With every passing day, the stigmatization attached to smoking pot seems to be diminishing in America, despite an outcry by others. Should United States Legalize Marijuana? Should parents be concerned?
(Note that this contributed article does not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Red Ribbon Resources)
Marijuana has often been one of those things where parents say ‘do as I say and not as I do!’ It was national news when former president Clinton admitted “I tried Marijuana … but didn’t inhale.” His critics jumped on the issue, yet the populace seemed to be more self-indulged with their own lives, and the topic faded from view — despite on-going drug awareness and prevention campaigns like Red Ribbon Week, which is entering its 29th year promoting a drug-free life.
Red Ribbon Week 2014 will be its 29th year since it was first founded in 1985 subsequent to the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena as a grassroots effort. It went national in 1988 [by the National Family Partnership (NFP)], and proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by Nancy Reagan. During the administration of President Bill Clinton Red Ribbon Week information and activities had become a nationwide service effort.
A media statement by Columbia Police Chief Ken Burns in 2010 made national headlines: “If we can get out of the business, I think there is a lot of police officers that would be happy to do that,” he said of using police resources to enforce marijuana laws. “Unfortunately, it is still a matter of law. … Crimes of violence do happen because of marijuana. … I don’t have anything against it except it is against the law.”
Now in 2014 the topic is again center-stage with a strong opposition movement watching state by state passing — or considering passing — laws making Marijuana legal in their state. Supporters of legalizing Marijuana say it will reduce the gangland violence that the illegal drug industry creates.
And as we approach Red Ribbon Week 2014 the question now could not be more poignant and timely.
Should United States Legalize Marijuana?
When president Obama recently came out in favor of legalization, parents were left wondering whether it was futile to keep telling their kids not to use Marijuana. Obama advocated legalizing pot as a way of correcting the vast iniquities that minorities face with regards to cannabis-related arrests and imprisonment. The president told the New Yorker Magazine that he didn’t believe it was more dangerous than alcohol for the individual user, igniting a flurry of pro and con reactions in Congress.
According to an article in Huffington Post this year, Marijuana is listed on Schedule I, along with heroin and LSD, under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. While Earl Blumenauer Wants Obama To Drop Marijuana From Dangerous Drug List, the Drug Enforcement Administration says that such drugs have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” and that they are “the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.”
Anti-legalization activists are quick to cite research that states that the brains of children are not ready for them to begin using pot. Researchers at the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine state that because adolescence is a sensitive time for brain development, introduction of pot at a young age could impact their ability to problem-solve with regards to critical thinking and memory going forward.
Dr. Bart Rossi PhD., a nationally televised political analyst, is an advocate of awareness, education and abuse prevention and rehabilitation. But he stated in a recent post that “I don’t necessarily concur that Marijuana is the ‘gateway’ drug that leads to more or harder drugs — like our parents warned us of.” He also stated that “The awareness a child is taught; their innate traits and the characteristics that they develop, combined with the philosophies they embrace and path they choose are the building blocks for success; prohibition to something readily available for the asking is not.”
While legislators with the responsibility to protect its citizenry, parents with the responsibility to protect their children, and organizations and lobbying groups all trying to sway the outcome of this hotly debated drug legalization question, where do you stand?
Originally posted 2014-07-19 13:27:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter