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The Importance of a Recreational Drug

The golden state has gained the reputation of being the laid back, liberal part of America. Dealing with many controversial topics that have to do with human rights, and even drug rights. Marijuana has been labeled as a “gateway drug” across the country for decades, but debates on the benefits of the plant have been upcoming.

As the start of 2017, California became the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana. Although Proposition 64 was passed, it will be heavily regulated and less accessible than alcohol. Weed has been seen as taboo by the federal government for quite some time, going back to 1986 when the drug bill was enacted. Even today the government maintains the classification of marijuana as a schedule one drug. Which is the category for drugs such as Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy.The benefits of the plant are far beyond than those using it for various reasons, but for the economy. The plant has benefits that are meant to defeat all generalizations it has gained through generations.

According to Fortune, when Colorado legalized marijuana in 2014, the boost in tax revenue increased dramatically by pulling in $76 million dollars the same year it was legalized. The government has always struggled with taxes and job creation throughout the country, and the legalization of weed has been shown to bring in more money than most believe.

Notwithstanding the fact that marijuana has been signified as a gateway drug, conversely, the plant has been used as medicine for numerous treatments for thousands of years.. It’s been linked to helping cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy by reducing nausea and helping with weight maintenance as majority experience extreme weight loss. It has also helped patients with anxiety, and other disorders.

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This brings it to the thought of many, why marijuana is still seen as taboo regardless of the benefits it has for individuals and the economy. The older generation has been tied to believing “drugs” are what cause teens to be burnouts or fail school. It’s become the stereotype that the bad kids in school definitely do drugs. When in reality, marijuana is a substance used by a great deal of people, even those who are attending ivy league schools. It even was boosted the most during the 1980s with the “Just Say No” campaign with Nancy Reagan being the main spokesperson for the advertisement. This caused to make the majority of Americans to believe of recreational drugs as close to death as possible.
Even though marijuana is now legal in California, it still has been difficult to get hands on the product freely. It is sold solely to those over 21 yet it won’t be available to public facilities till 2018 due to Proposition 64 still being constructed. Even then, it is not legal to smoke marijuana in public as cigarettes. When this change will come is as soon as the government itself realizes the positives the plant has for the economy.

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About the Contributor
Naz Hakim
Naz Hakim, Staff Writer
Hello hello! I'm Naz... yes like the rapper, though my name is short for Nazanin. I've been attending Mesa for two years and this is my final semester here. I'm planning on taking a semester off and traveling for a bit before going back to school to pursue a journalism major, specifically to work with magazines. I'm either at a coffee shop drinking a hot chai latte with headphones in,  looking at my computer screen like I'm very angry, or going on a road trip somewhere close by. If you see me around, make sure to say "I'm a lost alien" with a weird look in your eye. I don't know, maybe it can become a secret club...no? Okay.
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