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States experimenting with pot benefit entire nation

Columnist

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 23:01

Who’s got the weed? Well we all know Colorado and Washington do, but what about the rest of the states? With Colorado’s recent reports of insane profits since their legalization of recreational marijuana, many other states have started to take notice, and some are beginning to flirt with the idea of making these returns for themselves.

In a recent interview with the New Yorker’s David Remnick, President Barack Obama made several comments concerning the illicit herb. In particular Obama mentioned that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.”

He also said, “it’s important for it [the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington] to go forward, because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

Since the interview I can’t help but wonder if his comments are giving the green light for other states to follow suit. Are we just repeating the events of the prohibition era with cartels taking the place of the mob and college dorm rooms the speakeasies of old? Could this mark the end of the 21st Century Prohibition Era?

Those single-issue voters, who vowed to move to Colorado the day they passed their law, think Obama’s comments are the first thing he’s said that actually makes sense. However for the more conservative, Obama has just put the latest nail in his coffin of terrible decisions.

But what about the rest of us? The ones who have yet to crucify Obama’s apparent leniency on marijuana but aren’t exactly jumping on board the pot mobile. As someone who doesn’t smoke pot, there is one thing Obama mentioned that resonates with me. He said, “the experiment that’s going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I think, a challenge.”

This is true, it is a challenge, because there are so many minor details involved with the legalization of a drug, however I think it’s a necessary challenge for the country. Despite many ‘experts’ claiming any number of things about marijuana and its health and social repercussions there have yet to be proven studies.

We don’t actually know if marijuana will make you less intelligent or what the long-term effects of the drug are. Why is this? Because scientists cannot conduct or facilitate experiments on illegal substances, there has yet to be a time where anyone’s been able to specifically study the effects of marijuana on our bodies, on the economy or on society.

Although this view pretty much makes Washington and Colorado the guinea pigs of the country, perhaps it’s a step in a more informed direction.

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