Legalize, Regulate, and Tax it
With the recent passing of laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize marijuana for recreational use, there has been word that a similar law could be coming to California. The law in those states is akin to that of selling alcohol, over 21, must be carded, and no selling between the hours of 2a.m. to 6a.m..
From a beneficial perspective, legalizing marijuana would bring in billions of dollars to the government because of the widespread use of the drug across the nation. The federal government would have to pass legislation to legalize, regulate and tax the people who use it.
“Why not? Everyone who uses it anyway is just going to continue. If it is safer to sell it in stores than from drug dealers, then regulate it and make some money”, says senior Theresa Thompson.
Thompson has a valid point; selling marijuana at corner drugstores does decrease the exposure of users to harsher drugs like heroin and opiates. According to Harper’s Index, the “projected annual revenue Mexican drug cartels stand to lose from the pot legalization in Colorado and Washington is $1,400,000,000”.
Other benefits of legalizing marijuana would be introduction of more research into the medical uses of the drug. Many people, other than those who have medical marijuana cards from Venice Beach vendors, use liquid or tablet forms of the drug prescribed from a doctor in order to stop serious pain or seizures on a daily basis.
“If they are using it for serious disorders, and it doesn’t get the person high, then the medical uses of the plant should be explored more, that is awesome and a lot safer”, says sophomore Matthue Soyffer.
If the government were to legalize marijuana for any type of use, then they would have to focus more on prevention than punishment. Teaching the nations youth that marijuana is dangerous is an important factor in decreasing the use of the drug nationwide.
“Prevention is better than punishment. I have learned marijuana is something you should stay away from, it only leads to more abuse. Someone I know started using marijuana, but it lead to other drugs and his life is not as good as it can be”, says junior Britain Chaputa.
The negative side of marijuana is that it does, a lot of the time, deal a bad hand for those who chose to use it. Marijuana addiction, although not as bad as alcohol addiction or harsher substance addiction, still lessens the ability for the human body to do natural thought process and motor abilities.
Marijuana uses has serious health complications. If a high school student were to start using, and became addicted, they stand to “lose eight IQ points every year” until their brain stops developing, according to the weekly journal of science, Nature.
Unless marijuana research becomes more effective, and marijuana becomes the new miracle drug, the use of it should be regulated by the government, but the use should not be illegal.