Legalizing marijuana benefits all

A Gallup poll last year showed that half of the U.S. population wants marijuana legalized. But not everyone is in on the smoke sesh. In Los Angeles, there are anywhere from 800 to 900 marijuana dispensaries — outnumbering Starbucks — according to NPR. In addition, the Board of Equalization stated that more than 400,000 Californians ingest or smoke marijuana on a daily basis. According to LA Weekly, Los Angeles City Council member Jose Huizar called this treatment of marijuana “de facto legalization,” and the council is now considering full prohibition. This is a result of the recent federal crackdown, as dispensaries are raided by local and federal law enforcement, and owners are jailed. In Arizona, legislators writhed in fear for a whole year before actually beginning to implement the voter-approved medical marijuana law. The federal crackdowns are unfounded and insane, causing irrational panic, and need to come to a stop. We, the people, need to instigate a marijuana revolution. The Los Angeles City Council shouldn’t be trying to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, they should be jumping at the chance to do the same thing: sprout a movement from a recognizable city government like Los Angeles, and help other cities to follow suit. The council should push for something less fake than medical programs and just legalize it in the city. Los Angeles wouldn’t be alone, either. Virginia caught on and is already set to put marijuana legalization on the ballot this November. Also rolled up in the joint legalization effort are Colorado and Washington, which are both experiencing the same unchecked use of marijuana among their residents. These states are on track to pushing the feds to legalize marijuana. More than 16 million Americans use marijuana in the month prior to the survey, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. By those numbers, it’s safe to assume that everyone who gets out of their house has probably met a marijuana user or uses it. Despite this vast number of weed-loving Americans thriving in the workforce and schools, NORML, an organization that lobbies for legalization, reports that 12 million of users have been arrested since 1965.

If you’re hell-bent on arresting people for smoking a flower and being relaxed, then this probably seems like a great achievement. However, most people are grounded in reality, where smoking weed doesn’t ruin the life of the user. Marijuana is wrongly illegal. According to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana has no medical value and is more harmful than opiates and cocaine. Yet, the law allows for a nicotine and alcohol market that kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. Marijuana, on the other hand, has never killed a person in recorded history. Even the Nixon administration knew that marijuana was a minimal-risk drug. In 1972, the Nixon administration commissioned researchers to complete a full report on the social and medical implications of cannabis. The report, “Marihuana, A Signal Of Misunderstanding,” showed that users could survive ingesting more than 46 pounds of low-quality cannabis. However, most people “green out,” or go unconscious after smoking or eating several ounces worth of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in the plant. According to the D.A.R.E pamphlets everyone read in middle school, marijuana smoke contains more cancer-causing agents than tobacco. This is wrong. Smarter people, who had their research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, surveyed marijuana smokers for 20 years, finding that smoking one joint every day does not cause cancer or lung damage. In fact, the study shows that lung strength is slightly improved because users hold their smoke in to get higher. There are millions of cannabis users across the country — police can’t reasonably arrest everyone who uses it. Every day, users flip the feds their funkiest finger and puff away. With most states already set up with medical marijuana programs, it would seem that the federal government is the only group that doesn’t get the joke that is the War on Drugs. The government lost the war the second they declared it, and rightly so. By now, people who have done their research know that cannabis is far safer than anything from alcohol to ibuprofen, so its position on the Schedule I list of drugs is heinously misplaced. Fact of the matter is, this country is putting people in jail for smoking a flower. Let’s show the federal government that the states know better and legalize marijuana at the local and state levels.

via : dailywildcat

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