Eric Easley
Eric Easley

The AP Government students of Van Wert High School will be submitting a weekly editorial to inform the public on a variety of issues. They have been encouraged to research, take a position, and defend their reasoning for having such thoughts. The purpose of these editorials is to provide awareness and knowledge for the community and to be thought provoking. The views expressed in these editorials do not represent Van Wert High School, and are written solely by the student author.

On January 1st, 2014, Colorado became the first state to legally sell marijuana to residents and non-residents for recreational use. This topic of the legalization of marijuana has been a point of controversy for many years. Now in Colorado it is legal to buy marijuana although the Controlled Substance Act still holds marijuana possession as a federal crime and it is supposed to trump state law. With that being said, the Obama Administration has stated it will not intervene unless marijuana is being distributed to minors or the revenue is going to a criminal enterprise.

The Obama administration’s apathetic attitude toward the new law will allow for one of the most intriguing social experiments in today’s changing world. The main question that many people are wondering is will the pros of the legalization of marijuana outweigh the cons? Some pros include the billions of dollars that experts estimate legalization could generate through taxes. The major con to legalization is many believe that it is a harmful substance that damages the brains ability to function correctly.

Advocates for legalization claim that alcohol does just as much damage to the brain and is in some studies even more harmful. Another problem is that many drug dealers will start to grow their own marijuana without a license from the state so the state won’t be able to tax it. Also some studies have shown a link between marijuana and violence. Even with all these cons, the revenue of legalization could help boost a nation that is struggling to find a balanced budget and is out of money. Whether this experiment ends with a rise in crime, an increase of adolescents with brain damage or the government receiving a much needed payday, all we can do now is wait and see.