Debating the legalization of marijuana has people rallying on both sides of the fence.
By Debbie Morrow
With the recent elections, people have been debating the pros and cons of marijuana legalization. Arizona and South Dakota had bills slated to pass on the medicinal use. California and Oregon, who already have medicinal use legalized, sought to pass personal use. All had failed. There are presently 14 states that have medical marijuana laws.
Supporters coming out of the woodwork
The elections had re-ignited the topic to the forefront of many minds, including U.S. Federal Judge Juan Torruella. While giving a talk with law students in Puerto Rico, Torruella expressed his view that legalization would reduce crime and drug abuse. Torruella, a native of Puerto Rico, sits on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston Massachusetts.
Monroe Community College student Lindsay Scott agrees with Torruella’s assessment.
“It should be made legal so the money could go toward government, than to people who are doing it illegally,” said Scott. Money spent on drugs gets filtered into other harder crimes such as guns, Scott added.
The International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy has also found a correlation between drug trafficking and money that supports terrorism.
Not everyone is willing to change their values about drug use. This includes MCC student Donna Pragle. “I’ve seen so much of bad stuff happening personally with my family, I just don’t go along with it,” Pragle said. It’s like alcohol, where it’s so much out of control that there is no control, she added.
The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America believes California’s personal use law would initiate a wider spread of youth usage and strongly opposes legalization.
Although California’s proposition 19 failed, supporters do not plan to give up the fight. Colorado and other states are planning campaigns in support of legalization in 2011. New York State who now has a bill in the senate for medical legalization, has passed through several committees and is presently being worked on in the Rules Committee.