So Why Is Pot Illegal?

May 7, 2011
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I saw on the news yesterday that there are now three states (Rhode Island, New Mexico, and California) that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. This got me thinking about the debate over whether or not pot should be legalized. People used to think it was as dangerous as cocaine or meth, so it only made sense to outlaw it. However, these days we know that is not true. So I beg the question, why is it still illegal?

I began to investigate as best as I could. Apparently, there weren't even restrictions on pot until the early 20the century. Slowly, states began to put restrictions on the growing of it. By 1927 it was illegal to grow it in any state in thee country. The question is, why? As far as I can figure, it's because the media blew it out of proportion. They began to scare the public into thinking it had the same effects as much more dangerous drugs, like opium. Also, movies like "Reefer Madness" made the drug seem like it is "destroying the youth of America" and is "a menace." That's what is said in thee beginning of the movie, and it only got worse from there. They made it look like if you took the drug, you would go crazy. Because of films like that, the public was scared into believing pot was thee terrible.

Then I researched marijuana side effects on thee Internet. I figured I'd find nothing but sites written by biased people from both sides. However, I came across the National Institute on Drug Abuse's (NIDA) website. It was incredibly impartial, stating the pro's on con's of marijuana. It clearly stated all of the side effects of pot. Basically, it says it makes your perception distorted, your coordination off, and makes you very hungry. I'm not saying these side effects can't be serious. If you drive high you could easily get in a wreck. But... isn't alcohol the same way? In fact, alcohol kills brain cells and pot doesn't. You cannot overdose from pot, but you can die from alcohol poisoning. So in ways, pot is better than alcohol. Why can't marijuana be illegal, but withe restriction, like alcohol?

Let's talk about cigarettes, or anything withe nicotine, now. Cigarettes can calm you down just as well as pot, so why make it legal? Because pot doesn't cause cancer, that's why. Studies have shown there is no direct associations between the use of cannabis and cancer. Any type of chewing tobacco can rot your lip. Edible pot, called hash, can do no such thing. So pot is also better for the body than cigarettes.

If your still not sure, please understand that I have seen people under the influence of marijuana in my school. It is not uncommon for kids to come to school high. I am in no way saying this is ok, merely explaining that I have seen the effects firsthand. Someone may ask, why doesn't the school do anything about such behaviors? It's because it's very hard to tell if someone is high because the effects aren't that awful. I myself would not know most of the times if they had not told me. It would be very easy to think they are very tired, because that's exactly what it looks like. I'm not saying it's ok for kids to get high, but if kids can function under the influence in a school, how bad could it honestly be?

So why exactly is it still illegal? We are in a recession, and think about all the jobs the legalization of marijuana would create. There would be a demand for the product immediately, and companies would need people to grow, package, and distribute the drug. The effects aren't that severe, so I just can't see a downside to it. You basically get tired, hungry, and act kind of weird. I'd like to know why the government thinks it can tell us we can't be tired, hungry, and a little weird if we want to.

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