Last week, Canada and Mexico both announced plans to decriminalize and eventually legalize marijuana. The approach Canada is taking here is one where, eventually, marijuana will be seen as typical commerce, much like alcohol. While the initial changes won’t be astronomical, predictions for the future look very optimistic.
The future’s so optimistic, in fact, that Mexico is trying to adopt the same policy as well. Meanwhile, the United States is, as of right now, standing firm in their criminalization of weed, at least when the federal government is concerned.
I think this is a stupid, moronic stance, and here’s why. It is my firm belief that the government should not be allowed to tell me what I can and cannot do if it has no effect on other people.
I think that basic human rights include my right to do any recreational drug I see fit. If I have some sort of child or other circumstance, there should be some sort of rules and laws set in place that prevent the child from being affected by substance but barring that and any other situation of equal importance socially, I should be able to do whatever I want. If my doing drugs bothers you, too bad for you.
It’s my choice, just like its your choice to take prescription medication for back pain. This stance is one I hold on things like gay marriage and abortion. You have the right to get upset about it, but you do not have the right to force me into a different choice than the one I want to make.
If we want to stop illegal and near unstoppable drug use, we should allow recreational marijuana. DARE’s method and things like it have been proven not to work, so maybe it is time to try this method. If things don’t get better, and the consensus on the issue is changed due to this, then by all means go ahead and shift things back. But for now, I think legalization should be given a fair shake, as the benefits could be incredible, ranging from boosting the economy to helping people with mental health issues cope.
The last thing I want to mention before I end this article is that this is just my opinion. It is very much okay for you to disagree with me. What is not okay is for the reaction to disagreeing with me to be anything like the villainization and sensationalism our society is so great at creating lately. If we want things to change for the better, and for our society to last far into the future, we need to start having discussions on issues, and not just dismissing each other as bogeymen. In other words, you know this is just my opinion, right?
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.