Updated: Feb 12
Marijuana. you may know it by many names; “The Devil’s Lettuce”, reefer, bud, kush, chronic, pot. The list goes on and on. It's played a huge role in popular culture with the leaves of the cannabis Sativa plant being easily recognizable. But the real issue here is why isn’t weed legal federally? Now, This article is in no way advocating for underage drug consumption, as that’s severely irresponsible and has damaging effects.
In various states across the US, including California, Nevada, Oregon, and Alaska, marijuana has been legalized for recreational use, meaning it can be smoked without a care or a real medical reason. But the United States federal government still has a strong belief that this plant should be illegal, and as a result of this, people tend to purchase it from unscrupulous types. But due to the feds being as strict they are, there were multiple campaigns trying to villainize pot.
America has been quite conservative when it comes to drug use, so of course, it isn’t surprising that they’ve been critical of marijuana, even creating public service announcements say smokers would commit crimes and wallow in despair and misery, which, in all seriousness is just fear-mongering.
Obviously, marijuana isn’t a magic cure-all but it has its benefits. For example, marijuana has been shown to help cancer patients going through chemotherapy, by allowing them to cope with nausea and the various other effects of radiation treatment. Other uses for it include aiding people with chronic nerve pain as the numbing feeling induced by the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the main chemical or ingredient in marijuana that creates the “high” feeling. Sometimes, even people with anorexia are given marijuana so that they’ll gain an appetite and want to eat again.
In fact, several veterans groups advocate for the legalization of marijuana on a federal scale as it has been proven to be more helpful in many cases when helping veterans cope and live with the PTSD resulting from the war. In fact, VA (Department of Veterans affairs) doctors aren’t even allowed to discuss the use of medicinal marijuana as it’s still illegal. Additionally, veterans could potentially lose their benefits over something as simple as smoking a joint even though it helps them more than any synthetic medication could. Why are these veterans being punished for doing something that wholly benefits them? It seems unreasonable.
Ultimately my question is, why has the federal government not taken more action to legalize marijuana when it’s clearly no worse than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. I honestly believe it comes down to money. Marijuana dispensaries are taxed a little extra and additionally, there are taxes they have to pay for their permits to sell. Marijuana wasn’t legal because Uncle Sam wasn’t getting his cut. Same thing with alcohol being illegal which is why prohibition-era gangsters became enriched at the expense of society. In my opinion, the government has always been a business, and as such, they always want a cut. The answer? Legalize marijuana federally, then tax and regulate it. Pretty simple.