I saw that Rikyah had an earlier post about how to legalize marijuana. I don’t think it’d be that hard to legalize and sell at all. People are already advertising, marketing and distributing marijuana all while avoiding the long arm of the law. If marijuana was legalized I could be produced and distributed in the US just like cigarettes and alcohol. Because marijuana users are already used to marked up black market prices the government could tax it heavily and create additional government income which is greatly needed at this juncture.
Of course people can talk about the affect marijuana will have on the country. Will it become a zombie state like reefer madness? A nation of Beevis and Buttheads? While I have seen several of my marijuana smoking colleagues become doctors lawyers, stock brokers and politicians, it is true that several people I know turned to burnt out weed head couch potatoes. If marijuana was legalized people could have open and honest discussions about marijuana with counselors and doctors.
One of the best ways to fight against drug addiction is drug education. One of the biggest problems with drug education in America is that if follows the same model as abstinence education, “Don’t Do it.” The Say No to Drugs model lumps marijuana in with much more harmful drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. Then when kids try marijuana and see it as not that harmful it opens them up to trying other harder drugs. If we had honest discussions with children qabout drugs and their affects not a boogie man treatment, we could stop the stigma of marijuana as a gateway drug. Marijuana, like sex is hard to keep away from teenagers. While pop culture is promoting it, teachers and parents condemn it. The best way to help teenagers deal with drugs is to explain to them what they do, not patronize them.
Most drug ads attempt to demonize marijuana as a substance that will make you shoot your friends and run over little girls. My favorite ad as the Anti-Drug ad, in which teenagers give a favorite activity as their Anti-Drug. If kids are given activities and options to spend their time doing something constructive, it is less likely to consume themselves with drugs. If America and parents want to keep their kids off drugs, we need to work hard to make sure children have something to believe in, define them, and occupy their time,
Marijuana arrests disproportionately affect blacks. Despite the fact that blacks and white use marijuana at essentially the same rate, blacks are arrested for it at a much higher rate.While most white Americans are free to smoke marijuana at their own discretion, marijuana laws are enforced in a Jim Crow way that gives police yet another reason to put blacks in the system. The majority of those stopped, frisked and arrested for marijuana are African American or Latino. These arrests make it harder for them to find jobs and more likely to turn to crime or other means for money.
In my life time I’ve seen a whole bunch of people under the influences of marijuana and alcohol. I’ve seen a lot of people pass out and act stupid over marijuana but the majority of car accidents, fights and sexual activity I’ve has been a result of alcohol. If you look at the amount of people in rehab clinics or who have had interventions, how many of them are addicted to marijuana vs alcohol?
America has already opened the pandora’s box of drugs and people are using them for medical and recreational use. If they are to be controlled it should be with education and treatment not incarceration. America can not abide with hypocritical drug laws that let Cindy McCain and Rush Limbaugh get treatement for illegally obtaining drugs and incarcerating working class Americans for doing the same thing.
Legalizing weed may be hard but it would be lot harder to continue to openly and honesly enforce the drug laws.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris
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