Legalization of Marijuana

Marijuana(Photo credit: warrantedarrest)

Washington and Colorado recently approved the legal use of recreational marijuana.

However, before citizens break out their bongs and pipes, the United States federal government still considers marijuana use illegal, overruling state laws.

“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a statement released to the public.  “This is a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or goldfish too quickly.”

The legislation of recreational use of marijuana does not mean people can just go crazy and start growing, selling or publicly smoke marijuana. USA Today reports that under the Colorado and Washington laws, it is only legal for someone 21 and older to purchase and possess marijuana. Personal possession cannot exceed one ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana. Washington and Colorado (and any state in the future that passes the law) will have state-licensed stores set up to dispense marijuana.

While Colorado and Washington begin to sort out the complication with the approval of legalizing marijuana, it seems that people all over the United States are speaking out about their hopes that marijuana will become legal for recreational use in all states.

“I think legalizing of marijuana for recreational use could only benefit our states and country,” said Nathan Woodruff, a student at UNA. “The government can put a tax on marijuana and use that tax money to better schools, neighborhoods, and all that stuff. If Alabama legalized recreational use of pot, Alabama could greatly improve.”

Improving states’ welfare seems to be an element of legalizing marijuana. In Washington, marijuana will be taxed three times. According to CNN, marijuana will be taxed when the grower sells it to the processor, again when the processor sells it to the retailer, and lastly when the retailer the processor sells it to the customer.

“The legal systems in Washington and Colorado can now focus on criminal acts that really matter,” said Tyree Busbee, a recent UNA graduate. “Marijuana is not a dangerous drug like some of the others out there. Smoking weed doesn’t hurt anyone. Now the police will be able to deal with real problems instead of chasing pot heads.”

However, not everyone is so optimistic about the legalizing of recreational marijuana.

“I don’t want a bunch of potheads out driving around just because weed is legal,” said Dana Roper, a concerned parent of a UNA student. “If marijuana even becomes an issue in the state of Alabama, I will definitely protest against it.”