President Obama has an interesting perspective on the cannabis issue. He’s right, legalization isn’t a panacea — few things are. However, legalization would improve an array of things, as our marijuana laws are all over the map in the United States. Some states have extreme consequences for very small amounts of marijuana (such as prison time and high fines), others have medical cannabis programs, while others provide legal brick and mortar stores where you can legally purchase a wide range of cannabis products. These drastically different laws and consequences make one thing clear: we need standardization of marijuana laws for the country as a whole. Testing legalization out in some states is a great way to begin, but ultimately we cannot stop there.
What’s more, without standardization and legalization, we leave room for racial profiling, we prohibit some from being able to access much needed medicine, we provide fuel to the drug cartel fire, and we hold our country’s economy back from garnering huge tax revenues. President Obama is correct: cannabis should be legalized and regulated. Treating marijuana in this way would allow for standardization across all states, provide revenue for our economy, begin to diminish the power of illegal drug cartels, and put a stop to one major way in which racial profiling is carried out.
Legalization and standardization are good for us all. It may not be a panacea, but it’s a very good place to start.