For the longest time, there has been a villainous stigma attached to marijuana and anyone who smokes the leafy green. Generations have passed, ideals have evolved and the “forbidden fruit” is not so forbidden anymore.
In fact, 20 states are already on board legalizing marijuana for medical use. Washington and Colorado legalized cannabis completely. However, there are still some states that refused to decriminalize marijuana use.
As a rational college student, I have learned to assess the pros and cons of a decision, including its possible outcomes. My assessment is conclusive: Legalizing marijuana is far from problematic.
One concept that legislation should understand is that once marijuana is legalized, criminals will lose their leverage, in terms of organized crime.
Imagine if citizens are safely able to buy marijuana from state-licensed growers and retailers. The underground services from drug cartels or street gangs will no longer be necessary. Let’s be clear, legalizing marijuana will not put an end to all the dirty deeds of organized crime. Nevertheless, it can certainly delay their commerce.
The act of prohibiting a potential product like reefer only makes it more enticing, especially to the youth. Marijuana is not this mystifying drug that is made from chemicals in the laboratory. Marijuana is an organic plant that stems from a seed with the same growth process as a flower. To place it in the same category as other lethal and addictive narcotics is unrealistic. Please, find a fatal drug that is made from the basic elements of sunlight and water, and I will try not to hold my breath.
I will also pretend that products like cigarettes and alcohol have not been the cause for millions of deaths. These same products are continually being stocked and restocked on the shelves of stores near you. In 1965, U.S. tobacco companies were forced to put a warning label on their packages explaining the health effects caused by smoking. To put it in perspective, Congress has no problem allowing tobacco companies to prosper as long as a warning label is slapped on the back of the box. And still, legislation contemplates the legalization of a harmless, non-poisonous plant.
Instinctually, one may ask Congress, why not legalize marijuana? Cigarettes and alcohol are more dangerous to a person’s health, and organized crime would be hindered as a result. My theory is simple.
Marijuana is not a product that can be completely controlled by big businesses and corporations. Marijuana is a plant that can be grown by anyone who can successfully maintain a garden. For now, I digress, at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist. All in all, it’s 2014, and the people have spoken. Technically, they have been speaking. It’s time for the naysayers to go forth and go green.