Marijuana, herb, cheeba, ganja, pot, endo, weed… the list of slang words describing the most controversial plant in history is endless. So what is, exactly, the big deal? Good question, but no clear cut answer. To own, use, harvest, and of course – distribute, the plant is illegal in the United States. The only ‘legal’ exception exists where states have a regulated system for medical use as prescribed by licensed doctors, and licensed dispensaries. Even at that, the Federal government has the power to intervene, basically overriding any State legislation. Huh? Hypocritical, yep. Make any sense? Not to the average tax-paying citizen, but for hardliners against drug reform law… it’s just the way things ought to be.
When you add all of the following factors into the equation – gang warfare, overpopulated prison system, the tax dollars spent yearly to battle marijuana, don’t add up in this expensive fight – no matter what side of the fence you’re on.
To be fair with the voice of naysayers, nobody wants Jethro toking his homegrown phatty while cruising a pickup down the freeway either. So what’s the solution? Better yet, where is the line drawn? And let’s be honest – there pretty much has to be some sort of line.
Consider the alcohol verses marijuana argument. Booze is behind more deaths per year than marijuana. That said however, liquor and weed combined is a volatile recipe for disaster. And sure, a lot of people get whacked when the Mexican drug lords are involved, but statistically we’re talking about ‘personal use’ and the stats aren’t lying.
Studies frequently sprout up with results that either support medical marijuana benefits or simply dispel outdated beliefs that weed is a gateway to hard drug use. But still, there is debate over the danger versus benefit factor, and whether all drugs would have to be considered. Here’s this week’s Pot Culture Poll, so consider the pros, cons and what you intimately know of the substance before answering.
Do we legalize marijuana in similar fashion to the current alcohol laws? Should we legalize all drugs currently classified as Schedule I? Or do we save ourselves from a doped out existence by maintaining the war on drugs?