By Laura Chapman
The arguments for and against the legalization of marijuana in the USA continue to rumble on. For every argument countered against it, more evidence seems to stack up that backs its approval.
However, according to Professor Mark Kleiman, the majority of US citizens support the decriminalization of the drug. He states that if we focus on setting up a sensible and workable system of proper legalization for the drug then it will do less harm and cost less money than if we leave the current ideals in place and continue to forge ahead as we are.
Major forces within the world of current affairs, such as the New York Times have also come out in favor of the same process. Their argument counters that marijuana is likely to cause far less harm to individuals and society as a whole than alcohol.
Comparisons have been made to the early twentieth century when Prohibition came into force. This period, lasting some thirteen years, from 1920 to 1933 did nothing to solve crime rates or stop drinking. For the most part people continued to imbibe alcohol and would go to great lengths in order to obtain a drink.
Professor Kleiman opts for a sensible, controlled legalization of the drug. He points to similar schemes in states like Utah, where liquor can only be sold in state operated or controlled outlets. He counters that the same idea would work for marijuana too, safe “pot stores” in which people could go and buy properly controlled, legally grown strains of weed which would mean it would be easier to police and to keep an eye on.
There are a growing number of licenses being distributed for people who wish to become legal marijuana retailers in various states throughout the USA. Many of these citizens are people who have experience of using cannabis for legitimate medical purposes, such as pain relief, or who have had their own families touched by drug addiction and feel the need to try and make a difference and stop problems becoming any worse.
Whatever your views and whatever the answer, Professor Kleiman is convinced that lawmakers in Washington need to take a stand and act to do something. It isn’t simply about legalizing the drug and making it “OK” to buy, it’s about making sure pot is sensibly and properly monitored to make it safe for users everywhere.