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article imageOp-Ed: Marijuana to save the economy?

By Cory Roach     Mar 2, 2010 in Lifestyle
Baltimore - For one reason or another this has always been a sensitive subject. The legalization of marijuana. The fact of the matter is that millions of Americans do use it and it could be the key to stimulating the economy enough to get back on track.
To my understanding, alcohol is far more dangerous of a drug (yes, a drug) then marijuana. Anything mood or mind altering is a drug. There are so many problems with alcohol that it's almost unbelievable that it's still legal. Drunk drivers cause majority of deaths that we hear about on the news everyday. Also the withdrawal for alcoholics that have a high tolerance, is one of the only detoxes that can be fatal. Even heroin addicts that are detoxing cannot die from it. They may be in a world of pain, but they can live through it no matter how high their tolerance is. Benzodiazepines (xanax or klonopin) and alcohol have the only withdrawals which can be deadly.
Medicinal marujuana
A Medicinal marujuana plant
Scott Beale / Laughing Squid
The problem is that they couldn't just take alcohol off the market because of the incredible demand. Just picture how marijuana would be sold and packaged if it were legal. It would be exactly like cigarettes. Different blends and brands, pre-rolled and packaged in little boxes. Now, think about how many people work for cigarettes companies. Newport, Marlboro, Parliament, and Camel. If marijuana was legalized and sold in this form it would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for Americans.
The legalization of marijuana would also reduce the amount of illegal drug trafficking across the border of Mexico and from overseas. It would put drug dealers all over the country out of business. And with that, it would reduce the over crowding of jails and prisons across the country . Marijuana has already been legalized for certain medicinal uses in a few certain states of the U.S. And of course there's all of the other products that can be made from the marijuana plant. First of all, hemp fibers are incredibly strong. The fibers can be used to make strong, long-lasting rope, paper, clothing, as well as other fiber-based products (such as the hat seen in picture below).
Decked head to toe in hemp cloting  including a stocking cap embroidered with a marijuana leaf and t...
Decked head to toe in hemp cloting, including a stocking cap embroidered with a marijuana leaf and the words "Hemp Rocks" hollywood celebrity Woody Harrelson visited the University campus to promote his new documentary "Go Further". Harrelson spoke to a crowd of hundreds of students at the EMU Ampitheater where he promoted marijuana and hemp legalization, OSPIRG, environmental protection issues. Although it was supposed to be a non-partisan event, Harrelson discouraged students from voting for P
Eric Bishoff flickr
It seems to be nothing but beneficial. However there is one problem that stands in the way. This is simply the close-mindedness of old fashioned Americans stuck in their old ways. For no particular reason at all, if marijuana were to be legalized (which it probably will be sometime in the near future), some people would be outraged. The same people who are going home to sit back and watch an NFL game and drink a Coors Light when the label has turned blue (and they know it's cold enough to "tap the rockies"). President Obama maybe the first president who may make an attempt to legalize marijuana. "Yes we can!" I think America needs to take the alcohol comparison into consideration. The times certainly are changing and America needs to be ready to change with them.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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