UNITED STATES—It has been a debate that has been ongoing for years, and it seems as more states begin to legalize recreational use of marijuana we could be entering some very tricky territory. Let me be clear we are not discussing medicinal use of marijuana; we’re talking about the use of marijuana for the clear sake of wanting to indulge it. Why is that problematic? Well, under federal law marijuana is still illegal. So while the states might have the decision to push such legislation, until you have a constitutional amendment to make it legal, you are in murky waters.

So some people have the argument that marijuana is a harmless drug, but it raises a large question: is it? People would like to say that about alcohol, but let’s be honest we all know alcohol is bad for the body. I mean under federal law, you have to be 21 to consume alcohol, but that soon raises the question, why 21? Are you really that much more mature and able to process alcohol and logical reasoning? Let’s all be honest NO! So if marijuana were to be made legal what age is he right age to set the standard. Rumblings are going at 21, but even that age I feel is too low.

Teens already look at marijuana as a rite-of-passage and for reasons that I cannot fathom. I’m not a smoker, and when it comes to alcohol I sparingly drink. What does that mean? I’m a social drinker, I’ll drink at an event, but even then I don’t believe the notion that you have to indulge in alcohol to have a good time. There are far too many people out there who suspect that. That same sentiment is becoming way too common with marijuana. Look if you want to smoke marijuana that is fine and dandy, do your thing. However, if the government were to make it   legal it creates all sorts of issues. 1) People will smoke it any and everywhere 2) You make kids susceptible to the drug 3) It becomes acceptable or common nature to do it 4) It’s a gateway drug 5) The smell becomes abundant

We could tackle every one of these issues, but I want to place a major focus on #4. People always say one drug is not a gateway to another, tell that to so many people who consume alcohol. This is not to say that alcohol inevitably leads to others indulging in things they wouldn’t, but when you’re inebriated you’re not thinking clearly and you tend to do things you normally would not do if you weren’t drunk. That same sentiment goes for marijuana. People get into this mode of wanting to get behind the wheel, cook a meal or do something else stupid thinking they’re invincible when with all due respect: you’re not. You cannot drive a car when you’re impaired people, it’s not alcohol, but marijuana has similar effects on the brain and one’s ability to process information and adequate timing on the road. Statistics are already showing that more crashes are transpiring on the road as a direct result of people being impaired behind the wheel.

Next, you should not be advocating someone wanting to light up a joint. I don’t want my child thinking it’s okay to smoke weed. It’s not, and it’s unfortunate, but this generation sure seems to think so. I mean people are so quick to light up a joint and just get high, or better yet, things have turned to consuming marijuana through edibles. Why is that dangerous? It could easily lead to one over ingesting and having to be rushed to the hospital. Sorry, just take a look at what happened at that 4/20 event in San Francisco this year.

Another big issue for me is the notion of smelling marijuana; it is NOT a pleasant smell and I don’t want to have that putrid smell in my orbit. I surely hope people don’t think it’s acceptable to walk into a place of business or the workplace smelling like they just lit up a joint, oh, but trust there will be plenty of people who think it’s A oh K. Sorry, people it’s not and on top of that it’s not professional to say the least. Your furniture, your car, your clothing will be embedded with that smell, giving people the assumption that you indulge in the drug when that might not be the case at all. Someone who was smoking just happened to be in your orbit and as a result now you smell like it.

The notion of it being a gateway drug is indeed important, because while that is never the intention with any drug, the moment you try something you never tried before it can easily lead to you experimenting with something that soon becomes an addiction and your life can easily begin to spiral out of control. If your sole concern in life is how can I get ‘it’ and to achieve that ‘high’ a problem has surfaced because nothing else in life matters. How is this problematic? If you lose your job that addiction still exists and you could become prone to doing things you normally would not do in hopes of getting your hands on that drug. It can cause one to spiral and that alone can become a domino effect that is never ending. Well, it ends, but it’s not always the outcome we seek. One of two things happens: 1) You crash and burn hitting rock bottom where treatment is sought 2) You do something so crazy it lands you behind bars or worse dead.

So the question I ask to all those so quick to want to legalize recreational usage of marijuana is what purpose does it serve society? Who wins in the long run by legalizing marijuana? Does it make the world a better place? Does it make you a better person? Think about those questions and when you can deliver an answer that gives a feasible result that actually has validity to it, then we can talk!