Featured News 2019 Mary Jane Myths Debunked: Marijuana Reform has States Going Green

Mary Jane Myths Debunked: Marijuana Reform has States Going Green

Throughout our country, there are more arrests relating to the possession of marijuana every single year than the arrests for all violent crimes combined. In fact, according to the Marijuana Policy Project this is a formula that means that roughly every 40 seconds someone is being arrested for a crime relating to marijuana and that almost nine out of ten times it is for minor possession charges. This has left the drug to become a source of national debate and a constant focus for media outlets across the nation – many arguing that these arrests are tax dollars wasted and that progressive reform should be sought.

Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project works to seek the decriminalization of marijuana related crimes and works to promote public support for more educated knowledge regarding cannabis. Their end goal is for marijuana to be placed in the same category of alcohol and to be regulated as such – looking for realistic treatment of the substance and promoting treatment for those who use excess.

This debate is the most heated about the subject in more than a generation. In fact, recently in Minnesota residents got a first-hand look at the topic as legislators and Governor Tim Pawlenty debated over the use of medical marijuana and the legislation that applied to them. This is not the only state that has had politics enter into these turbulent waters. Most of these debates stem from simply not knowing the truth – and at the end of the day, the only way to create realistic and effective laws is to know for sure the truth of the subject matter separated from popular misconceptions.

One of the largest myths is that the reason marijuana is illegal is because of scientific findings and governmental hearings – that after much debate that the drug was determined to be dangerous to the heath of the public. This, however, is not how the reality actually played out. In fact, when it was placed to a vote, the truth was never actually displayed for those who needed it – the majority of the information that they were supplied with came from yellow journalism. Some myths that were believed then and are widely circulated today include the following:

  • Marijuana is dangerous to public safety. There is no drug that is without its dangers, however, the dangers that are pose by marijuana was fairly modest compared to other similar drugs. In fact, when compared to alcohol it is less addictive, less toxic and invokes less violence.
  • Legalization would mean that more people will use it. This is actually not true at all. In fact, The Netherlands have decriminalized cannabis – adults can possess and purchase marijuana. The World Health Organization recently did a study and found that the usage there is actually half of what it is in the United States currently.
  • If it's legal, children will be more exposed to it. This was recently debunked in cigarette usage – which has been shown by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have dramatically decreased in usage by high school students. On the other hand, the usage of marijuana has increased. The reason? Tobacco sellers are regulated by the government and licensed – meaning that there are rules that have to be followed, unlike current marijuana dealers.

While there is no blanket legislation regarding the decriminalization of marijuana, there are several states that have taken the first step towards reforming the legislation. Overall there are sixteen states that have removed the related criminal sanctions, defining the eligibility for the use as well as the means of access that is allowed under law.

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