any more legal drugs than there already are.
Another co-worker of mine chimed in as being for Marijuana’s legalization, but I had already picked on Sue enough, and she wasn’t in the mood for the debate. Her foot is firmly planted on this issue. Still, I ask myself, “Why?” How can someone be so strongly against Marijuana being legalized and yet be unwilling to review the facts of the matter?
Here’s the question I have for those like Sue: If Marijuana were legal, and there were a movement to make it illegal, would you be on their bandwagon and if so, why?
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The argument for legalizing marijuana, in my mind, consists of many factors. Here are four of them:
- Brief Review Of Why Weed Is Illegal – It was made illegal through the yellow journalism of the infamous William Randolph Hearst and sensational propaganda films such as Reefer Madness. Its propaganda was used as a racist tool to discriminate against African-Americans and Mexicans… such as after we annexed Texas. Ultimately, the propaganda against Marijuana was used to strengthen Harry J. Anslinger’s budget at the Bureau of Narcotics. i.e., the prohibition was not founded on facts. I feel this alone should negate the laws against using pot.
- Gateway Drug Theory – If you were to take the time to review the data, assuming you have at least a basic understanding of statistics, you would immediately find that there is no ‘causation’ shown in the research as they have presented it to be. In fact, the data only shows a ‘correlation.’ There is a tremendous difference between these two words. They want to imply that smoking pot puts you at a high risk of becoming addicted to the harder drugs. This is not so. The data simply shows that people who do hard drugs are likely to have tried milder drugs prior to their more serious addiction(s). No duh.
- What About Safety? – Alcohol kills. Tobacco kills. Marijuana does not. Alcohol damages the liver. Tobacco causes cancer. Marijuana has not been shown to do either. Pharmaceutical companies come out with new pills all the time. Their side-effects are almost humorous. Marijuana doesn’t even give you a hang-over.
- But People Will Drive Stoned – If someone is caught driving under the influence, then shouldn’t that situation be treated like a D.U.I.? I think so considering that that’s what D.U.I stands for – Driving Under the Influence. Just because people drive drunk doesn’t mean people at home drinking a beer deserve to be punished for it. So, why should Marijuana be treated with a different line of logic? If that doesn’t make sense to you, then bless your little heart.
I think this situation is an open-shut case of our legal environment being more harmful to society than the so-called problem. Legalization is not the same as Advocating Marijuana’s use. It merely protects our friends, family, and neighbors from undue consequences.
I urge you to become involved in debating this issue with anyone who is staunchly against ending this foolish prohibition. Take the time, to change a mind.