by The Urban Blabbermouth
It is odd how marijuana became legal: People voted on it. As far as I know, it's the only drug that is treated this way.
Normally, it's the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) here in the U.S. that figures these things out. Doctors and researchers run tests, and the FDA reviews the results and decides, Yea or Nay. But for marijuana, the people voted to make it legal. What do we, the voters, know about medicine?
We hold opinions that have no basis in medicine. Those who smoke marijuana and feel good using it want to legalize. Others see marijuana as a gateway drug - if you smoke marijuana, you will end using heroin/cocaine. This is so emotional and not based on any health research.
We are in this odd voting dilemma because of weak-willed politicians. Politicians are seeking votes and will pander to voters. I give you what you want, legal marijuana, right or wrong, and you will vote for me. It's the worst side of politicians.
Then pop culture presents marijuana as a fun thing to do. There is a TV show called Weeds (with a nod to the Cheech and Chong movie Up In Smoke). I have not watched Weeds so I cannot comment on it except to say that I have the vague impression of the show as an anti-hero romanticizing of marijuana. If most of us get our opinions from television then you can see how a show like Weeds affects voters.
The doctors have not helped. Doctors give us mixed messages. Have you heard of medical marijuana? It's an idea that smoking weed can help manage your illness. Soon, if not already, there will be a drug company (cigarette company?) selling marijuana pills.
To legalize or not to legalize? Be sure to hold your nose for second-hand smoke as you vote.