Social Impact of Decriminalizing Marijuana
Marijuana should be decriminalized because it would not have a major social impact on our society.
Responsible smoking, as written by the NORML Board of Directors, is said to be: adults only; no driving while under influence; set and setting; resist abuse; and respect rights of others (www.norml.org).The first two aspects of responsible smoking speak for themselves and require no explanation. With the third aspect, set and setting, set refers to a smoker's, "values, attitudes, experiences, and personality." (www.norml.org).Setting refers to a consumer's physical and social conditions (www.norml.org).Resist abuse means that the, "Use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement, is abuse, to be resisted by responsible cannabis users." (www.norml.org).The final aspect, respect the rights of others, is pretty straightforward. It means that no smoker, no matter if they smoke marijuana or cigarettes, has the right to violate the rights of others around them (www.norml.org).This
also means that responsible smokers must, "adhere to emerging tobacco smoking protocols in public and private places." (www.norml.org).
Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs among Americans and Canadians, only to be passed in popularity by only alcohol and tobacco (www.norml.org).Government surveys have indicated that, "more than 70 million Americans have smoked marijuana at some point in their lives, and that 18-20 million have smoked during the last year." (www.norml.org).These statements were made by R. Keith Stroup, Esq., the executive director of NORML, before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Committee on Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives July 13, 1999. Mr. Stroup has sayed that, "Like most Americans, the majority of these millions of marijuana smokers are law-abiding citizens who work hard, raise families and contribute to their communities..." (www.norml.org).Also, an national survey made by the ACLU found...