Why Isn't Marijuana Legal In The US

Marijuana Is Now Completely Legal in Canada. Why Isn't This Happening In The US?

Canada's strides in legalizing marijuana highlight the ever-present challenges to legalizing the drug here.

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On October 17, marijuana will be legalized across Canada, thanks to a campaign promise made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in 2015. Although rules and regulations will vary from province to province, recreational use of the drug will be decriminalized. Canada has opened its doors to a multibillion-dollar industry, and with a significant majority of political support, no less. If a large developed country like Canada can legalize marijuana (with some hurdles, of course) how come the United States government isn't doing more towards this end?

The answer to this question remains in the hands of the federal government, rather than the individual states. Since 1996, the legalization movement has prompted nine states and Washington D.C. to allow recreational marijuana use, with another thirty states legalizing the drug for medical use. However, under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is still considered illegal at the federal level. What's more, the federal government classifies cannabis as a Schedule I Drug, putting it on the same legal ground as narcotics like LSD and heroin. Although the government has not enforced its ban on marijuana, it is entirely within its jurisdiction to threaten state legalization.

One of the most pertinent reasons why marijuana has not yet been legalized by the United States is due to the lack of scientific research into its effects, or the mixed results presented by such research thus far. Although a component of marijuana, Cannabidiol (CBD), is being increasingly championed by researchers for its medicinal properties and lack of psychoactive elements, the Food and Drug Administration is yet to approve any pharmaceutical drug containing CBD. And there remains conflicting evidence of marijuana's medical benefits. Recent findings suggest that young people with developing brains who continually use marijuana are more likely to suffer from memory loss.

Another issue threatening federal legalization is the impending uncertainty of driving under the influence laws. There exist almost no laws concerning the implications of driving while high. This is because enforcing these laws would be difficult -- THC, the psychoactive element of cannabis, can remain in one's system for days or weeks, making it hard to assess if a driver is actually "under the influence" at any given time. In Canada, new legislation dictates that anyone found driving while high will face a 1,00 dollar fine, and penalties could include a prison sentence depending on severity. However, many hindrances remain on the physical testing of drivers, including the fact that police training for doing so is lacking.

Perhaps the biggest reason why marijuana has not been legalized in America versus other developed countries stems from this country's own complicated history with the drug. Unbeknownst to most young Americans today, several states had decriminalized the possession of an ounce of marijuana during the 1970s, which led to an unregulated boom in drug paraphernalia sales at the time. Most businesses selling such products made money by targeting teens and adolescents, and soon enough, parents caught on with the trend. As parent activist groups grew in size and drew support from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), cannabis was once more shunned by the public until new laws came about in the 1990s. Though marijuana's reputation has recovered since then, the idea that a drug industry could so easily market towards America's children has brought up a moral conflict for politicians responsible for voting on whether to legalize the drug.

Despite these challenges to legalizing marijuana, mounting public support for doing so, combined with the example Canada has just set, could provide a new basis for legalization in the near future. For now, smokers will have to rely on the laws in their home states.

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10 Photos You Have On Your Camera Roll Of Your S.O. When You've Been Dating For More Than A Year

A wide range from "Aw" to "WTF?"

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My boyfriend and I just hit the year and a half mark of dating, even though it seems like we've been together forever. Over the months, we've taken many pictures together... from football games, to his track meets, to holidays. Although we may have a lot of pictures together, I definitely have a lot of candids of him in my camera roll. If you've been dating your partner for as long as I have or longer, then you'll probably notice you have these same pictures in your photos as well.

1. The awkward first photos together

We laugh at these now, especially this one. Why am I so pale compared to him? It was July! And also, we noticed not to long ago that I was sweating under my arms and his underarms were sweating on me... what a great first time meeting!

2. The ones for VSCO

Every girl who has a significant other posts them onto their VSCO. VSCO is like Instagram, but more has more aesthetically pleasing pictures and there are no "likes." The pictures that include my boyfriend on my VSCO ranges from him holding a bunny to him holding my hand while we went ice skating.

3. Them sleeping

I have so many pictures of my boyfriend sleeping (I promise it's not as weird as it sounds), I just think he's so cute when he's fast asleep while cuddling with me.

4. The embarrassing ones they want no one to see

He's going to kill me when he sees this... but we all have those embarrassing Snapchat pictures that we start to send each other because we've gotten more comfortable with one another.

5. The ones for Facebook

The good looking pictures so you can keep yours and his family updated on how you two are doing. I took my boyfriend to a baby bird meet and greet since he loves birds and has one for a pet. I posted this cute picture of him and his new friends on Facebook so my family can see our adventures together.

6. Old pictures

One of the best parts of dating someone is finally seeing their old pictures. Although, sometimes they may make you cringe... like the one I posted above of my boyfriend after prom in his sophomore year of high school.

7. Their accomplishments

My boyfriend pole vaults for his college and he's really good at it. He just went to division III nationals in March because he qualified! I'm always at his meets so I make sure to get him on video in case he or anyone wants to see. I always try to snag a picture with him too because I'm always so proud.

8. The straight up ugly ones

He sure knows how to make me laugh. And I know he's going to be mad at me for this one too but I think it's a talent that he can do that with his stomach! Sorry, Adam, I promise I still think you look good when you send me these snaps for the most part.

9. But you have the hot ones too

He may be funny and sweet, but he is pretty good looking too. I know us girls keep some attractive pictures of our S.O.'s so we can remind ourselves of what a great looking partner we have.

10. FaceTime screenshots

If you and your lover go to different colleges like my boyfriend and I do, then FaceTiming happens a lot. Sometimes I get some great screenshots, like the one above, to make fun of him later.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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