I know what you’re thinking and the answer is no. I don’t smoke marijuana. My drug of choice is the sweet aqua vitae known as vodka. I do, however support the legalization of marijuana. I hope California passes Prop 19 this year. Before you grab your torches and pitchforks, here me out.
It may surprise you to know that there are a lot of moms out there who support the legalization of marijuana. There are a number of reasons why. But I can only speak for myself and tell you why I feel the way I do about the ganja:
First and foremost, hemp. Industrial cannabis is versatile, contains little-no THC(the stuff in weed that makes you high), and is highly renewable. One acre of hemp(grown in one season) yields as much paper as up to 4 acres of trees(which take years to grow). Hemp is edible as whole seeds, hulled seed, protein powder, or as oil extracted from seeds. It’s high fiber, high in omega-3 fatty acid, and high in vitamins E and C. Hemp oil also has anti-inflamatory properties and has been shown to relieve the symptoms of eczema(which I have and it’s frigging annoying!). You know what, just read this. Industrial hemp is just all kinds of awesome. The US imports more hemp than any other country, but doesn’t grow it. What kind of ridiculousness is that?
I’m pretty sure people don’t have a big problem with industrial hemp, though. So, let’s go on to why I support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
Think about this…has the criminalization of marijuana stopped people from buying it, growing it, using it? Yeah, not so much. I can’t think of one person I know who hasn’t at least tried it. And think of the billions of US dollars that, instead of being kept here in the US economy where we need it to be, are put into the hands of underground international gangs.
Arrests for possession disproportionately affect African-Americans/Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos(in the interest of saving time, I’m going to say Blacks and Latinos, ok?). While Blacks only account for 13.5% of annual pot users, they account for 26% of all marijuana arrests(source). If it were legal, what excuse would THE MAN use to racially profile? Hmmm…
I do not believe pot is any more or less a gateway drug than alcohol or tobacco are. Yet, those last 2 are legal and marijuana isn’t. Even though it’s less harmful to your health. I’m in no way saying that pot isn’t harmful. Smoking anything in excess can’t be good for you in the long run. I’m saying pot isn’t nearly as bad as other legal drugs(don’t even get me started on prescription drugs!). No one has ever overdosed on it. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s highly improbable.
Think of the revenue! Legalize it, regulate it, and tax the shit out of it. Let’s face it, we need the money.
I don’t advocate the use of marijuana. I’ve heard the argument that if it’s legalized kids will be more likely to try it. I call bullshit. Part of the allure is that it’s taboo. Take away the taboo, kids become disinterested. And guess what? Kids are trying it anyway. As a mom I have to come to terms with the fact that there is a very real possibility my kid will try weed. Making it legal won’t change that. All I can do is give him the information and tools necessary for him to make the safest decisions for himself.
I don’t really like drugs much, legal or not. That doesn’t give me the right to tell a grown ass person what they can and can’t do with their own body.