Poli-Ticks Me Off: Marijuana Proposal Sparks Contreversy


Graphic by Ben Cornwell

Graphic by Ben Cornwell
Graphic by Ben Cornwell

Legalization of marijuana.

This is probably one of the most divisive and prominent political issues in America, with much controversy surrounding Colorado and Washington, the two states that have legalized the drug’despite it being illegal under federal law. And now, Maryland is considering following in those states’ footsteps.

Currently, someone caught with any amount of cannabis in Maryland is fined $500 and put in jail for three months, however two state senators recently introduced a bipartisan decriminalization bill that would change this. According to the Huffington Post the proposed bill would allow anyone over 21 years of age to “possess up to an ounce of marijuana in the state and grow up to six plants in an enclosed, secure area at homea��[however] it would still be illegal to blaze in public.”

Generally, people take one of two views. Those who believe that marijuana should be legalized say that people have free will. This goes along with the belief that the government should not control such personal aspects of its citizens’ lives. They argue that prohibition would not stop people from consuming marijuana, and that traffickers will continue to produce and sell it to anyone who wants it.

Those in favor of marijuana prohibition state that the government should not in any way contribute to this unhealthy habita��a habit that not only is associated with violent behavior, but is often the cause of child neglect by drug-addicted parents, increases in health care costs and more serious drug usage. They believe it is the government’s today to keep society safe.

The majority of our nation is confined to either of these two opinions. However, my viewa��as far as the legalization of marijuana in Marylanda��is simply that we should wait.

Maryland is always trying to be one of the leading statesa��evident in our highly-ranked education system, strict driving laws, and top-notch universities. However, this time we need to put on the brakes. We need to stop trying to be the fastest and most innovative, and start being the smartest and most prudent.

The states of Washington and Colorado have already assumed the risk of being the guinea pigs in this particular field. We should wait and watch to see how these states evolve over the next couple of yearsa��analyzing any increases or decreases in crime rates or drug trafficking. If we were to make the decision to legalize marijuana right now, it would be solely based off of opinion and speculation as to the future benefits and detriments, instead of on statistical evidence; we should wait at least two years.

Why are so many people pushing to make this change? Why must we insist on being so fast-moving? What are we trying to prove? We need to take a breath of air, and sit back and observe for a little while. Then we can make a well-informed decision that will be in the best interests of our state’s citizens.