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Likens: Marijuana laws not answer for marijuana

Staff Reporter

Published: Monday, November 12, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 19:11

Provided by Taylor Likens

Provided by Taylor Likens

College campuses, gas station parking lots and moonlit public parks nationwide rejoiced as Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana use Tuesday.  This incident marks Nov. 7, 2012 as the first time in human history anyone has ever seriously considered moving to Colorado or Washington on purpose.

Not everyone is satisfied with their decision, however, as hordes of old women, Facebook Republicans, and that principal from The Breakfast Club all lined up give their two cents on the subject. Many of them expressed concern that other states would follow, causing an increase in marijuana related accidents and deaths.

A common tactic used to support legalization is to claim that by that same logic, alcohol should also be outlawed, if not even more so than marijuana. Any mind-altering substances will naturally cause a hefty amount of accidents, but alcohol related deaths eclipse marijuana related deaths in embarrassing numbers. And if health is your concern, smoking is also tremendously awful for you, yet Joe Camel isn’t going to wind up smashed into the hood of a cop car anytime soon. These failures in logic are where many people hit the wall in their arguments against marijuana legalization.

Don’t throw me off a ledge just yet when I say this, but in the ideal world- in mine, at least−neither marijuana, smoking nor alcohol would be legal, or even exist. There’s quite literally no reason whatsoever behind any of them; it doesn’t taste good, it’s not healthy, and it makes the inside of your car smell like you’re driving around a trashcan from the Renaissance Festival.

Now to get this out of the way−no, I am not supportive of marijuana use. Personally, I loathe it on a level that almost makes Pink Floyd unenjoyably to me. But at the same time, I also understand that this doesn’t necessarily warrant outlawing anything, as it doesn’t seem to do any good.

Ask Al Capone if illegalizing something makes it magically disappear. Organized crime isn’t ashamed to adopt whatever we deem contraband, and the amount of money criminal organizations make funneling marijuana into American public is not small portion of their income.

And even if you view marijuana as the incarnation of all evil, simply outlawing it wouldn’t be the best way to purge it from the earth. With marijuana no longer in the underground, the novelty of smoking would likely fade away, along with a sizeable portion of its appeal. Less than seven percent of the population uses marijuana more than once a month to begin with, meaning it would likely just fall into part of the occasional rotation of social gatherings.

No, this kind of compromise doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bother outlawing anything if people are only going to do them anyway. This means we should take a step back, analyze our situation and determine whether prohibiting something is going to help anyone or only make things horrendously worse.

Accepting the reality of the situation is the only true first step towards rising above it−no matter how unfortunate that reality may be. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do what you can with what you’ve been dealt. As they say, wish in one hand, spit in the other and see how many people are disappointed you didn’t shit in your hand like a madman.

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