- Politics and Social Issues
Marijuana - The Controversial Money Maker
What People Outside The Emerald Triangle Don't Understand
Ah, the good ol' Emerald Triangle. Mendocino, Trinity, and Humboldt counties all located in the beautiful forests of Northern California. I grew up in Humboldt, then moved to Mendocino. When I chat with people from out of town, they often don't realize that weed (even before legalized medically, yayyy!) is accepted, known, the biggest industry in the area. Wine and Weed! The life, right?
Anyways, it's surprising how so many people don't realize that the local and federal governments are involved. In Mendocino county (Ukiah, Willits, Laytonville, Boonville, etc) it's common knowledge that a HUGE portion of the community survives on illegal pot farms (growing, trimming, moving, whatever). It's a cash community that thrives because of this plant!
The local cops won't bug you. Shoot, they're probably growing too! You can literally go to a popular trail and see pot farms in the distance (ballsy right?!). The feds are a different story. They know we're here. They know we (as a community) move MASSIVE amounts of the ganja. But they come in each year and only bust a few farms (probably meeting a quota).
For the community, it's a great industry to have. It's extremely sad seeing families get busted and hauled off to prison for years just for making a living by farming (how on earth did farming ANY plant lead to prison sentences longer than rape/theft/assault?!?!?!?!?). Legal or not, our community will continue to thrive with it....Keep throwing innocents in prison (with our tax dollars) or legalize! Keep letting huge cash communities (not paying taxes) go under the radar, or legalize!
On A More Serious Note....
The controversy of the legalization of cannabis has been a growing issue. People argue over the benefits and harmful effects it could have on society and the nation. People in favor of legalizing marijuana often point out that once legalized, the black market would shrink. Violence and the price of pot would decrease, while regulations on consumer use, making the drug safer, would increase. It would become more readily available and more affordable for people in need for medical purposes. Cannabis has been used as a method of healing since ancient times. It can replace chemotherapy for cancer patients, providing them with a safer, less harmful healing procedure. It can also be used to relieve pain of all sorts. In addition, people for the legalization of marijuana could argue that because it’s safer than alcohol and cigarettes, it’s unfair that marijuana is illegal. Studies have shown that more people have died from alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs, pain relievers (such as Advil and Aspirin), and even vitamin C between the years 2000 and 2010 than those who overdosed on marijuana. If cannabis became legal, perhaps more people would participate in smoking or eating it instead of drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes, resulting in a safer, healthier nation.
On the other hand, those against marijuana have some solid arguments as well. A big argument as to why it shouldn’t be legalized is that marijuana is a stepping-stone drug. This means the use of marijuana could provoke users to try harder, dangerous drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Legalizing marijuana could also make it easier for the drug to fall into the hands of kids. The more readily available and affordable it is, the easier it is for any of the population to get it. Another argument that those against pot would add is that weed users who abuse the drug could become physically harmed. Just like any drug, overdosing can be fatal.
To legalize or not to legalize marijuana is a much debated topic in recent news. A few states, Washington, and Colorado, have taken action and legalized marijuana within their borders. I have to agree with these states and all who are in favor of legalizing cannabis. It’s beneficial to the medical field, safer than a lot of substances consumed by Americans (i.e. prescription drugs, pain relievers, fast-food, GMO food, alcohol, tobacco, etc.), and once legalized could reduce the crime of the black market.