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We need the weed

Vicente Vera, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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The devil's lettuce, wacky tobaccy and sticky icky are all slang terms for a drug that was once a huge taboo to even discuss, let alone use. Much has changed since Ronald Reagan called cannabis “probably the most dangerous drug in the United States.”

Cannabis is now known as an alternative medicine used for cancer treatment, pain relief and other ailments. On Nov 8, Proposition 64 is going to give Californians the opportunity to legalize adult use of cannabis, which will benefit California greatly.

Legalizing cannabis will make the drug taxable, and the new tax revenue marijuana will create will go toward funding much-needed programs. Legalization of marijuana will bring in an estimated $1 billion in tax revenue. According to YesOn64.org, the tax collected from legal cannabis will go toward teen drug treatment, better training of law enforcement, and many more community improvements.

It will also help reduce discriminatory incarceration of adults and children for possession of cannabis. Imagine a 16-year-old, trying weed with his friends for the first time, then he gets caught by a police officer, charged with possession and thrown into a detention center. This results in a police record that forever hurts his chances of getting a stable job.

“Cannabis user” should not be seen as an inaccurate stereotype, painting the person as brainless. Successful public figures such as Barack Obama and Snoop Dogg have been open about their marijuana use, breaking the stereotype. In comparison to other drugs, marijuana is exceptionally safe.

The Marijuana Policy Project states cannabis is safer than alcohol, an already legalized substance deemed socially acceptable to consume. Cannabis has not caused fatal overdoses. Meanwhile alcohol kills thousands of Americans every year. While alcohol has been proven to kill brain cells, cannabis has been shown to do the opposite. According to a 2009 Marijuana Policy Project study, marijuana can be a much safer alternative to alcohol.

Voting yes on 64 would do more good than harm. Medicinal uses of marijuana include helping with insomnia, pain relief and even an alternative to prescription medication for treating cancer.

There are of course, arguments against Proposition 64. Noon64.net claims that voting yes on 64 would increase the number of DUI’s across California.

This is assuming there will be a flood of new users. While this might be true in some instances, most people who will use cannabis have already been using the drug for a long time. Therefore, users will have already been experienced in the effects of cannabis and have more precaution and discretion when it comes to operating motor vehicles.

Cannabis is already very popular. California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has come out in favor of marijuana legalization. “Our current marijuana laws have undermined many of the things conservatives hold dear-individual freedom, limited government and the right to privacy,” said Rohrabacher.

Yes on 64 would ease the taboo on this drug and would make it easier for people to have a dialogue on cannabis. Yes on 64 is great for the economy, for Californians, health and will help reduce unfair marijuana related criminalization.

If interested in learning more about the proposition visit the following links;

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The student news site of Ohlone College
We need the weed