By Austin Dawn
When addressing the media, then-U.S. Representative Dan Quayle said, “Congress should definitely consider decriminalizing possession of marijuana. We should concentrate on prosecuting the rapists and burglars who are a menace to society.”
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that can be consumed in many ways. Humans have used marijuana since prehistory for religious, spiritual, or medical purposes. In the early 20th century, the possession, use, or sale of marijuana became illegal in most parts of the world.
I believe the benefits of legalizing marijuana could have an incredible effect on our country. Prisons would be less congested, economies could climb out of debt, and people could fulfill their medical needs.
In our current economic crisis, the decriminalization of marijuana can potentially become a billion dollar industry and boost economies.
In 2008, state and federal governments received over $20 billion from taxpayers on alcohol and tobacco taxes.
It’s estimated that annual revenues for marijuana could approach $14 billion, which translates into roughly $1.4 billion in taxes. If marijuana were to be legalized, regulated, and taxed, it would significantly help the local and national economies.
In spite of all the benefits that come with legalization, there is no doubt that marijuana is bad for the brain.
Researchers agree that the chemical in marijuana, THC, affects areas in the brain associated with thinking, memory, concentration, sensation, time perception, and emotions.
It is still up for debate whether marijuana is linked to anxiety, depression, or psychotic thinking, but researchers are confident that heavy use of weed will lead to long-term brain damage. Not only does marijuana affect the brain, but it also affects the heart and sperm. Marijuana is a serious respiratory irritant and can be more harmful than tobacco.
These daunting specifics are part of the reason why a compromise has yet to be reached between the two opposing sides.
So, when Dan Quayle said that we should concentrate on arresting murderers and less on drug offenders, he might not have known how true his sentiments would be 30 years later. A way to appease both sides of the opposition is to allow for dispensaries (stores that sell medical marijuana) to be federally legal. Currently, dispensaries are legal by state law in California, but the federal government still sees it as illegal.
In my opinion, the legalization of dispensaries would be an effective tool for helping our country climb out of its current economic state. ♦
Austin Dawn can be reached at email@example.com.
(The stories in this issue are written by SYLP students, not Northwest Asian Weekly staff. Opinions herein do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the newspaper.)
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The difference amongst recreational consumption and medical use of cannabis begs to be acknowledged. Even though I think that a responsible adult should have the right to use marijuana recreationally, I do believe, without doubt, allowing a sick person use of a plant with a long history of medical value ought to be accepted and legal. Marijuana has a large potential as a medicine and more awareness and tolerance is needed. In Summary, legalize it!
Bob Merkin says
Gee Austin I might have been a little more impressed with your ideas if you hadn’t begun by quoting a guy with the i.q. of Gary the Snail. Until George W. Bush, Dan Quayle held the undisputed title of Most Empty-Headed Clueless Politician in the USA, and possibly the entire human species.
While he was vice president, an entire magazine, The Quayle Quarterly, was devoted to the dumb, illiterate crap that was always drooling out of his mouth. (He’s the guy who spelled “potatoe” while judging a spelling bee.)
Here’s Quayle on astrophysics:
“Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as Earth] … Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.”
Pick another Deep Thinker next time.
Bill Harris says
Debaters debate the two wars as if Nixon’s civil war on Woodstock Nation didn’t yet run amok. One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights or to Cuba for political prisoners. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, radicals, and non-whites under banner of the war on drugs. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.
The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. There’s trouble on the border. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. God didn’t screw up. Canadian Marc Emery sold seeds that enable American farmers to outcompete cartels with superior domestic herb. He is being extradited to prison, for doing what government wishes it could do, reduce demand for Mexican.
The constitutionality of the CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) derives from an interstate commerce clause. Only by this authority does it reincarnate Al Capone, endanger homeland security, and throw good money after bad. Official policy is to eradicate, not tax, the number-one cash crop in the land. America rejected prohibition, but it’s back. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment. Father, forgive those who make it their business to know not what they do.
Nixon promised that the Schafer Commission would support the criminalization of his enemies, but it didn’t. No matter, the witch-hunt was on. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA halted all research and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use, period.
The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Denial of entheogen sacrament to any American, for mediation of communion with his or her maker, precludes free exercise of religious liberty.
Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.
Common-law must hold that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers decreed that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration.
Simply put…(enough fluff type what you really want and in 3 days i will come back and see what can be done).
Sniffle Dog!!! says
i think a lot of the points in this writing are still up for debate:
also, the vast majority of the tens of millions of users of marijuana in the US alone are not “medical marijuana” users. we like to get high because we enjoy it. legalizing marijuana for a tiny segment of the market will have little to no effect on the issues that marijuana’s unjustified prohibition is causing.
marijuana kills no one while alcohol and tobacco kill tens and hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. the reason marijuana is illegal has nothing to do with public health, children’s safety, or quality of life in general. marijuana was made, and remains, illegal for the sole benefit of competing industries’ profits (namely pharmaceuticals and timber) and over bloated government “drug busting” agencies’ budgets like the DEA.
Get your facts up to date, Austin Dawn.
“San Diego DUI Attorney Challenges Marijuana DUI Laws”
Taylor, who heads a large firm of DUI attorneys with offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside and San Francisco, points to another more recent report. Entitled “Marijuana and Actual Performance” (DOT-HS-808-078),
it also found that “THC is not a profoundly impairing drug….It apparently affects controlled information processing in a variety of laboratory tests, but not to the extent which is beyond the individual’s ability to control when he is motivated and permitted to do so in driving.”
The researchers found that it “appears not possible to conclude anything about a driver’s impairment on the basis of his/her plasma concentrations of THC and THC-COOH determined in a single sample.”
THC, Taylor explains, is the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana, **and is fairly quickly converted by the body into inactive metabolites** — which can stay in the body for hours or even days. But it is these metabolites that police are measuring in blood tests taken after drunk driving arrests.
Forget the Legalization of Dispensaries , the Majority of the American voters want Marijuana Legalized. Without the support of the Majority it is a crime against democracy to arrest individuals for Pot crimes anymore.