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Times Talk addresses marijuana legalization

By Paden Stubblefield
On December 5, 2012

On Wednesday Nov. 27, Times Talk met and discussed the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana.

At the discussion, many of the facets of marijuana legalization were discussed.

For one, with Tennessee being an agricultural-friendly state, marijuana and hemp could be a good cash crop. Where some crops cannot grow, marijuana could.  Since it grows naturally in this area, it would be simple to grow, and doing so would increase jobs in the state and surrounding alike. With alcohol and tobacco product being taxed, the same could be done with marijuana.

Also, it was mentioned that it could help lower organized crimes. Legalizing it would keep it out of the hand of minors. This could stop people from doing other drugs possibly, and it could stop the influences of others peer pressuring people to take drugs.

On an economic level, people discussed how it could free up space in prisons and jails. People with charges with possession of marijuana are sent to jail for years, crowding prisons. That could be avoided and save money when it comes to food and judicial fees alone. When alcohol was made illegal, people went out of their way to get alcohol. The same is said about marijuana today. If legalized, you would go to the store and buy it like a pack of cigarettes instead of buying it from a dealer.

It was said that marijuana could be used as a medication to reduce serious diseases like cancer, and doing so would ease the pain patients are going through with chemotherapy.

The group said oils from the plant could even help acid reflux. Though if it were legalized, it could harm pharmaceutical companies in the process, which may be a reason why it isn't legal today.

Though the discussion was very enlightening for students, hearing others' opinions, ultimately it is up to the government and state.

However, by students attending this discussion, they were able to form their own opinions and create plans for action. If this is something that strikes a cord for or against you, no matter which of the two, speak your voice out.

To get involved in other debates about pressing issues like this, come to Times Talk on Wednesdays at noon in the back of the cafeteria.

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