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 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!
"Being someone that doesn't use pot, I don't have a strong opinion about it one way or another. But if asked the question, my feeling is that I don't have a problem with it being legalized. I consider it to be a drug equivalent to alcohol. Since I enjoy having a drink, I think people probably enjoy smoking pot in the way I enjoy having a drink. I think it would be hypocritical to be against it. A lot of time, energy, money and police hours are spent in apprehending people and going through the courts and what have you, could be better spent in other places. I equate it to the era of prohibition."
DID YOU ALWAYS FEEL THIS WAY?
"I think in the past, if I think about it, I probably was against the legalization of pot just because you grew up in a society that said pot was bad. That mentality kind of ingrains itself in your head. People are always resistant to change so the thought of changing it, to me, probably my initial knee- jerk reaction would've been like "no!" about ten years ago. But I'm sure people felt that way about reversing prohibition. You grow up thinking if the law says it's bad, it's bad.
Not having a medical background, I can't say that I'm in any way an expert about whether or not it's worse for the body than alcohol. I'm assuming that it's not doing more damage to someone's brain than alcohol does. I guess I'd have to look more into that. It's not something that I'm gonna be doing though. But if medical research showed that it was worse for you than maybe I'd have a different opinion. I do think you should have to be over 21, just like with alcohol."
THAT'S INTERESTING, BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE WE SPOKE TO THIS WEEK SAID HOW PEOPLE JUDGE AND STEREOTYPE PEOPLE THAT SMOKE POT. LIKE ALL THEY DO IS SIT ON THE COUCH EATING CHEETOS.
"Do I think that if you just smoked a joint, you might be more relaxed, sitting on the couch, eating Cheetos? Yeah, you might be, but it's the same as after you've had one or two drinks after dinner. So, it's kind of the same."
I UNDERSTAND THERE'S A COMPONENT THAT YOU DON'T LIKE?
"I'm not anti-pot, but I am anti-second hand smoke. I wish we could outlaw smoking in every form whether it be cigarettes or pot. Because I'm not a smoker, and if I'm sitting next to you at a table having a drink, as long as I don't get behind the wheel of a car, nothing I'm doing about having that drink is affecting you. But if I'm sitting at a table next to you smoking a cigarette or a joint, my second hand smoke is infringing upon you. I worry about that. I worry that if it becomes legal to smoke it (pot), that'll be just one more thing I have to walk through at the entrance of a mall that I don't wanna walk through.
What worries me too, is I have so many people, through work, I have to do deal with that I can smell second hand smoke all the time because they're smoking in their cars or a home environment that has it. So I worry, that if it becomes legalized, what happens if people do it around their kids- smoking it. Any other form, I don't really have an issue with except your normal issues like don't put it in a brownie and then drive your kid, obviously. But I worry about people smoking it around their kids. Because not only would that be second hand smoke getting into the child's system, but also a drug. I hope people would be smart. I have absolutely no issues with medicinal purposes of it though. It's the same as any other legal drug that's prescribed to help with pain. That's a no brainer. If it's causing somebody to not be in pain, then they should have it."
"I get a cold, and I get over it. But when my husband gets a cold, it's so much worse. And I'm quite sure that because he grew up in the 70's and his parents were both chain smokers, so for the first 23 years of his life, he was in a house, that at all times, 24/7, had second hand smoke, a lot of it. He's never been a smoker, but (it's like) he was a smoker for 23 years. But that was the 70's. In the 50's everybody actually thought they (cigarettes) were good for you. I remember my mother telling me that her father, who died of a heart attack eventually, had three (heart attacks) before he died. He stopped smoking one year and was irritable, the way someone quitting can get, and the doctor said to him "you have to smoke. It calms your nerves. It's not good for you to not smoke. You're hurting your body." This was the 40's or 50's. They truly believed that. Then it moved to the 70's, where the drug companies knew it was bad for you but they were lying. Now, everybody knows the truth and that's good. But I do think there's damage to his lungs from growing up in a house where two people chain smoked. You don't know cause there was no before and after study done, but it just makes sense to me, that there are people in life that have more respiratory or have more trouble getting over colds or get bronchitis every year while other people don't. I think if you look back, that could be one of the reasons.
Every parent loves their child. They don't purposely hurt their child. They just get lazy as humans, it's cold outside, this or that. You see a carseat in a car, then you see a cigarette getting flicked out the window and you're like "Did you really think the fact that you cracked your window was gonna solve that problem? Cause it didn't."
A kid doesn't go to school cause they were at the ER getting a breathing treatment, but their folder smells like cigarette smoke.
They (parents) don't equate it to like taking a belt to their kid, because they're not doing it in anger, but it's still abusive."