It’s time: legalize marijuana

Abigail Prichett, Assistant Growl Editor

Pixabay (Erin Stone)

Marijuana: a fairly well-known substance in our country, and a very well-known substance among college students. Marijuana, commonly called weed, is a psychoactive drug from the cannabis plant used both medically and recreationally.

The usage and legalization of the drug is widely debated among Americans, but is seldom discussed by our current president. So, what is Trump’s stance on marijuana? What’s Biden’s?

Throughout his presidency, Trump has remained practically silent on the topic of marijuana legalization. He hasn’t taken any action against or for marijuana, so how does he feel about it?

Surprisingly, Trump actually mentioned decriminalizing pot and allowing medical marijuana during the 2016 election season, but hasn’t mentioned it since. He did, though, mention that he “might” back a new bill protecting legal dispensaries.

Now Biden, on the other hand, has been all over the place with his marijuana opinions. We know that both him and Kamala Harris want to decriminalize it and expunge the records of those with minor drug offenses.

But Biden has gone back and forth on medical marijuana multiple times. Most recently, he has stated that he supports medical marijuana, but last year he opposed medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids.

Though Trump has remained quiet on the topic, this seems like an issue that the two can
“mostly” agree on. Both are for medical marijuana and definitely against recreational marijuana. To be honest, if we’re talking about legalizing weed, Bernie Sanders was probably the best candidate. Through his campaign, he discussed decriminalization, medical use, and all-around recreational legalization.

So why isn’t weed legalized in our country? Well, to start, marijuana has been demonized for years, to the point that many believe it’s a “gateway drug” and an addictive substance. Many think it’s more dangerous than alcohol due to the fact that weed is illegal and well, alcohol is not.

If we’re talking truth here, both substances can have both negative and positive effects on your brain and body. Both slow down reaction times, cause impaired judgement, and have physical effects.

A key point is that when too much is consumed, alcohol can kill you much faster. It would take a lot of marijuana to kill you, and I mean a lot of it. In short, weed isn’t more or less dangerous than alcohol. Both are altering substances that should be legal in our country. It’s just that one of them currently isn’t.

There’s also the fact that we haven’t really had any presidents that were too keen on legalized marijuana. If those in power aren’t for it, then we aren’t getting it anytime soon.

But wait! Don’t lose hope! Because even if the United States isn’t going to be fully legalizing recreational marijuana anytime soon, we still have our individual government. Our governor, Tom Wolf, and Lt. Governor John Fetterman are here and they’re both in support of recreational marijuana.

On September 3rd, Wolf tweeted: “Most Pennsylvanians want to see marijuana legalized in our state, and the profits from this would help small businesses that are struggling due to #COVID19.” Wolf has repeatedly discussed decriminalization, record expunging, and the major boost to our economy that would take place.

And he’s definitely not wrong there! In 2018, Washington state brought in $319 million from cannabis alone. Colorado brought in $266 million. And, knowing that we have double the population of Colorado, that could mean over $500 million to our economy. That would definitely be a much-needed boost.

As you can probably gauge from this piece, I’m in support of legalizing marijuana in our country. It would be a great economy booster along with the known benefits of using the drug.

If alcohol is legal, then marijuana should be too. I’ll leave you with one last question: Doesn’t it seem unjust that people can be absolute drunks and acquire jobs, but if you’ve smoked weed recently and the drug test picks it up, you’re denied? Strange, I guess.