Johnson City Press Friday, October 24, 2014
Community Voices

Providing safe, legal access to marijuana wouldn’t be bad idea

December 6th, 2013 11:52 am by Garon Archer

Providing safe, legal access to marijuana wouldn’t be bad idea

Medical marijuana in Tennessee? It’s not such a horrible idea. Marijuana has many therapeutic and medical benefits, ranging from the treatment of cancer patients to combating depression and social anxiety.
New scientific research is confirming the benefits of marijuana everyday, and the research isn’t bogus. In fact, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent in his article, “Why I changed my mind on weed,” wrote: “(Marijuana) doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.”
So why is marijuana still illegal?
Many argue that marijuana is a gateway drug, and I agree with them. Marijuana is a gateway drug because it’s purchased from drug dealers, who have access to prescription pills and harder drugs. People buying marijuana are provided with easy access to dangerous substances, and the drug culture expands because of this. I have watched friends become addicts when they were exposed to the drug culture because of who they associated with to get marijuana.
The prohibition of marijuana is fueling organized crime and drug addiction. It is not the only determining factor, but it’s a major one.
In conclusion, I’ve seen the benefits of medical marijuana and the risks that prohibition and prohibition alone is responsible for. The people need safe and legal access to marijuana for therapeutic and medicinal purposes.
By legalizing and regulating marijuana for use, we will fight drug addiction and provide a much-needed medicine to countless Tennesseans.

Garon Archer lives in Johnson City.

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