Hash Things Out

The use of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes in the United States has faced controversy for many years with little to no expectation of dying out. Unlike many other trends, the cannabis plant continues to rise in parties for and against its usage which has caused it to work its way into religion, politics and social affairs. It the third most popular recreational drug in the US, following alcohol and tobacco, according to a marijuana reform group, NORML. It is a drug that professionals deem as a “gateway” to stronger and more potent substances such as cocaine and meth and has taken lead on governmental strategies implanted by several presidents known worldwide as the “War on Drugs.”

I never quite understood why marijuana was illegal and alcohol was not, but as I started to realize that the “black market” along with the easy accessibility of this drug and its lack of rich political history, placed in a class of its own. There’s much premise for the support that this herb gets both from non-users and ritual users as well. The fact that this is a plant that grows from the Earth and alcohol I not, baffles many, but that level of comparison is not enough to convince the nation that it’s okay. The governmental officials that are strategically analyzing and researching reasons for legalizing this drug are not con- verging on the fact that it just makes sense. That doesn’t cut it. They are finding ways to make it political and financial, so that it not only builds up population of individuals who are legally high and an economy that benefits highly as well. Simply put, it’s not entirely about pleasing the citizens, if at all. Rastafarianism is a religion that has its origin in the country of Ethiopia and the late emperor, Haile Selassie, whose birth name is Tafari, which explains how the name of this movement came about, is revered by the adherents of that faith. During meetings and privately, marijuana is often smoked. As a vital part of this religion, many of the supporters of this religion refer to it as the “holy herb” and use it for cleansing purposes. Not many Rastafarians would refer to it as a drug or as a primary motivation for making that spiritual decision, but as a result of strong commercialization, that is what their belief is most known for.

Cannabis has many different facets and has appeared in different points in history that includes meditation, rebellion, medicine, money, law, entertainment and commercialization. At the introduction of the new law in Colorado in relation to the recreational use of mari- juana, there has been a new bill that has been put to use as well. According to RT, this bill is to ensure that food stamps are prohibited for the use of purchasing marijuana laced cookies. Although they are a food item, it is not covered through governmental financial assis- tance and it doesn’t surprise me that law makers had to take that into consideration.

There are many things to consider when debating either side of this issue because agreeing wholeheartedly with one without understanding the viewpoints of the other puts one at risk for not acquiring the knowledge needed to assess the subject fully. The legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes is a smart move economically, but in terms of the obvious adverse effects, such as the potential for increased acceptance of drug substances in the minds of the younger generation, it’s not that beneficial. It has become more and more palpable to me where the “mind” of the government is in deciding to implement these controversial laws. Although I don’t live in Colorado or am 21 or interested in smoking pot its time to celebrate After the positive sale results have been revealed, it’s likely many other states will follow suit.

Toni-Ann Hall, Freshman
Communication Major 

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