Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen several articles appearing on my Facebook news feed from my home town and its surrounding areas about marijuana growers being caught. But living near West Virginia, there are a lot of bigger issues than pot. Meth and prescription drugs are very often the reason crimes are committed.
As many of us young adults can agree, marijuana is pretty much harmless. Meth on the other hand, not so much. I can recall several stories where a meth user completely demolished their life while high. One story in particular, a mother in Texas got so high on meth she put her baby in a clothes washer. The worst thing a pot smoker has ever done is clean out his entire pantry in one sitting.
The comment sections on these articles prove that locals also believe these growers are completely harmless. Many comments are filled with sarcasm, with people “thanking” officers for taking these “dangerous” criminals off the streets.
The worst part of these articles are the photos that come with them. One photo shows an officer knelt down next to several very small marijuana plants, smiling proudly. Although by his precincts standards this may have been a very big bust, I can’t help but wonder if they’ve forgotten our area’s history. Several years ago, Richlands, Virginia (about 45 minutes from my home town) was the Oxycontin capital of the world. Although the situation isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be, there are still a lot of other drugs that are being overlooked.
Not only do the officers look silly in this situation, but the reporters are making me question my choice of major. One reported stated that officers had found $15 million worth of marijuana. The officers were praised for collecting some plants up to 15 feet in height. As anyone who has done very basic research on marijuana would know, any marijuana plant that is growing that tall is going to be a male sativa plant. Male plants are useful for fertilizing the females, but that’s it. They have little street value because they’re hemp. They’re used to make rope and comfy fabric.
Also, how did these officers calculate the worth of these plants? I noticed there is another number–$4 million in street value. So where did the first number come from? Media personnel need to take the time to do the extra research and inform the public of the technicalities before reporting these things.
I may be beating a dead horse here, but I will go ahead and say this: it’s time we legalize marijuana. With so many hardcore drugs out there that are actually taking lives, why are we wasting so much time and money on drug that is virtually non-addictive and as far as research can tell, causes little to no bodily harm? I’m much more worried about drugs like ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and even alcohol which is more addictive and harmful. Alcohol inhibits decision making and even impulse control, while THC simply blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter so that dopamine is released into the brain.
Although marijuana can affect decision making and awareness, how often do we hear about people getting in severe enough accidents to kill someone while stoned? Now compare that to the amount of drunk driving accidents that take lives every day. It’s time we use our common sense. If alcohol is legal, why isn’t marijuana?