Legalize recreational weed? Might as well.

Columnist Katie Haga


Columnist Katie Haga

Marijuana has made its way back onto the ballot in hopes of being legalized.

Although California was the first state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana usage, it has yet to be legalized for recreational usage.

This isn’t the first time Californians have seen this type of proposition on our state ballot.
Proposition 19, also known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, was proposed in 2010 but was defeated.

If it had been approved, Proposition 19 would have legalized various marijuana-related activities in California, allowing local governments to regulate these activities.

Proposition 64 is fairly similar to the Proposition 19 however, this year’s marijuana proposition is designated to legalize recreational marijuana and hemp under state law.

This proposition calls for the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 or older and prohibits marketing and advertising of pot directly to minors.

Unlike other drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, who seem to target minors.

Compared to those two drugs, weed is less harmful.

In comparison to tobacco, marijuana is shown to be better for your health.
To start, tobacco and cigarettes have nicotine in them and marijuana doesn’t.

Instead, pot contains THC, which is well known for treating nausea and vomiting caused by cancer medications as well as increasing the appetite of people with AIDS.

Not to mention, marijuana makes it easier for you to relax, which isn’t only good for your health but also for your well-being.

Proposition 64 also aims to reduce criminal justice costs by authorizing re-sentencing and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions.

This will make room in prisons for those who truly deserve to serve time in prison for more serious crimes such as murder and rape, not for possession of a harmless drug.

Although there are several fair counter arguments, it seems as if there is more support for the legalization of marijuana than there is opposition.

A survey done by the Center for Public Affairs Research found that 61 percent of Americans, say they support marijuana legalization.

Using data from the same survey, the Washington Post reported 70 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Independents and 47 percent of Republicans support legalization.

As of Sept. 1, the support campaign has raised over $11 million, more than 61 times the amount of funds the opposition campaign had raised.

There are four states in the nation that have legalized marijuana (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington) and they seem to be doing fairly well.
In 2014, around $700 million worth of both medical and recreational marijuana was sold in Colorado.

In 2015, stores flew past that mark with two months to spare, this being the first time recreational sales outpaced medical sales, according to The Denver Post.

The statewide revenue from dedicated marijuana taxes easily topped the money from alcohol taxes.

It has only been two years since pot became legal in Colorado and it is a thriving business.
The legalization of marijuana would do more good than harm.

It’s a process that needs to be eased into and have each counter argument considered so that the negative effects can be handled and regulated.

Cover photo from forbes.com