I will start by addressing the incoming elephant in the room. I do not partake in certain “extra-curricular” activities that some people my age, from time to time, may, but I fully support them!
Marijuana legalization is a hot topic that gets a considerable amount of coverage in the media. I am going to be looking at an editorial on marijuana legalization in relation to the current government administration and sharing my views on the piece as a non-smoking millennial.
Marijuana legalization is, in fact, one of those topics that has been covered so much that there are probably not many other angles to the discussion. There are plenty of opinions on both sides of the topic, but in general the numbers of supporters of legalization has grown tremendously over the past several decades. 8 states have legalized recreational marijuana use and 29 have for medical use.
There has been a lot of buzz around Jeff Session with this debate. I recently read an editorial from the New York Times called, Jeff Sessions’s Endless War on Marijuana. This editorial brings out a lot of the issues that are incredibly important in regards to this topic.
So, let’s jump into it.
“Consider the new guidance on marijuana that Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued last week, which reverses Obama-era policy and gives prosecutors more leeway to enforce federal laws against the drug in states where it is legal.”
Session’s is a well known opponent of marijuana legalization. With his current power and backing in the U.S. government, he has made a significant move that allows prosecutors to enforce federal drug laws in the states that have legalized the drugs.
The editorial goes on to point out the increasing support that American’s have shown for marijuana legalization.
“In other words, the new policy is deeply unpopular. “
What I really like about this piece comes mostly towards the end. In the second half of this editorial, the author goes through and discusses specific politicians who are against Jeff Sessions’s policies on this.
The last few points also make this editorial stand out compared to others. The NYT Editorial Board (in which this piece is by) discuss the racial inequalities that come along with the imprisonment/punishment of those for drug related crimes. They also go over the out-dated policies with marijuana use.
Perhaps most important to the U.S. government is the money aspect of it all.
“By the end of this year, it is estimated that legal marijuana will be a $9 billion industry.”
In a sort of “call-to-action”, this piece concludes by discussing how Sessions is turning back the clock.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think we can afford to jail anymore people for marijuana related crimes in legalized states or deal with any other set backs from Sessions’s policies; that’s just my two cents.