The thing is, teenagers are going to drink and smoke, and do whichever drugs they want, whether it's legal or not. Yes, drug addiction is a big problem in america, but doling out citations does nothing but send more funds the police departments' way, and does nothing for the greater good. People who are addicts need rehab, not jail.
Now, surprise, surprise, I know, I support legalization. The first side of the debate I'd like to explore is the side that's in support of legalizing weed.
Compare to most drugs, pot is the least dangerous. Pot is not addictive. For anybody who'd like to argue that it is, anything moreish can be theoretically addictive, people can become addicted to drinking water. Caffeine and sugar are both more addictive than weed. If you become addicted to coffee, and you stop drinking it, you'll get headaches for a few days, and be especially sluggish when you can't have it. The closest thing I've experienced to pot withdrawal is having some crazy-ass dreams.
The most notable negative side effect you'll experience while high is short term memory loss. The effect is temporary and wears off within a few hours. You will get the munchies, you'll giggle, and think of things you wouldn't normally think of. Pot has no measurable long term effects on the brain. I smoked for years and still test genius on IQ tests. My mental capacity has only increased over the years.
You should never drive under the influence of pot or alcohol, or a lot of prescriptions drugs, for that matter. You'll wreck your car driving drunk, pot may cause you to pull out in front of a vehicle, or not see a stop sign, but driving drunk you might drive 20 over the speed limit in the wrong lane. Pot makes you a more cautious driver.
Pot is the safest of all drugs. It's safer to smoke a joint than to drink a 6 pack.
Pot re-allocates the brains resources. It may make you more imaginative, and come up with ideas you wouldn't think of otherwise, it makes you think outside the box.
Pot affects different people in different ways. If you don't like the way you are when you get high, then you should stop smoking pot. Pot has a reputation for making people lazy, but I'm not certain if people are lazy in the first place, and are therefore attracted to pot, or if smoking pot is what makes people lazy in the first place.
There is no logical argument against medicinal marijuana. It's been proven to shrink tumors in cancer patients, and treats countless diseases like glaucoma, and can help ease the symptoms of AIDS patients.
Pot should be legal, it would benefit many people in America. I think many people would switch from alcohol to pot; pot being the lesser of two evils. It's less addictive, and far less dangerous.
People who oppose pot
-The government- few politicians are brave enough to support legalization because the establishment as a whole is decidedly against it
-religious establishments-"anything fun is sinful"
-people who see themselves as morally superior to others
-alcohol lobbyists-for obvious reasons
-tobacco lobbyists-pot has the potential to break nicotine addiction in some people
-law enforcement agencies-these agencies get a vast majority of their funding from pot related charges. They steal billions of dollars and private property from the people. If pot becomes legal, these police will have to chase actual criminals
-drug dealers-for obvious reasons
-the lumber industry-hemp could easily solve our massive deforestation problem
-"90% of drug addicts smoked marijuana first"
really? and bet 90% of them attended church and played little league baseball first as well
-"over 400 chemicals are in the marijuana plant"
there are 400 chemicals in every plant, and 700 chemicals added to legal cigarettes
-"when a user begins to need the drug to feel well, the user is dependent or addicted to the drug"
this is redefining addiction in order to suit pot. By this logic, aspirin is addictive, and there should be a 12 step program in place to help those addicted to it.