America: Open your eyes, legalize

This column is not advocating the use of marijuana; however, it is hopeful that this would broaden ones views on people who use it.When people think of a “weed-head”, society portrays him/her as a lethargic young adult who never has any money, yet always has funds for weed.

While this is the case some of the time, the same cant be said for all people.

If somebody has used marijuana and found that it has positive effects on them, why not continue to use it?

But have you ever smoked weed before? If the answer to this question is “No”, odds are somebody close to you does smoke or has smoked weed before. But, is the herbal drug that is becoming more acceptable completely a bad thing?

Weed is by far the most widely used recreational drug among the U.S. population, with nearly one out of two Americans admitting having tried it.

And for years, legislators shunned the idea of legalizing marijuana. It’s time America took a liberal view at the plant.

Let’s use our minds for a second.
Marijuana peaked during the hippie movement and since then, cannabis slowly but surely evolved into the most used recreational drugs in today’s movies, music and entertainment industries.

Think about your top five rappers right now. I guarantee that artist referenced weed a couple times on a song, mixtape, or album.

(Eminem doesn’t count because he just came off that kite not too long ago; so he’s off that list.)

Now, think back to the Motown era in the ’60s and ’70s. Ray Charles, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye are just a few names who have been “pro-weed.”

Powerhouse American actor Brad Pitt even stated on The Today Show last August that “pot should be legalized.”

It’s apparent more people than you think have at least tried marijuana in their lifetime, but will not come out and admit it.

What about people who have a legitimate excuse for smoking weed?

According to WebMD.com, “Three puffs of cannabis helps people with chronic nerve pain due to injury or surgery feel less pain and sleep better.”

What about the sexy independent or married woman who comes home from work, jumps in the tub and relaxes to cold wine and a joint every now and then?

Or what about the blue-collar businessman, who escapes from everyday life by embracing the herb?

America doesn’t paint those pictures. Instead, they throw one of our Black athletes or music stars on TV and tell us, “This is where drugs can take you.”

Fifteen of the states in America – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – have approved and regulate medical marijuana use. However, California took it a step further.

Proposition 19 was on the California ballot last November, and even though it didn’t pass, it received a lot of attention and provoked thinking in the minds of not just Californians, but Americans.

According to yeson19.com, over 4.6 million Californians voted to legalize, with a 48 percent approval rating in Los Angeles County, and 63.7 percent in Los Angeles.

Oaksterdam University in Oakland, CA, is America’s first cannabis college.

Since opening its doors in November of 2007, thousands of students have taken classes with the hope of entering the budding cannabis job field.

According to Oaksterdam University, the cannabis industry generates millions of dollars in tax revenue and has created thousands of jobs in California.

Research indicates that cannabis is the most prevalent illicit drug detected in fatally injured drivers and motor vehicle crash victims.

However, this risk is approximately five times lower than the fatality risk associated with drivers who operate a vehicle above or near the legal limit for alcohol intoxication.

Inhaling great strains of Kush to wind down and chill is harmless. Some people drink alcohol and get wasted; some people sit on cloud 9. However, as with alcohol, marijuana has different effects on different people.

Also, smoking marijuana isn’t the only way it can be ingested. Cannabis can also be ingested through foods such as brownies and lollipops, so to each is own.

Open your eyes, America. Let’s become proactive and instead of trying to beat a dead dog, generate income off of an already multibillon-dollar industry. Control weed, don’t let it control you.