Legalizing marijuana, smart and strategic

Paxton Watson, Podcast Reporter

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The legalization of marijuana has been an increasingly talked about topic in the United States. In fact, 29 states currently have laws encouraging the legalization of marijuana. Therefore, marijuana should be legalized in the United States.

Alternative Copy by Max Kennedy

Marijuana was first recreationally used in the early 1900’s. It was then made illegal in 1931. However, many people continued to explore the drug and usage rates were at an all time high in the 1970’s. This spike, was followed by the first legalization of marijuana by the state of California in 1996. This has since been followed by various states. Currently, for the first time ever, more people report supporting legalizing marijuana than not. 

“I think around 60-70 percent of students at our school have smoked marijuana more than once,” freshman Sydney Rogness said. In reality, 11 percent of 8th graders, 28 percent of sophomores, and 36 percent of seniors have reported smoking marijuana, according to PBS.  

The prevalence of marijuana is obviously clear. It is slowly becoming more common. By legalizing it we could have a more controlled system. Companies and the government could monitor and control who is able to access and use the drug, much like how alcohol is regulated in the United States.

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“More students and people would start smoking marijuana if it was made legal in the United States,” Rogness said. However, according to scpr.org, the legalization of marijuana would not directly affect the percentage of people who smoke.

If marijuana becomes legal in the United States, fewer people will use marijuana. The reason people find themselves participating in these activities is generally because it is seen as exciting and dangerous to do something illegal. Therefore, making it legal would help diminish usage among our population, which would mean fewer arrests and less tax payers money going toward jails, to house inmates for petty crimes, such as possession of marijuana.

“Marijuana being legalized would decrease drug related violence in gangs,” community member Chris Zufall said. Experts from the Canadian Press stated that legalizing marijuana would cut gang violence.

In general, gangs are constantly fighting over drugs. By legalizing one of the most popular drugs in the world, our country could help fight and diminish gang violence. Decreasing violence is always a good thing and could help improve the lives of many, including young children wrapped up in the gang and drug world.

Legalizing marijuana in the United States would be a smart and strategic decision for our government.

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