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Legalize it because the war on drugs is failing

What do alcohol, Advil, morphine, heroin, marijuana, sugar and birth control all have in common? They’re all drugs.

Now, before you dismiss this college kid and her cliché legalize marijuana opinion, think about some things for me.

Florida has put the legalization of medical cannabis back on the ballot and for good reason. The people want it. I’m not here to influence your vote, because we all know it’s going to pass. It’s just a matter of time. I’m here to explain to you why it’s passing is a positive thing and how it will benefit those affected.

The War on Drugs is failing; this is no secret. Those who think it is working need to re-evaluate everything. Drugs make the world go ‘round. A world without drugs is not plausible, and it’s time the government control drugs for the safety of its  citizens rather than try to ban them. The high price of illegal drugs, because of the high demand, drives thousands and millions of people to be involved in the drug trade.

The war is failing for a lot of reasons. First, most people don’t understand what drugs are. Drugs are any substance which has a physiological effect when introduced to the body.

Policymakers cannot pick and choose what is okay for people and what isn’t, based on what politicians want. It needs to be based off of what’s fair, free and natural.

People are very afraid of drugs and rightfully so given the effect they can have on their lives. However, we can’t keep picking and choosing the drugs allowed to the people of the United States.

We cannot allow people to smoke manufactured cigarettes, eat GMOs and drink alcohol and then tell them certain plants are illegal. You cannot pick and choose like that. The War on Drugs is a misleading term, picking and choosing which drugs it refers to.

The government should educate the public on drugs, not ban them and leave citizens to figure it out for themselves. Once upon a time, alcohol was illegal in the U.S., yet it defined the culture of that time. What? You mean people didn’t pay attention to the law? Crazy, I know.

Consider this, making marijuana legal will make consumption safer because users will be able to buy from more regulated sources. Legalizing marijuana will actually protect those using it.

Some argue marijuana is an addictive substance; thus, it should remain illegal. If that’s your argument, I’d like to see GMOs and cigarettes outlawed. You cannot make choices for your fellow Americans. If you did, this wouldn’t be America.

Making marijuana legal won’t lower the number of people addicted, but it would help those people get the medical attention they need for an addiction. People can be addicted to anything, and marijuana cannot be treated like the first addictive substance known to man.

What about marijuana is making you dumber?

It’s proven, and published, by the American Medical Association that “heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and IQ.”

Good thing marijuana users won’t be used by adolescents. All plans to legalize marijuana include an age restriction. Adolescents can’t drink or smoke cigarettes, and the same will go to marijuana.

We cannot continue to stereotype potheads. Consuming marijuana will not result in shaggy hair and tie-dye t-shirts. Getting high will not make you want to fight that guy at the bar or puke in a McDonald’s parking lot. Legal marijuana will protect users, medical or recreational, from buying something dangerous on the streets.

The War on Drugs needs to reconsider who and what it is fighting.

When marijuana becomes legal, whether for medical or recreational use, it won’t matter what you think of it anymore. All that will matter is that American citizens will be protected from dangerous street cannabis and will be able to maintain the ability to make choices for themselves about it. That’s what it really means to be an American.

To read to opposing opinion, “It’s just too risky,” click here. 

About The Author

Madison Hampton

Madison Hampton is a sophomore who has a different major every week. She is the sports and media editor. She was born at a young age in Naples, Florida and has since become a caffeine dependent life-form. When she isn't in the newsroom, she's probably taking a nap. Madison is a paper-cut survivor and an advocate of sweatpants in the work place. #GodBlessThisHotMess

3 Comments

  1. Brian Kelly

    The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars. Instead of The United States wasting Billions of more dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

    Those whom profit from our current prison for profit system will do and say anything to prevent marijuana legalization. They will also attempt to throw up as many obstacles, hurdles, and road blocks to marijuana legalization as they possibly can. These people have a vested interest in keeping marijuana illegal.

    The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to prison and are being given permanent criminal.records, which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

    Marijuana is way safer, and healthier to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

    Marijuana is the safest and healthiest recreational substance known to man.

    Even The President of the United States himself has used marijuana. Has it hurt his chances at succeeding in life? If he had gotten caught by the police during his college years, he may have very well still been in jail today! Beyond that, he would then be fortunate to even be able to find a minimum wage job that would consider hiring him with a permanent criminal record. Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

    So-called “Addiction Specialists” and “Anti-Drug Organizations” earn their living off of prohibition and are panicking. Once marijuana is legalized, they will no longer be able to use that tired old argument that they have people whom actually seek out therapy because of a marijuana addiction. We all know this is a complete FARCE. The ONLY reason people go to therapy for marijuana is because a court FORCES them to do so to avoid jail time. Then these “experts” twist that data and distort the truth. So, without a steady flow of fresh victims from courts forcing people either to therapy or jail, they will lose a TON of “BUSINESS”.

    It’s about time for all of you so-called “Addiction Experts” to either focus on really harmful drugs and/or go into a new line of work and stop making a living off the judicial misfortunes of our citizens!

    The government should not attempt to legislate morality because it simply does not work and costs us a fortune.

    Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

  2. Brian Kelly

    “Smoking marijuana is 114 times safer than drinking alcohol”

    http://rt.com/usa/234903-marijuana-safer-alcohol-deadly/

    “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say”

    “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead By Christopher Ingraham February 23

    Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

    Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/23/marijuana-may-be-even-safer-than-previously-thought-researchers-say/

    “The report discovered that marijuana is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Researchers were able to determine this by comparing the lethal doses with the amount of typical use. Through this approach, marijuana had the lowest mortality risk to users out of all the drugs they studied. In fact—because the numbers were crossed with typical daily use—marijuana is the only drug that tested as “low risk.”

    http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/02/scientific-reports-weed-114-safer-alcohol

  3. Brian Kelly

    In the prohibitionist’s world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are “stoners” and “dopers” that need to be incarcerated in order to to protect society.

    In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their God given duty to worry about “saving us all” from the “evils” of marijuana use.

    Who are they to tell us we can’t choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of alcohol for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?

    People who consume marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who “follow the law” also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it’s current prohibition of course) .

    Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make them out to be. They are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.

    Several Presidents of The United States themselves, along with Justin Trudeau, Bill Gates, and Carl Sagan have all confessed to their marijuana use. As have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.

    Although that doesn’t mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like “dopers” and “stoners” about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.

    To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, advertises, and even glorifies alcohol consumption like it’s an All American pastime.

    There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long hard day than having a drink or two of alcohol.

    So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can’t enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes?

    We’ve worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don’t appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.

    Has a marijuana consumer ever forced you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force anybody not to either.

    Don’t try to impose your morality and “clean living” upon everybody else with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won’t think you’re such prohibitionist hypocrites.

    Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

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