Published by “The Wayne Independent” Newspaper of PA (Newsstand Version)
Since the 2014 New Year’s Eve ball dropped in Times Square, legalizing marijuana has become one of the nation’s top political issues. For politicians, it has become a springboard and campaign tool for attracting more votes for the upcoming, mid-term elections. For recreational and medicinal marijuana users – it may soon become a legal victory they have sought for decades.
While both sides debate the issue they fail to consider the common sense approach. Is the legalizing of a low-rated, non-addictive drug like marijuana any less moral than allowing the recreational use of alcohol consumption? While marijuana’s medical advantages far outweigh opponent’s arguments of it being a gateway drug, why is the government still viewing it differently than the usage of alcoholic beverages?
Marijuana and alcohol fall under the same category because they are both drugs that can have a debilitating effect when consumed to excess. They can both impair one’s ability to drive a motor vehicle and reason intelligently. So then, why is it that alcohol is legal and marijuana is not?
There seems to be a double standard here. Why would the government legalize and regulate one drug, but refuse to do so for the other?
It is obvious that Federal control is the issue here. The recent raids on legal, medicinal marijuana dispensaries in Colorado only proves that the government still feels that they are above any state’s law. The fear and control they hold over banking institutions is the one and the only reason banks refuse to do business with dispensaries, and the main reason the legal marketplace for marijuana sales stagnate in growth.
Economic feasibility and who controls it once again has taken hold over a social and legal issue while common sense has taken a back seat.
Marijuana usage should become legal just as alcohol is legal. There seems to be not much difference between the two drugs. Ironically, alcohol itself has far greater long-term, ill – health effects than marijuana does.
Of course, the public should be reminded that laws that apply to alcohol usage also apply to marijuana usage. It should be controlled and enforced just as tobacco usage is for cigarette smokers. If one cannot smoke a cigarette somewhere, then one should not be able to smoke pot there either. If one drives under the influence, the penalties should stay the same as they are now.
It is time for the federal government to view marijuana usage the same as it does for alcohol consumption. Is a vodka-martini any less debilitating than a marijuana cigarette?
I think we all know the answer to that question.
Joseph E. Rathjen is an Opinion Writer for 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine