By Isabella O.
“Women, weed, and weather” are the three words Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre use to describe the beauty of California during the chorus of the West-Coast-pride-filled song, “The Recipe”. However, love for weed, or marijuana, is not exclusive to California. It has undeniably cemented itself as an intriguing element of rebellion in youth culture: it shows up in our music, on our tumblr dashboards, and even printed on our colorful tube socks.
Support for legalizing the currently illegal substance is becoming clear in politics. According the Huffington post, LT. Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke on behalf of the Californian Democratic Party when he declared that “It's time to legalize, it's time to tax, [and] and it’s time to regulate marijuana for adults in California". As a benefit, its legalization will directly help fight the growing political power of the cartels in Mexico. According to the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness, marijuana’s legalization in Colorado will reduce the profits of violent Mexican drug cartels by 20-30%.
In addition, President Obama has addressed the tremendously disproportionate rates of incarcerations due to young people of color indulging in the illegal drug. According to NPR.org, he said, “middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do. And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties".
Despite these benefits, the health risks are undeniable: frequent use of marijuana is proven to decrease IQ, learning capabilities, and function of memory. Even so, according to New Yorker magazine, President Obama has said that weed is not any “more dangerous than alcohol".
What is your personal stance on the legalization of marijuana? Why?
What kind of person do you see supporting or opposing legalization of marijuana?
If marijuana was legalized, how do you feel it would impact your local community?
What percentage of people at your school do you think regularly use marijuana?
In what way does our culture communicate positive images of marijuana?
In general, how heavy do you feel support towards legalization is?
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