Make marijuana legal


The Experience supports the right to smoke marijuana for medical and recreational use. Currently the right to smoke marijuana for recreational use is outlawed in all but two states: Colorado and Washington.

People who suffer from chronic illnesses are criminalized if they do not live in one of the 18 states that recognize the beneficial aspects of medical marijuana use. This has vast negative affects on our society by incarcerating people for simply smoking a joint, causing overcrowding to an already strained criminal justice system.

The federal government would have you believe that weed is more dangerous than cocaine, which it lists as a schedule one drug while cocaine is listed as a schedule two drug. A White House website on marijuana says, under the headline “Marijuana use is harmful and should be discouraged” that studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and schizophrenia.

One wonders if these so called facts have been updated since the days of “Reefer Madness” and the sensational propaganda campaign against marijuana.

It is impossible to die from an overdose of marijuana. This is not the case for cocaine or even alcohol. Alcohol and tobacco are arguably more dangerous than weed and has far greater related deaths and yet both are easily accessible to the public, so maybe there is more to the issue than just public safety.

Before being outlawed, cannabis was used as medicine for ship sails, rope, paper, resin and many other uses.

Money is one reason why it has been outlawed; the paper industry was threatened by the use of hemp to make paper at a cheaper cost. Randolph Hearst a rich and powerful newspaper mogul had vast investments in the timber industry, also the Du Pont family used its influence to help outlaw weed because hemp was a cheap substitute for nylon.

Instead of outlawing weed and criminalizing everyday law abiding citizens maybe we should legalize it and tax it. According to ABC news, marijuana has been the United States number one cash crop for more than three decades and is estimated to be a $35.8 billion industry of un-taxed money.

Marijuana is the least harmful of street drugs and violence is associated with the its sale because of its illegality. Just as with the prohibition of alcohol, people who could find a way to make a dollar will. However, by allowing people to grow and cultivate their own will help drive down crime.

Besides the beneficial aspects of marijuana, we all have the right to choose. Our bodies and minds belongs to us as individuals and if we choose to get high or not, that is our choice.