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Thursday, June 7, 2012

One Toke Over the Line: Why I Support Pot Legalization and Why Drug Laws are a Burden

In our lives, we hold many opinions near and dear to our hearts. Over time, however, our views on certain subjects change. While my views haven't changed that much through the years, there is one notable issue on which my mindset has changed, and that issue is the legalization of marijuana. I will explain why in the following paragraphs.

Before I deal with the specifics directly pertaining to this issue, I will first relate a personal story which brought me to my current position. A few years back, I met a guy who would become one of my best friends in life. His name was Tim, and he was a crusader for the legalization of marijuana, most notably medical marijuana. He believed that it was fundamentally wrong to deny someone their medicine, even if said medicine came in the form of a drug that was deemed 'illegal' and 'hazardous' to one's health. As many people with first-hand experience have related, the drug does not leave one with any long-term health problems when used correctly. My friend also used it as a means of escaping the rough life he led. And in reality, what is wrong with any of this? Our country was founded upon the basic principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How is someone who smokes marijuana any different from someone using his God-given liberty to pursue his happiness in such a way as not to harm others? It isn't any different at all.

Which brings me to the matter of the federal government's involvement in marijuana laws. Where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government has the power to penalize dealers and users of either marijuana or any other drug? The Constitution makes no note of marijuana specifically, but the Tenth Amendment clearly mentions that powers not stated in the previous nine amendments are delegated to the states. That should clear things up, shouldn't it? Apparently not, as the federal government continues to waste billions of taxpayer dollars, not to mention human lives, on a futile war on drugs(arguably as futile as the original endeavor in futility, Vietnam) which, if anything, has led to an uptick in crime and deaths, especially in inner cities where poverty is high and the street value for marijuana is just as high. Maybe if the federal government actually followed the Constitution and delegated the power over marijuana to the states, who are directly accountable to the people they represent, we may begin to see a decrease in crime and deaths from drug violence across the nation.

In conclusion, I hope to have, at least, made my position clear and made my points in a reasonable and logical fashion. Obviously, I will not convince everybody of my points, but I at least hope to have educated somebody and given one something to think about.

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