Marijuana legislation has recently come under attack between the state and federal governments.

One main issue is whether or not state governments should have enough power to legalize marijuana—currently the states don’t have that right. As of now, states that pass these laws are being pushed aside by the Drug Enforcement Agency that shut down the operations.

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The question is whether state governments have enough power to legalize marijuana, although these efforts are opposed by the federal government. I do not think states can successfully stand up to the federal government.

States can pass all the legislation they want regarding marijuana, but the DEA will still come and shut down the operations as it pleases.

It would be good for states to have the right to legalize marijuana rather than it being a federal government decision.

Off the top of my head, I could name 10 other substances far more dangerous than marijuana that millions of people use every day—legally.

Marijuana legalization efforts have been a topic of debate for decades now. They seem to grow stronger each passing year as the youth become adults and question putting pot-smokers in jail.

Every day children and young adults are arrested for possession of marijuana, and it is leaving a lasting impact on their lives by limiting the opportunities that would otherwise be available to them. If convicted, they have a criminal record and can lose funding for school, which can ultimately make it harder to find employment.

I personally know several people who use marijuana for long-term pain management as an alternative to drugs that can limit their ability to function over the course of several years, such as oxycontin, morphine and fentanyl patches.

These drugs are known as opiates—heroin is also in this category. Heroin, as well as marijuana, is considered a schedule one substance. According to the DEA website, the DEA classifies all drugs as schedule one through five. Schedule one substances are the most highly restricted. They are said to have no known medical benefit and cannot be obtained for study.

Marijuana has been studied heavily in Europe, Israel and Canada, and has been found to have anti-cancer, anti-spasm and painkilling properties. It has also been found to help with appetite in patients who suffer from nausea. Marijuana, however, is still classified as a schedule one substance.

Despite the growing body of evidence that marijuana use has many potential medical benefits, it is still classified by the federal government as having no known medical benefits. Why?

Obviously marijuana does indeed have medical benefits. This is evidenced by the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has approved pure THC, in pill form, as a schedule three drug.

According to norml.org, an advocacy website for medical marijuana, cannabis helps people suffering from several kinds of problems, including cerebral palsy, cancer, glaucoma and chronic pain conditions.

Why is marijuana still classified as more dangerous than coc*aine, opi*um, oxy*codone, oxy*morphone and a myriad of other, far more dangerous, addictive substances that lead many people’s lives down a path of destruction?

Marijuana users might drink more soda or eat more candy, be more tired or might not reach their full potential, but they certainly are not notorious for getting violent. They are some of the least harmful drug users.

If I were asked whether someone would be better off smoking pot or not, I would undoubtedly say they are better off not using it. But in reality, many people are going to find an escape from the pain they experience as they go through life.

I am merely arguing marijuana is not the most dangerous of drugs, and is probably the least harmful. Again, I am not advocating its use, but people are going to use it one way or another—as they have demonstrated throughout history.

I am not at all concerned with how, when or why it is decriminalized, but in my opinion it should be. I do not think there is anything that can be done to stop it.

Within my lifetime, I believe pot will at the very least be relieved of its status as a schedule one substance and there is a good chance it will be decriminalized.

It all comes down to money, jobs and keeping the status quo. If our prisons and jails were not packed with people who have been caught with a small bag of marijuana, maybe there would be enough room in these institutions for the people who actually pose a threat to society.

What would be the justification for building new prisons all over the country after that? What would all the federal government employees who routinely suit up, go out and raid a marijuana dispensary out in California do with the extra time they would have on their hands?

People need to know the facts: marijuana is a natural substance. Many people in the U.S. are in favor of legalizing it, and I am one of them.

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News Hawk – 420 Warrior 420 MAGAZINE
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Source: Fourth Estate
Author: Matt Conant
Contact: Opinion – Fourth Estate
Copyright: © 2012 – Fourth Estate
Website: www.fourthestatenewspaper.com