Marijuana is one of those things that is divisive for too many reasons to get into properly. And there’s a real reason for that. Originally, marijuana was banned because it supposedly caused drug-fueled attacks by blacks on whites, just like cocaine. And ever since, it’s mostly because we have a real issue regarding our past that we continue to hold onto these laws, though that’s mostly because of the Reagan era (remember them?). Today, its legal status is being brought up and questioned, while medical professionals debate whether it is genuinely helpful or harmful, and the politicians, already strapped for cash, try to decide if a major loss of tax dollars can be turned around and used to float bloated budgets.
See, Marijuana is not something I personally smoke, just like I don’t drink alcohol or smoke tobacco. The reason I don’t is because, basically, I have no real reason to. All three are vices that are only affordable to those who make enough money that it won’t hurt them, but traditionally are so addicting that people already in tough financial states will spend money they don’t have to obtain it. And that, in and of itself, is part of the problem. Unlike alcohol or tobacco, which is relatively cheap, the illegal nature of marijuana makes it difficult to obtain, and thus more expensive.
People are, of course, eager to say that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous, but I counter that with the question, “When is breathing any kind of smoke or ash good for you?” but that’s just one major issue. Generally, if anything affects you mentally or physically, it will have a side effect, for better or for worse. Why aren’t I looking up exactly what those side-effects are? Because I’m not only lazy, but because I know I’ll find two major sources of information: The websites claiming marijuana is going to kill you, and the websites claiming marijuana will heal any and all wounds and lead you to the promised land of health. When there’s so much disinformation being spread, it’s hard to find real, objective information without calling it into question, even from otherwise reputable sites.
Now, onto the big question. Should marijuana be legal? In a word, partially. Like alcohol, which is a mind-altering substance, marijuana should have laws placed on it making it illegal to drive while taking it, it should be illegal to give to young, developing children, and it should probably be taxed properly in order to sell. There should also be a full gamut of tests performed to ensure that it doesn’t have unknown, long-term side effects that make it a health hazard for people. If marijuana is a hazard due to long-term exposure, it should be properly labelled as such on the packages. But other than that, if it’s safe and people can use it responsibly, then I see no reason why it should be deemed illegal.
And no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be sporting pro-legalized marijuana propaganda all over this blog. I’ve stated my opinion, and that’s that.