Over the course of the fierce debates between opponents and supporters of legalizing marijuana, many points of argument have been brought up. What do you think are the most compelling arguments for each side? What are some of the benefits of legalizing marijuana, and what are some potential problems that may arise post legalization?
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I think it's powerful that drinking alcohol and smoking can have even more deleterious effects on health. It causes a paradigm shift—prompting us to think beyond the established norms.
When two businessmen meet to seal the deal, do they crack open a bottle of wine, or go out into the alley to smoke a joint? During weddings, do relatives applaud the happy couple over glasses of sparkling champagne, or do they take turns getting baked?
Personally I agree with @Henry Flower(AS)'s arguments. But I think it's unwise to ignore the fact that the use of alcohol is widely integrated into all parts of American society, while marijuana isn't. One could even argue it's traditional; remember that all drugs have cultural connotations, along with health side effects. Is this ideal? Maybe not, but it's the reality we live with. Let's understand why many sane, well-reasoned Americans balk at the idea of legalizing weed, while these same people will happily guzzle down beer in large amounts before condemning them.
People have always feared mind altering substances throughout history from as long as the ancient Roman civilisations. Bacchants as they called themselves, were followers of Bacchus, the god of wine, and although they are said to be consuming alcohol, ancient texts suggest otherwise. Accounts from Ovid's metamorphoses book 3 describes a very vivid scene of Agave ripping up her own son, mistaking him for a boar, influenced by some psychotic substance taken during the rituals of the Myneads (bacchantes). This violent act seems to suggest that drugs alter the human mind to such an extent that even a mother who has natural instinctive love for her own child can be manipulated into killing her closest relative. It is inevitable that humans will commit crimes of some sort influenced by psychotics.
Shakespeare also creates this negative image of psychotics. For example in Hamlet, the new King Claudius is described by Hamlet as a "satyr" in contrast to "Hyperion". Hyperion is a word used in many homeric texts and conveys this sense of heroism. Satyrs are half human half horse creatures heavily associated with the bacchants. This juxtaposition makes it seem that Shakespeare regards possessing qualities of a "satyr" to be the worst possible thing.
Considering the fact that so many books written which are regarded to be in the Western Canon sees mind altering substances to be so negative morally and unsafe, it is not surprising we have so few of these drugs legal today. In most developed countries alcohol is the only legal substance that affects the human mind significantly. And many conservative people still group marijuana as a "drug", a word containing negative connotations of violence and crime,simply because it is illegal.
But why is it that marijuana is illegal while alcohol isn't? I don't think it is possible to come up with a logical answer to this question.
-Both substances are addictive, alcohol is more harmful to the body than weed,and CBD, a chemical found in cannabis seems to do its magic in the medical front while alcohol doesn't really contribute much to medicine at all.
-People talk about gang culture and its link to marijuana. I was lucky enough to be meet many teenagers involved in these "gangs" who are involved in the sales of marijuana. And although violence does exist marijuana does not seem to be the reason for it. Legalising cannabis won't destroy drug gangs as people might expect but it wont help them thrive either.
-States in the US such as California are taxing almost up to 50% for their weed products and they are experiencing economical wealth.
If you think you have an argument against the legalisation of cannabis, you are essentially saying that alcohol should be illegal too.
If you think you can create an argument that goes along the lines: cannabis shouldn't be legal and alcohol should continue to be legal, feel free to challenge me.