By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Staff Writer/Photographer
As of December 2013 there were more than 1.57 million people behind bars in the United States and that number is only expected to increase. Shockingly, of those 1.57 million, about 50.1 percent are incarcerated on drug related charges. Of the 50.1 percent, the majority of drug offenders were sentenced on marijuana related charges.
The health benefits of marijuana have been scientifically proven. Physicians nationwide agree that marijuana can be used as an effective treatment for a multitude of ailments including patients suffering through Alzheimers Disease, anorexia, AIDS, arthritis, cachexia, cancer, Crohns Disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, migraines, multiple sclerosis, nausea, chronic pain, and spasticity to name a few. The only known health risk associated with marijuana use is smoke inhalation, which can be easily avoided through choosing an alternative means of using the drug.
In addition to its medical benefits, marijuana has also been a popular recreational drug for decades regardless of its illegal status. Colorado is the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, however, recently the Rocky Mountain state proved that it still has a long way to go before legislation catches up with common sense a far too frequently occurring theme in the United States. Contrary to success of marijuana legalization, Colorado recently approved legislation that allows employers to fire employees that test positive for marijuana even though its legal for recreational use. This means that those using marijuana for recreational purposes can lose their jobs for choosing to partake in the privacy of their own homes, far from the confines of their chosen place of employment. I wonder how many Americans would be up in arms if their employers told them they could be fired for enjoying a cold beer on the weekends.
Whats with all the double standards in this country? Why is it okay to kick back and enjoy a substance that kills about 30 people a day (in drunk driving related accidents alone) but its downright taboo to consume a product that does little more than create a run on local junk food venues? Why is it preferable to hit up the local drug store for a refill on antidepressants manufactured by multi-billion dollar corporations that have little more than the bottom line in mind than to consume something completely natural that provides the same effect? The general population has been blindsided by the hype and grossly misinformed. If that seems like an exaggeration, just watch the anti-drug propaganda film Reefer Madness.
Marijuana is still a drug and if used improperly, it can be harmful just as any drug.
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