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Legalization: What comes to mind?
By Joe Garrison


March 15, 2006

When you hear the word "legalization", what comes to mind? Ravenous drug fiends shouting in terms of victory? Marijuana users saying "dude!"? Or how about a great opportunity for the Government of America to make extremely large sums of money while crime and drug abuse is reduced greatly? Many common folk would probably not think of the latter, but that is only because they are un-educated on the other side of the story.

Growing up, many people will be confronted by people like D.A.R.E and ADFY. They'll explain to you the horrors of marijuana trips and the dangers of cocaine abuse. But they do not tell you the true facts. They believe excatly what the government tells them, and in this case (which I'll be talking mostly about) the government tells them Marijuana is addicting, it's more harmful than cigarettes, etc. etc. etc. The fact of the matter is, they should be approaching this from both sides.

There are many organizations out there that are, for the most part, not known by many people. Organizations such as NORML (National Organization for the Reform of the Marijuana Laws) and SAFER (Safer Alternatives For Enjoyable Recreation) are avidly trying to educate and inform teenagers and young adults that Marijuana isn't as bad as most make it out to be. The only reason that drinking is legal and smoking Cannabis isn't, is that drinking alcohol is more socially acceptable. Sure, if suddenly something like this was legalized everyone would be in a bout of shock, but most people aren't aware of the differences in drinking and smoking.

First off, Marijuana is not physically addicting. The only addiction argument that opposers can make is it is mentally addicting. If a "heavy user" was to quit cold turkey, the side affects would be something like a bitter mood and a grouchy attitude. If you were to make an alocholic quit cold turkey, they quite possible would react with anger and violence.

Now, another thing that people might need to know, is that Marijuana isn't as harmful to the body as alcohol. Marijuana, being a completly natural substance, only harms the body through the carcinogens that come from smoke. But there is even an alternative to that. A "vaporizer" heats up the marijuana until it is gone, and is then in a gas like state, no smoke. It is virtually harmless to the body, mind, and soul. A person driving under the influence of alcohol obviously isn't the best driver on the road. Countless thousands of people are killed every year because of driving drunk, alocholism, and violence. To this date, there have been ZERO people killed by Marijuana abuse. Although I can't say no one have been killed due to driving while high, the number is far less than the popular alcoholic driver.

With reasons like these, why have it be illegal? The reason is simple. The people in charge of educating are taking the route they want. They are stubborn, and believe that such a drastic change would be harmful, that more people would do it, etc. etc. etc. Findings from dozens of government-commissioned and academic studies published over the past 25 years overwhelmingly affirm that liberalizing Marijuana penalties does not lead to an increase in Marijuana consumption or affect adolescent attitudes toward drug use.

I've already said too much, and I would like to leave you with some resources to view and hopefully enrich your knowledge about the legalization of Marijuana.

I really appreciate your time, and hopefully together we can change this country's view on such a healthy, natural, and more enjoyable alternative to drinking.

Joe Garrison
Sitka, AK - USA

About: Joe Garrison is 47, and has lived in Sitka, Alaska all his life. He has worked as a fisherman for the past 20 years.

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