Legal weed not a pipe dream

MesaCC Legend

The Official Student Newspaper of Mesa Community College

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Legal weed not a pipe dream

Staff

Marijuana legalization, as always, is up for debate.There are few countries in the world where it is tolerated in small amounts, such as the Netherlands or Canada, but it’s mostly frowned upon.Has anyone ever stopped to ask why marijuana is considered such a dangerous drug; if even a drug at all?

Cannabis is considered a psychoactive drug, extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant.

The herbal form of the plant consists of dried mature flowers and subtending leaves of female plants.

Although considered a psychoactive drug, marijuana’s effect on the body is minimal.

When a person is under the influence, they may experience an increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure and impairment of coordination and memory.

However, each of these symptoms is short-term, and the long-term effects are unclear.

The most commonly heard reason for marijuana being illegal is that it can be a “gateway drug.”

It’s widely thought that early marijuana users may advance to harder drugs as their use becomes more frequent, but this has less to do with the actual smoking than you might think.

Marijuana is a gateway drug because it is illegal.

If a teenager didn’t have to go out on the streets to purchase weed, they probably wouldn’t ever experience the drug culture and would be less aware of other street drugs and where to buy them.

If marijuana were sold legally, it would demote the drug culture, and weed would no longer be a “gateway drug.”

There are much more harmful things floating around in this country than a plant that makes everyone giggly and hungry.

According to the Journal of the Medical Association in a study done on March 10, 2004, the leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1 percent of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000 deaths; 16.6 percent) and alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths; 3.5 percent).

Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75,000), toxic agents (55,000), motor vehicle crashes (43,000), incidents involving firearms (29,000), sexual behaviors (20,000) and illicit use of drugs (17,000).

Marijuana’s death toll was. zero.

So, what are we all so afraid of? Alcohol is legal in our country, and is known to cause fights, aggressive behavior, harassment, car accidents and worst of all addiction.

Marijuana is illegal, yet it’s not even addictive and is established to help with nausea and vomiting, weight-loss, anorexia and is well-confirmed in treating movement disorders, neurogenic pain, asthma and glaucoma.

People are sent to jail over something that is medically beneficial to many people.

It clogs up the justice system and wastes money the government could use on far more important things, especially in this economy, like say.education.

Legalizing marijuana would also cut down on a lot of the crime associated with the drug. If we are so worried about gang violence, why not take away one of their main sources of income?

Former Latin American presidents have already called for the decriminalization of marijuana for personal use and the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy said criminal prosecution should be focused on drug cartels and organized crime, not personal users.

The government taxes alcohol and cigarettes to help regulate them because they are considered dangerous substances.

Why not do the same for marijuana?

There are worse things sold by the pack and carton, for much cheaper.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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