In Mass., It's a 'Green' Ballot

In Mass., It's a 'Green' Ballot
Posted by CN Staff on October 02, 2008 at 08:37:20 PT
By Matthew Broderick, Collegian Columnist
Source: Daily Collegian 
Massachusetts -- These days it seems like marijuana is causing tax payers to lose more money than brain cells.It is estimated that by decriminalizing possession of less than a gram of weed, 30 million dollars in tax payer money will be saved. Twelve states have already joined the clam bake, by creating similar laws; Massachusetts may be the next.
When the ballots are unfolded in a couple of weeks, people across America will be casting an extremely important presidential vote. In Massachusetts, voters will additionally have one of the most historically controversial decisions to make, legalizing weed.By voting "Yes" on question 2, you will be agreeing that holding less than a gram of marijuana should be treated more like a parking ticket than a triple homicide. While the proposition will in no way totally legalize marijuana, this is the first step on the stairway to 4:20 heaven.As college students, who have an incredible pull of voting power in our favor, we have the chance to make this a reality. This whole issue is not about having the right to get high or fighting traditional values. The subject at hand is about our lives. It's about protecting our futures from miniscule actions with extreme punishments. We are at an age which makes us the most prone to making mistakes (take it from me.)Law enforcement has put a target on each of our backs, and is constantly marring our records with its sour judicial power. Police should be out stopping violence and keeping the community safe, not busting some couch potato with a dime bag. The most damage a stoned individual is really going to produce is damage to a bag of chips.Medical purpose is also an important driver in making this decision. As cancer cases rise per year, medical marijuana has become a proven staple in easing the pain of its countless ailments. The drug can help ignite an appetite and eliminate Chemo-induced nausea. I feel that denying these individuals this form of treatment is fraud and corrupt injustice. Marijuana can make a world of difference in reducing the already tremendous suffering cancer and HIV/AIDS patients must undergo.The opposition to decriminalizing weed does not understand its use and effects. For years we have been force fed data that marijuana is the most prevalent gateway drug, and that it has menacing, brain-damaging effects. Of course marijuana causes brain damage. So does jogging, and listening to music. The gateway drug claim is equally skewed, because anybody that is foolish enough to smoke crack or shoot heroin probably doesn't even consider marijuana a drug. The bottom line here is that it is other circumstances that lead to heavy drug use, not weed.Opponents fail to recognize how many legal substances are much more dangerous than weed. Alcohol for instance claims over 100,000 deaths each year. I dare you to find me a statistic that shows marijuana related death being anywhere close to that number. Some even argue that there are none. Unlike alcohol, weed is impossible to overdose on and does not commonly induce violence or rage. Currently you can receive a DUI for driving drunk, if weed were legal it could be enforced the same way, for safety's sake.. Clearly, marijuana is safer than alcohol, but its rattled reputation makes it almost an impossible subject to argue.The issue of weed dealing will still be heavily enforced even if this law is passed, but in the long run this should be where the government benefits. In our time of economic crisis I feel that it would be mutually beneficial for marijuana to become a consumer product. Removing law enforcement from weed related crime would save millions of dollars. On top of that, if treated the same way as alcohol, with the same laws and enforcement, the government would be making moneyAlthough the prospect of marijuana becoming a household product is a liberal wet dream, the day will most likely never arrive. There is a popular saying that "rules are meant to be broken" and for this situation may always have to be. As members of the "millennial" generation, we have the power to take a step away from the right trapping confines of the law.This is our first major chance to put action behind our image and prove we are truly passionate in seeking a positive change in our country. The power and voice we possess during an election that will forever stand out in history is colossal. In Massachusetts, while we are at it, we might as well take an added stand and give marijuana a chance.Matthew Broderick is a Collegian columnist. Source: Massachusetts Daily Collegian (MA Edu)Author: Matthew Broderick, Collegian ColumnistPublished: October 1, 2008Copyright: 2008 Daily CollegianWebsite: http://www.DailyCollegian.comContact: -- Cannabis Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Post Comment