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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Recreational marijuana legal in Colorado and Washington

It seems that each year a topic comes up in politics over an issue the government has been debating for the last 50 years. It is the debate of whether marijuana should be legalized.

Every time I hear someone talking about marijuana or going out to smoke, they seem so secretive about it.

In America, marijuana is illegal, and people have to hide it when they smoke.

But not for long. Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Colorado and Washington.

It was on election night, Nov. 6, when the news came out that these states legalized it. Lots of avid users became ecstatic over the news. The governor of Colorado said in an interview with CNN that they were looking to respect the will of the voters.

I myself was never really into using marijuana for fun. I was really first introduced to what weed was and the whole culture of it when I came here. I never saw anyone smoke it or ask me to smoke it in high school. I saw what it was like and I just don’t care for weed. But should it be illegal? God no!

“I think it should be legal. Really the legality of it doesn’t seem like it should be a question. It feels like a bread and butter political issue,” said Carnegie Mellon University senior Jonathan Blake. “(If) you legalize marijuana, it would cause the supply to go up and prices to go down. When prices go down, you get people who use it more casually. That and they don’t have the fear cracking down on them. You also see the marijuana trafficking business becomes less profitable.”

When you look at the judicial issues associated with the legalization of marijuana, it seems silly to put people in jail or prison because of selling or using marijuana when there are more serious criminals out there.

Marijuana should not be an issue. Has one ever heard of someone going crazy and going on a dangerous rampage on marijuana? No. Has anyone overdosed on it? No. So why is it an issue?

Senior Josh Barker shared the same feelings.

“I think like gay marriage, pot legalization will move forward slowly state by state,” he said. “I think that this is a good step forward, but that marijuana legalization should take the back seat to more important issues, including, but not limited to gay marriage.”

The other thing that is one would look at is the health of a person when using the three most common drugs in America: alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. You can get alcohol poisoning and die, or you can even die from alcoholism. With tobacco it can cause lung cancer. Marijuana? It just kills the motivation of a person, not the heart.

“I think it’s great,” said junior Caroline Peck. “Considering marijuana is less dangerous than both alcohol and tobacco, it’s a surprise it wasn’t legal before. I think it’s a breakthrough, and I hope many other states follow suit.”

“Honestly, I think it’s needed, just to see where the idea of marijuana legalization will take us,” said junior Mychael Martin-Taylor. “It’s been a topic of interest for a long time now and I think it’s great that we finally get to see how this decision will play out. If the taxation of the product is well handled, and users don’t misuse the drug, I can see this being a long lasting and growing phenomenon.”

Marijuana is not a dangerous drug. That is one main reason why it should be legal. This is a great step for America as this will hopefully mean the end of the drug trafficking that has been plaguing the country. If the government can realize this, then the war on drugs will most likely come to an end. This will create more room in the jails and prisons, making more room for dangerous criminals. Plus, you might see some jobs being created for companies that sell marijuana, which will help bring down the unemployment rate. The way America is going, this is something revolutionary.

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  • C

    CatDec 23, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    There are many, many advantages to weed becoming legal as either medicine, or just straight up recreational use. I’m sure the pharmaceutical companies, alcohol companies, and tobacco companies are putting in a lot of money on lobbyists to make sure it does not become federally legal though, unfortunately. But it would create legal jobs, lower tax expenses on the law enforcement of it, make more room in prisons, bring in taxes on the sales of actual product, payroll taxes for dispensers and growers, taxes on profit from the growing or selling of it, etc., help many deathly sick aids and cancer patients, as well as the not so sick with glaucoma, pain, asthma, etc., end the contribution to foreign country’s drug smugglers like Mexico and Afghanistan and keep the growing and selling all domestic, use less tax money fighting the war on drugs as that war would be much more insignificant if weed were legal, and people just may be a little more chill and less evil!!

  • J

    JOhnDec 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Wow Marijuana doesn’t take away motivation. You need to do more research.

  • F

    fast eddyDec 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    i just spent 18 months in prison for
    selling weed! what a crock, it’s about
    time that two states have come to their
    senses (no pun intended) re weed. i need it for medical reasons and came out
    of prison in worse shape than when i went in. polititions need to fuckin wake

  • M

    MattDec 1, 2012 at 12:57 am

    if you think that all marijuana kills motivation you really need to do a little more reading and a lot more smoking. the reality is that the Indica strains are ‘couch weed’ and are great for playing games and talking to friends but the Sativa strains of marijuana often gives the user an energy boost. Sativa is great for writing, working out, concerts, etc. find out about people like Joe Rogan and Eddie Bravo who are highly motivated and work very hard physically and mentally and smoke all day every day.
    overall, good article. seems pretty obvious to me that tax revenue going up and costs of arresting, prosecuting, and jailing non-violent marijuana users going away is a good thing. like you said, this is revolutionary!