Let’s Talk Pot


Max Fathauer, Contributing Writer

On Nov. 4, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders filed a bill that would permit states to decide on their own accord whether to legalize recreational use of marijuana and decriminalize it on the federal level. Not surprisingly, there has been zealous public support on several prominent websites, including reddit, BuzzFeed, and 4chan.

When we look at Sanders’ newest rise in popularity and a recent Gallup poll that found more than four in 10 Americans say they have tried marijuana, we have to start asking why it isn’t already legal.

According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana causes fewer emergency room trips than alcohol (per user). Blatant facts about the safety of the drug aside, people should be able to do what they want. And if that includes growing a plant to have an extra-fun weekend, so be it. As such, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find an opponent of marijuana legalization that doesn’t beckon to a Reagan-esque “thou shalt not” attitude.

Legalization makes complete sense from an economic and societal standpoint too. The Huffington Post reported that the government spends roughly 20 billion U.S dollars each year to specifically prohibit marijuana. That’s not to mention all the money we spend on those in jail for marijuana use. And let’s not forget that we could be making money by taxing a legal form of the substance.

It just doesn’t add up. 50 years ago, when lawmakers and doctors didn’t understand marijuana, restrictions were at least understandable. But in the modern day, with all the information we have, it’s about time we legalized marijuana once and for all.

In the immediate future it doesn’t look like that will happen. At least when legalization day finally comes we’ll have a great way to celebrate. 

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