The Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuana Use

The Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuana Use
Posted by CN Staff on April 16, 2007 at 05:47:35 PT
By Chris Mueller 
Source: Daily Collegian
Pennsylvania -- With all of the alcohol-related incidents that happen both in State College and around the United States, one would think that making alcohol illegal might be a good idea. Certainly, there would be fewer traffic-related deaths if alcohol were illegal, as the National Transportation Safety Board said that about 16,000 fatalities on the road are caused by alcohol each year.Why, then, if alcohol causes so many problems, is deterring pot smoking the main focus of most drug education programs?
I'll say it right out. If alcohol is legal and smoking cigarettes is legal, then smoking marijuana should be within the bounds of the law as well.I might sound like another "stoner" just seeking some antiquated notion of respect and equality, at least in the eyes of anti-marijuana types, except for the fact that I have never once smoked marijuana in my life. Not only that, I don't have the desire to do so, either. I get plenty of fun out of going out and having some drinks with friends.I've never once felt pressured to smoke marijuana, whereas I've often felt pressured to go out and drink. Smoking pot just isn't something I feel an incredible urge to do -- it's a choice.During years and years of Catholic school health classes, my teachers accepted the fact that students already drank and focused their efforts on encouraging responsible drinking. Mind you, everyone in these classes was obviously underage, so the teachers were turning a blind eye to illegal activity. Why, then, is there such a stigma on marijuana usage?My parents, in some form or another, both admitted to doing their share of underage drinking during their college years.They essentially told me to make sure I kept some semblance of wits about me when I was out boozing it up. Again, a blind eye was turned to alcohol consumption. Despite this, they were adamant that I not try marijuana. "Chris, it's bad, we never did it, and you shouldn't either. It's just wrong, period."The refrain was the same, over and over again. I suspect that a great many people heard the same thing from their parents at some point in time. When I stop to think about it, I'm amazed that such a big deal is made out of marijuana usage. This might be based on anecdotal wisdom that flies in the face of big and scary statistics from D.A.R.E. programs all over the country, but I doubt that marijuana is the awful "gateway drug" that it's cracked up to be.We're all told at some point in some government-mandated drug awareness class that marijuana usage leads to cocaine usage, and before you know it, little innocent Johnny from next door is found facedown in a drainage ditch, track marks up and down his arms.I doubt this is the case. I know a great many people who smoke pot recreationally, and I've only known one of them to do any drugs harder than pot.Another stigma applied to people who smoke is that they're lazy, useless blobs, content to sit on their couches all day watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force and eating Cheetos. Once again, I doubt this is the case. Most, if not all of my friends who smoke are very productive individuals who are going places in life.Ask any lawyer if most of his or her contemporaries smoke, and I suspect the answer will be yes, more often than not.It's simply another way to relax, instead of the conventional six-pack after work.The stereotypical stoner lifestyle isn't something that befalls helpless people sucked in by the clutches of the vile cannabis plant; it's a choice. It's a choice just the same as heavy drinking is a choice, as heavy smoking is a choice, and so on. If anything, marijuana is less addictive than things like Marlboros and Jack Daniels.In countless television sitcoms, the TV dad is portrayed as having a few beers in a chair to unwind after work. Why is that OK, but the vision of dad taking a couple hits so wrong? Is it really that hard to believe that maybe marijuana isn't so bad after all, and people aren't going to end up raging crackheads, smack addicts and coke fiends because of it?In the 1920s, Prohibition took its hold, and moonshine runners were forced to ply their trade under cover of darkness, constantly running from the police. Nowadays, we look back on this era and think: "Wow, that was pretty ridiculous that these guys had to run from the cops because of booze. At least we got NASCAR out of the deal."I'd like to think that the current illegality of marijuana will be looked upon in the same way by generations to follow us. It's ridiculous that a "drug" that poses no greater danger than alcohol or nicotine is still looked upon with such disdain by the general public, even though most famous people, including some ex-presidents, have admitted to taking a little hit of the ganja once in a while.Let's cut the stupidity and give a great many people what they want.If marijuana can serve legitimate medical purposes and bring happiness and relaxation to a great many people, in spite of its illegality, I'd say it's high time we legalize.Note: Chris Mueller is a senior majoring in journalism and is a Collegian columnist. Source: Daily Collegian (PA Edu)Author: Chris Mueller Published: Monday, April 16, 2007Copyright: 2007 Collegian Inc.Contact: collegianletters psu.eduWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by whig on April 18, 2007 at 02:30:23 PT
John Tyler
But his friend apologized for being shot, so it's okay.
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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on April 17, 2007 at 21:15:10 PT
drinking story
Here's a drinking story for you. Dick Cheney had been drinking before he shot his friend in the face with a shotgun.
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on April 16, 2007 at 10:24:34 PT
Several Factors
There are several factors involved:1. The thinking that you donít need a substance to change yourself.Thatís a proven failure based on prohibition part I. People want to feel different.2. Big business gains from war.Cannabis does not fit into a war strategy. A substance that promotes peace does not work for big war profits.3. Power/money.Simply put, more freedom to the people gives less power to govt. and their interests. Example: Personal freedom to smoke is being attacked, but not big business, which puts millions of tons of crap into the air.These are some factors to consider. I know there are more.
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Comment #3 posted by whig on April 16, 2007 at 09:04:45 PT
Cannabis affects coordination and thinking in such a way as to make fighting problematic. The military hates cannabis because it makes people not fight.Any questions?
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on April 16, 2007 at 08:40:45 PT
There are better drugs
Alcohol is a toxin and makes people aggressive.Recently, I heard about a guy who beat the crap out of his wife. He was drunk.If it were cannabis, there would not be a problem, only the muchies.
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Comment #1 posted by greenfox on April 16, 2007 at 07:05:04 PT
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