Many proponents remain unsatisfied. Many opponents continue to fight to preserve the laws in the remaining states, or even reverse the laws that have allowed marijuana to become legal (or nearly legal). At present under federal law, marijuana possession, usage, and sale is still illegal. However, the federal government has allowed provisions for the states to pass or enact their own laws for both medical and recreational use.
So, where do you stand? Are you in favor of the legalization and/or decriminalization? Do you think it is acceptable only in the cases of medical need? Or are you opposed to marijuana being readily available in all instances and situations? We spoke to a variety of people, with a variety of opinions, stories, and positions on the subject. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions. Remember you can alway comment anonymously. Check back every day for more and be sure to join this important conversation!
*If you missed them, be sure to check out the previous two interviews on this subject*
"I'm all for it. But, with certain restrictions like what we have with alcohol. In fact, I think we should ban alcohol cause I think that's way more dangerous. But I digress. Restrictions like you can't drive impaired. Obviously when you use, you become impaired. You may be having a great time like you do when you're drinking but you should know your limit and not get in a car and endanger other people's lives."
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT SHOULD BE LEGALIZED?
"For me, and I'm not gonna lie and say I don't like doing it just to do it, cause I do. But I also have a lot of physical issues from a car accident and as I've gotten older and heavier, the issues have become more complicated and cause me more pain and discomfort. A lot of the time, mostly every day, the medicine doesn't always work. Being able to take a couple hits here or there, smoke a joint, bowl, whatever, actually helps. It makes the medicine work a little bit better, kicks it in a little better. So I have that reason as well as just enjoying it."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT LEGALIZATION, FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF A PARENT?
"Fortunately for me, my sons are 25 and 21. They're both old enough to make their own decisions. My younger son has never touched it and is not interested in any way, shape or form. My older son was very interested. He isn't doing it now (for personal reasons) but I think someday, when and if he can, he probably would. My daughter, 13, I talk to her about it. I refuse to be a hypocrite. I'm not gonna sit there, and I was like this with the boys too, and tell her how bad it is and how horrible it is while I have a joint hanging out of my mouth, blowing smoke in her face. I would never be a hypocrite like that. I always told them that if they were old enough to ask me a question about something, that I would answer them honestly, within reason. When they came to me, and they were all weirdly the same age of 13, and they said "What are you doin? We saw you. What's the funny smell coming from under your door?" I was just like "Well, I gotta fess up." So I would sit them down and explain it to them. They all went through the DARE program. Their concern for me, which was sweet, was that they were taught that marijuana is a gateway drug. Which we know it is.
I sat them down and explained to them that I had been there, done that, not interested in going back. This is the one thing that I've done...I don't smoke cigarettes, I don't drink alcohol except once in a while but I never get drunk, I don't do drugs, those are things that I'm not interested in. I also explain to them that I'm 3 times their age, at that point, and that I made those decisions as an adult and that making those decisions at their age is not a wise thing to do. I asked each of them if they had been offered anything and they all said no. The only one that used, was my oldest, when he was about 15. I remember arguing with him about it. But I think I had lost my moral high ground at that point to say "you can't do that". But because he was underage, I would say to him "look, when you're 18, you can do what you want 'cause you're grown. But you're not gonna do this in my house. If you continue to do it in my house, you're outta here." At one point, we did throw him out for that, among other things. That was a contributing factor though, because I didn't want my other children at risk for anything. They were honor roll students and young and I didn't think it was right. But I won't lie to my kids about it. So they know, but they also know it's something I don't think they should do. Fortunately, for me, it's never been a problem. They've always been understanding about it."
"I'd be a moron if it didn't concern me. Of course it concerns me. I think it's very important as a parent, especially one that smokes pot, for whatever the reason, that you sit your child down and set rules and boundaries like any other rules that you would set. Talk to them. One of the reasons I started using was because nobody talked to me about it. I found out from my friends. I did all the things I did cause I didn't have anyone telling me it was wrong. Nobody told me not to do it. So I made a vow when I got pregnant with my oldest that I was never going to allow my children to grow up in ignorance about drugs, alcohol and things like that. I'm not saying that my parents didn't do a good job, or try, to do the best job that they could, but these are issues that they didn't have growing up because of the times that they grew up. I can't fault them, but I just made up my mind that I was going to do things very differently, and that's what I've done. I have to hope that I made the right decisions. So far so good. My daughter will be my true test being the youngest. So far she doesn't show interest, has never tried anything and she's pretty honest about it.
I think it's really important that you talk to your kids about drugs, alcohol, and sex. When you don't talk to them about those things and you let them learn about it in school or from their friends, or God knows who, you're not doing them any favors. You're not helping them by keeping them ignorant and naive. That's how I grew up. And when I think about some of the things that I've done or the situations that I put myself in, I thank God that I'm still alive. They need to also listen to their children and I don't think parents listen as much as they think they do. We need to really listen as well as talk to them."