Subjecting kids to long prison terms is the thing that does more harm to them than smoking a joint or two ["Judith Palfrey: Marijuana and Kids--Is Occasional Use OK?" usnews.com]. Legalizing and regulating marijuana would stop hundred of thousand of kids from being sent to jail or prison. Mandatory minimum sentencing many times causes young teenagers to end up as career criminals. All or most kids experiment with booze and pot and come out no worse for it. That cannot be said once their lives are ruined with a felony record and jail time. By legalizing marijuana it will remove the profit margin from the smugglers causing the crime level to be reduced not only on our borders but in other countries too. Marijuana was originally prohibited for racial reasons and continued out of fear of hippies and the anti-war crowd. We know today that those reasons hold no water. Our public is still being lied to on a daily basis by the government when it claims there is no medical benefit, yet the same government holds the U.S. patents on medical marijuana.
Comment by Sam of CA
Since anecdotal evidence seems to be the norm here, my decades of experience have yielded numerous cases of pot use resulting in problems and less than successful lives. One common trait among steady pot users—their lack of success is not a concern to them; their problems always seem to be caused by someone or something else. So it is not surprising to see testimonials on the joys of pot; once your ambition and drive are eaten away, it's not hard to be content. One impact not discussed here—buying pot supports some of the worst humans on the planet, people capable of horrific crimes.
Comment by Brad of TX
Absolutely not! Not for teens, and not for grown-ups either. As for medicinal use among cancer patients, etc., I will vote yes! What is the latest? Something like 12 or 13 states that have legalized marijuana for medical use now? Controlled use such as this is the only legal way it can be used; for the benefit of those suffering from cancer.
Comment by Randall Laraway of OH
If you think that cannabis should not be legal due to its addictive qualities and the supposed health risks it has, then you should realize that alcohol and cigarettes are worse. Alcohol can completely destroy the liver as well as the brain. Cigarettes ruin the lungs and heart. Both are addictive. Marijuana, even when smoked, has not been found to cause any serious damage to the lungs. Nor does it cause any kind of permanent brain damage. Any and all medical reports to the effect of supporting such claims have lied through omission and/or misrepresentation of facts and test results. All studies regarding the status of marijuana have been funded heavily by alcohol and tobacco companies, as well as numerous industrial organizations, due to the large loss of revenue that these groups would experience, should weed ever become a legal substance. It is in the best interest of their profits that marijuana remains illegal.
Comment by Rorrick of CT
Something else to consider ... a young woman in Tallahassee, Fla., was killed last year when forced to go on an undercover sting operation targeting two violent convicted felons to get her sentence reduced for a marijuana charge. The police gave her money to buy guns and cocaine from these scumbags, lost contact with her, and she was murdered. She never would have been in this situation if not for the stupid laws against marijuana. Change these ridiculous laws, end the absurd, failed "war on drugs," and let's return reason and common sense back to our lawmaking. The laws are far more dangerous to us, no question or doubt, than any possible harm done by pot.
Comment by William of GA