The Benefits Of Legalizing Marijuana

The Benefits Of Legalizing Marijuana

Why the government would benefit from nationally legalizing marijuana.
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One of the biggest discussions in today’s community and media is the debate on whether or not marijuana should be legalized nationally or kept criminalized. While it is illegal to be in possession of, it is not illegal to actually smoke; one of America’s most asinine contradictions.

Already five different states and jurisdictions have changed their laws to allow small amounts of marijuana. Those jurisdictions include: Washington state, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska and Washington D.C. More than half the country is for legalizing marijuana nationally, according to new polls. The legalization of marijuana, despite what so many people think these days, would be very beneficial to not only a large amount of people, but also to the community as a whole.

Whether or not it gets legalized, people are going to continue to smoke, sell and grow it. It might as well be made easier to do, and therefore less dangerous. With legalization of marijuana also comes better answers to the question: is it harmful? While it is still illegal, it is harder to run tests and experiments to try and find exactly how beneficial it can be.

Smoking controlled amounts has also been known to help with health problems such as glaucoma and epileptic seizures. It has also been known to not impair lung functions, but even help improve them, and it also helps decrease the symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome, a severe seizure disorder, and many other medical issues.

Legalizing marijuana would also open up more job and economic opportunities for people in the formal economy instead of the illicit market. Also, if it was legalized and controlled by the government, it would make and save the government quite a sum of money. Money would be saved because law enforcement officials that have been put on cases having to do with marijuana could then have their efforts and skills put towards cases much more important to the community’s safety. State and local governments would also have new revenue coming in from taxing and regulating marijuana sales.

Leaving marijuana criminalized sponsors massive amounts of violence and corruption within law enforcement and harms young people and people of color. It fails to curb youth access to the drug and, therefore, puts young people in harms way on a daily basis.

Even the D.A.R.E. program has taken marijuana off the list of gateway drugs, though they did it very quietly and without making a big deal out of it. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (D.A.R.E.) is one of the largest anti-drug groups in the world. They recently took marijuana off of their gateway list.

The gateway drug theory basically says that if you start to use “soft” drugs such as marijuana, you’ll end up moving onto “harder” drugs such as cocaine or heroin. D.A.R.E. has been using this skewed theory to steer elementary children away from drugs for years, all over the world. It has been proven that marijuana does not always lead people onto harder drugs. Even so, tobacco and cigarettes are much more addictive than marijuana.

While marijuana is still illegal in most of the United States, 20 states have decriminalized it, such as New York, Ohio and Vermont. Making it not fully legal, but harder to be prosecuted for, especially if an individual is carrying a very small amount on their person.

All in all, marijuana can be quite beneficial, whether its to the community as a whole or someone who uses it to help with physical or mental pains. Keeping it criminalized is keeping the nation in the dark to all the potential benefits it could have medically, while also harming so many people. If it was to be legalized, think of all the good things that would come out of it.

Cover Image Credit: High Times

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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