Staff Editorial: Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Jaxon Brems, Staff Reporter

We believe that the use of recreational marijuana should be legalized.  If marijuana is legalized recreationally, that means it may be used by any adult that is 21 years of age or older, and it may be used purely for pleasure and enjoyment.  Marijuana does not have to be smoked, the effects caused by marijuana can be achieved by consuming marijuana in a beverage, food, and even in a tablet.  Inhaling any type of smoke is not good for you, but that issue is resolved by these alternative uses of marijuana.

A concern that many people have with recreational marijuana is how it will affect minors and young minds.  The concern is that the act of legalizing it will make it very easy for minors to obtain, we do not believe that this is true.

The most common reason people believe that marijuana should remain illegal is due to their morals and ethics.  Many people believe that marijuana is a deadly drug because federally it is still considered a Class I narcotic, which places the substance next to cocaine and crystal meth.  When this has been proven to be false by researchers in states that it is legal so they have the ability to observe the short and long term effects it has.

We believe that once more attention is brought to the substance in Iowa, the extensive research on it will change many peoples’ minds.  A lot of people see marijuana as a drug that makes you lazy or a “stoner”.  We believe this is not true, but it can be, there are two main components in marijuana THC and CBD.

THC is the part of the plant that causes a large production of dopamine in your brain which causes the euphoria.  CBD is the portion of the plant that contains the medicinal elements, however it does not only affect one part of your body.  CBD can have very positive benefits to various parts of your body.  So marijuana does not just make you “high” a plant can actually be bred to contain no THC at all.  So in a sense, it can be made to not make you high, but instead have purely medicinal benefits.

Kathryn Gregor, a nurse at Washington High School is in support of recreational marijuana use.  Gregor says that the legalization process will more than likely occur within the next 5 to 10 years.  She is okay with the age restriction of 21 years of age or older.  Gregor says this is an appropriate age. Gregor sees recreational marijuana use as very similar to the use of alcohol.  Alcohol is consumed for pleasure by many Americans, there are some people who abuse alcohol and drink too much.  Marijuana will be the same way, many people will use the substance occasionally for pleasure.  There will be some people that will abuse it and use it far to often.  

A benefit of the legalization of recreational marijuana Gregor pointed out was that marijuana requires farming for the plants.  So it could greatly influence the farming wherever it happens to be legalized.  “Marijuana would definitely benefit farming in Iowa.”

Tate Petersen, ’19, is against recreational marijuana use.  Petersen feels that using marijuana when you do not need it is unnecessary.  If using the substance is not going to benefit you in any way, you should not use it.  Petersen says that medical marijuana use is totally fine, because there is a purpose to using the medication.  But recreational use will only cause issues.

Petersen says that making it legal in any way would make it far to accessible for minors and many people who shouldn’t be using it.  Legalizing it will cause many issues in high schools across the state, because of the legalization it will be more lax to law enforcement.  In Petersen’s opinion, marijuana is and should be treated as a dangerous drug unless it is used properly and by the individuals who benefit medically from it.

We believe that recreational marijuana use should be legalized.  Those who seek alternative medical treatments could greatly benefit from it, farmers would also greatly benefit from the production of it, and those who would like to use it for pleasure and enjoyment would have the ability to.