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4.20.2011

In the News: 4/20 says "High"

4.20.2011

April 20th. Said that way, it doesn't have much more meaning than a day of the month. But abbreviate today's date to 4/20 and suddenly it takes on a much more 'elevated' meaning. Around the world, 4/20 is considered to be a celebration for a subculture that chooses to consume and support the use of marijuana. This term supposedly originated in the 70's by a group of California high schoolers, but has since grown to take on a meaning of its own. Now, an entire day has been dedicated to this controversial herb.

There has long been debate over the use of marijuana. Whether for recreational use, medical use, or no use at all, there tends to be very polarized opinions on the issue. One very dedicated group of supporters, NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) has been pushing for the legalization of marijuana. Many rallies occur nationwide. Each year in Boulder, Colorado there is an annual 420 celebration, and even a smoke-out on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder that draws thousands of supporters.

With so many advocates of marijuana use, it can often be difficult to get unbiased information about its health effects. Supporters may say it's a natural, harmless herb. Many scientists and researchers would disagree. While you can argue its positive or negative effects, one known fact is this: Marijuana use is illegal in the US and there are harsh punishments for possession or distribution. A recent CNBC poll found that the majority of Americans are against the legalization of marijuana. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

1 comments:

Shannon said...

In the under-30 demographic, legalization is strongly favored. I think this statistic is very indicative of the idea that opposing legalization is becoming increasingly outdated. New generations continue to support legalization more and more, possibly because no research has ever shown in a statistically significant manner that marijuana has effects detrimental to 1) the physiological health of any individual or that of the community or 2) the social health of any individual, community, or wider society. CAFFEINE has caused more deaths than marijuana has. Cancer risk from common foods like meat and salt far exceeds cancer risk from marijuana smoking. Marijuana has never been shown to be a gateway drug, only purported to be. Most marijuana-related arrests are for simple possession. The government could save billions of dollars per year in incarceration costs by legalizing, and earn millions or billions more by taxing the marijuana industry.