there’s something about mary.

it’s time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana in this country. it is ridiculous to make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens for indulgence in a drug proven to be safer than other legal recreational substances. years of research has proven that not only does the drug have many medicinal advantages, but it is also one of the safest drugs one can consume — even if “abused.”

i place the term “abused” in quotation marks because most research affirms that marijuana is nonaddictive and only poses a moderate (if any at all) risk of being a gateway substance. in the 1970s, the united states government spearheaded and funded an extensive research study, finding marijuana to do nothing more than pacify the user. moreover, they found the legal ramifications associated with possessing and/or using the drug to be overzealous.

that being said, in 2016 there are more criminals incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses than all other violent offenses combined. according to the urban institute nearly half of the individuals imprisoned for drug related offenses are considered low risk offenders with minimal prior convictions. furthermore, there was no criminal history at all for more than a quarter of this same population. i can’t help but wonder how many of them just wanted to puff the magic dragon and make the world a better place. smh

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