Let the states decide on marijuana legalization

DRUGS Policy over illegal substances causes a stir among Americans.

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I believe smoking marijuana is not a bad thing.

It is on the same level as drinking alcohol, if not less harmful. If it was as bad as people make it out to be, they would not be letting people use the drug for medical purposes. Also, unlike alcohol, it does not make people forget things or become out of control. Instead it calms them.

Also, I believe that by legalizing marijuana, it could bring in a lot of revenue for our country and help us during our time of economic crisis. States should be able to set the price and collect taxes from the ale of the drug. People who really want to smoke are going to be willing to pay, no matter what price is set.

The fight against the legalization of marijuana is something that has been going on for a long time.

For many years it was totally illegal. Then it became legal for medical purposes, Now it is legal in two states for recreational use.

This past November, Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana, followed by Washington.

The legalization of marijuana in these states caused quite the uproar, especially with the federal government. On Aug. 29, the federal government left the decision of legalization to the states. It would not challenge any of these laws but instead focus on what to do at the federal level.

An article on CNN stated, “The (U.S.) Justice Department said it won’t challenge state laws that legalize marijuana and will focus federal enforcement on serious trafficking cases and keeping the drug away from children.”

This decision has caused many people to voice their opinions — even Sen. John McCain spoke up stating that he believes it is time to legalize marijuana.

I personally agree with Sen. McCain.

As college students, we often come across the opportunity to smoke marijuana. Since it is currently illegal to smoke in most states, many people suffer the consequences when they are caught. I believe these punishments are too harsh, especially for something that in the future could become legal in the state of North Dakota.

If it does become legalized in more states, they should follow the steps of Colorado and Washington by creating strict laws for the use of it — just like there are strict laws for the use of alcohol. Like drinking and driving, it should be illegal to drive under the influence. With the strict laws that these states have set it has yet to become a major issue in them.

I agree with what the federal government said when they decided to focus more on the trafficking of marijuana.

The problem is not people smoking marijuana, it is people selling it.

What I mean by this is the distribution of marijuana has become a major problem when it comes to “dealers”. Many people have been killed because of problems revolving around the illegal distribution of it.

Legalizing marijuana and regulating its distribution might decrease the murder rate caused by drug disputes.

People are going to keep smoking marijuana whether it is illegal or not.

By legalizing it, I believe the states could have more control over how it is used, how it is sold and who can smoke it.

Sam Gaspardo is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]

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