[WATCH]: Should We Legalize Marijuana in Texas?
Today is April 20. This date has become known as 4/20 and has become a type of unofficial holiday. It started with a small group of "kids" in California in the 1970's. There's an interesting backstory there if you want to delve into it.
And now 4/20 has become a bit of a phenomenon. The day has also brought more awareness to the conversation around whether or not we should end the federal prohibition on marijuana.
Currently, marijuana is fully legal in 16 states and Washington D.C. Medical uses of marijuana are legal in 36. Just recently New York State has voted to fully legalize it, as well. Three more states, New Mexico, Virginia, and South Dakota, have legalized it. Though it has yet to pass into law.
But not Texas.
Which is surprising and distressing to some. Others are fully against legalizing marijuana, though usually not for economic reasons.
Texas is extremely pro-business, and there's no doubt at this point that we'd see an economic boost were we to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana.
Others are concerned that marijuana is a "gateway drug" that will pave the path toward those vulnerable to using harder drugs. Though, many argue against that when you look at the studies.
Personally, I have a hard time understanding how alcohol is legal but marijuana is not. Of course they're different substances with varying effects. But if you look at the number of car accidents and crime that follow the heavy use of alcohol, I have a hard time seeing how heavy drinking is "better" than the occasional use of marijuana.
When you add the research showing the medical benefits of marijuana for some, it seems absurd to see how easily pharmaceuticals with myriad side effects are dispensed, while marijuana remains a taboo subject for many Texans. Although to be fair, more and more Texans have at least somewhat changed their minds on this issue.
So tell us: What are your thoughts? Is it time for Texas to legalize marijuana or do you feel this is a dangerous gateway drug?