Legalize it, recognize it

January 28, 2016


Editor-In-Chief | emo012@latech.edu



More than two years ago, Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use. Two years later, other states such as Washington, Oregon and Alaska have followed while states like Ohio have shot it down. Now all eyes are on Arizona, as its residents consider legalization.


Marijuana legalization is an issue that is both over-analyzed and overlooked on both spectrums. Whether one agrees with smoking marijuana or not, it’s time for it to be legalized. Ohio’s decision to shoot it down may have caused other states to reconsider their decisions, but when it comes down to it, at some point this substance will be legal across the country.


I think some people believe and act as if the legalization of this drug will lead to the downfall of humanity and give society free reign to do whatever they want. This really isn’t the case though. While marijuana is still a drug, in legal states like Colorado it is regulated and sold to those who are over the age of 21; the same rules apply to alcohol. The tax money from marijuana sales in Colorado goes to public parks and schools, investing more money in the community.


It is not “drug” money being handed to a dealer or going to a cartel. Of course legalizing always comes with complications, but at this point it seems like this would be more beneficial for our country than would hurt it. It’s really not as big of a deal than people make it out to be. If legalized on a broad scale, steps could be taken to ensure people are being safe about marijuana use. The same rule of selling to minors would still apply, just like it does with alcohol and cigarettes, which are both legal.


Educating people on marijuana is a key factor in legalization; the more people know about this substance the better. It would regulated, controlled and sold in an environment where buyers would know where it’s coming from, how its grown and have someone to honestly tell them how to use it appropriately.


One thing society seriously lacks is marijuana education. There is a big stigma about this substance that is, for the most part, radically untrue. Many people are confused about it because of the lack of knowledge. This substance is legally used to treat medical patients, to relax and alleviate pain, not to get a person “messed up”.


Honestly, allowing marijuana to be legal would help to regulate it and also focus on regulating harder drugs that are very dangerous. I’m not saying if marijuana is legalized everyone should just start smoking it, because that is an individual choice and also should be handled in an appropriate way. But I believe our world, nation and society as a whole is moving in a direction of progress and marijuana legalization is part of this. It has medical and economic benefits that people tend to discredit simply because of their view on the drug.


We are so hung up on this issue, making it a bigger deal than it really is, if it were to be legalized we could then focus more on other issues.


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