Marijuana should be legal. For medicinal & recreational use. It’s a plant. How did a plant become illegal? Well, the illegalization of it came out of fear and misinformation. For centuries, civilizations and cultures throughout the entire world have been using marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use. There have been zero deaths related to this drug in the entire span of human history. Never has anyone overdosed or lashed out in an act of violence due to the effects of marijuana. Many of those who smoke marijuana regularly, believe that the drug promotes methods of positive thinking, higher states of consciousness or understanding and some say it strengthens their spirituality. If marijuana were legalized it would benefit our economy, crime would decrease and the overall well being of our society would be a bit healthier.
In 2003 the annual cause of death from something that was alcohol induced (according to drugwarfacts.org) was 23,199. The amount of deaths caused by marijuana was 0. Why is it that we accept, legalize and distribute intoxication via alcohol (dangerous & destructive) but not marijuana? Alcohol impairs one’s mental functions so strongly that one is liable to lose all motor function, vomit, lose control of emotions and cause harm to others and oneself. Alcohol is also a depressant, which means through excessive use, it will cause damage to our emotional, physical and psychiatric well-being. The facts don’t add up. Something is fucked and we all know it.
The reason these problems exist is because society has perpetuated ludicrous and illogical information about marijuana into the majority of the population. Most people who oppose the plant are those who have not experienced it, so they tend to believe the information the media delivers to them. Reefer Madness is a prime example of the media exaggerating effects of marijuana. That film struck so much fear into the majority of America that our view towards the plant became so skewed from the truth. The propaganda made it seem that the plant would destroy the country and would turn peoples children into heroin addicts in seconds flat.
I take a look at our society and think about all the ways the media can manipulate the truth. Being a student that will most likely get a job directly involved with some sort of media, I hope I can change a few things. The truth needs to get out there and the lies and unneeded fear tactics need to be eradicated. The past decade has shown many traits of acceptance and awareness of marijuana’s positive effects. California for example has decriminalized the possession of marijuana and has made it legal for a resident to receive medical marijuana for virtually anything. Other states have followed suit in the decriminalization (including Maine), and a handful of others also offer marijuana as a legal medicine. Maine does allow marijuana cards to be issued, but the rules to obtain a card are a lot more strict than the rules in California. To obtain a card in Maine you must suffer from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, HIV and AIDs. Yet the drug should not just be limited to these diseases. It should be a medicine that could be used for pain, such as a Tylenol. It should be able to be obtained by people who suffer from insomnia or irregular sleep patterns. It should also be able to be obtained by those who suffer from anxiety. Marijuana is known to reduce hypertension in the nervous system, can help reduce chronic pain, and studies are being done on whether or not the claims of it being able to eradicate cancer cells is legitimate.
All in all, the legalization of marijuana is a pressing issue in today’s society. Some cultures are strictly opposed to it, with oppressive laws towards anyone who possesses it; yet, some cultures completely accept it and appreciate its positive effects, such as the Netherlands. India allows its sale for some Hindu rituals, and Iranians use the seeds as food. I hope to see that within the next decade it is 100% decriminalized and at least available to anyone who feels they may need it for medical assistance.