Will Marijuana save California by giving us Amsterdam-style pot tourism? It’s a topic that garnered a lot of attention earlier this year and carried through the summer, but now in the fall with most polls still close and November 2nd quickly approaching, which side of the fence will you fall on?
We’ve heard the pros, and very vocally, but we’ve also heard the cons, primarily that lower costs could make for spontaneous increased use among Californians and MADD’s continued stance towards all controlled substances.
But what about the realities of real life use of marijuana? While groups like the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign would have us believe that smoking turns you into a flat and boring person, it clearly didn’t do this for popular musicians such as Alanis Morissette or American Gold Medal Winner Michael Phelps. However, for some marijuana isn’t their only drug of choice and many have seen first-hand the negative effects of drugs and alcohol on loved ones and we’ve seen the violence the War on Drugs has caused. But is it really the substance or the addictive personality of the persons that causes the spiral? After all, how many Americans have experimented with some type of illegal substance at least once and not been motivated to focus their lives on it. Our country’s last three presidents are guilty of this and many others we could easily name.
In a country that has the legal drinking age at 21 and the age to fight, kill and die for our country at 18, many Americans could discuss the merits of reforming our controlled substance laws until we’re all blue in the face.
So what are we really opposed to when it comes to marijuana being legalized? The new law would make it no different than current alcohol consumption and distribution regulations, with the exception that it has drastically less harmful side effects. It would also include a prison reform measure saving billions in funds in addition to the potential tax earnings.
So is it the legal dispensaries worried about tax increases, organized crime worried about the significant cost decrease and loss of potential funds, or merely a political ideal with no real merit for some?
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