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Legalization: Drawing the line on Cannabis By: Christopher Nava Since its discovery mankind has always had

a love affair for the cannabis plant, but for the past seventy years that love has been forbidden. The United States government outlawed Cannabis in the early 1930's, but as 2014 approaches Colorado and Washington will be able to legally sell Cannabis for recreational use. As the rest of the nation looks to follow (which it eventually will), a question burns in the mind of every dispensary owner, politician, and Cannabis user. How do keep Cannabis use safe? There is no question Cannabis use is safer than any psychoactive drug (, but where do we draw the line on what is acceptable and what is not? Driving under the influence (DUI), possession, growing, accessibility, medical benefits, and use in general are all problems until we establish a lineate system that is rewards based giving more privileges to those who follow the laws and takes away privileges to those who dont. You may wonder why lineate? The reason we as Americans must create a lineate system is strictly because the Cannabis industry is so new. We need to let it grow and through trial and error, we can eliminate any negative aspects. If we immediately have strict rules with heavy enforcement the industry will grow at a much slower rate, which could lead to civil disobedience, and more unnecessary arrests (which were some problems legalization was supposed to solve). Think about it this way, the Cannabis industry is an infant. The consumer represents the infant's caregiver. If we punish the caregiver for supporting the infant, in this case jail time/fines, the caregiver may discontinue care for the infant thus letting it die, but if we were to give the caregiver more freedom he could raise the infant to grow up successful. That being said, how much can I have on me? The maximum amount of weight one could possess in public should be one ounce, reason being there are few legitimate reasons to carry more than an ounce. This rule does not change due to the fact that carrying more than an ounce usually means it is going to be distributed to individuals who are not old enough to purchase it themselves. As for personal home possession, an individual can possess any amount as long as it stays at the person's place of residence. The reason being is that as long as it stays at the person's place of residence it no longer becomes a public issue. Personal grow is a different story. Personal growth is one of the most debated issues when legalization is discussed. How many plants can one person grow? An individual should be allowed to grow up to six plants. One plant alone can produce up to five pounds per harvest, which can occur up six times annually assuming that the plant is grown properly (Harvey, B.). This is the current law in Colorado and I strongly support it. Although, after year with no Cannabis related offenses, the maximum amount of plants one could possess at home should be upped by one so the maximum amount for that year will be seven plants. This will continue every year until the individual reaches the cap which is ten plants. When Cannabis is legalized there is no doubt that people will drive under the influence, but is it really as big of an issue as media claims it to be? Cannabis use does have an effect on motor abilities, but this impairment is not severe ( Driving on Cannabis does not play a significant role in on-road traffic accidents ( If a driver is pulled over and suspected of Driving under the influence, the driver's punishment should not be severe. The individual should have to pay an extra thirty dollars on top of whatever they got pulled over for.

So who would be able to purchase Cannabis? How old do you have to be? Well there is no proven study that shows Cannabis use affects the development of brains in teens an (Harvey, B.). That being said you would have to be eighteen to purchase Cannabis, and younger if refereed by a licensed professional. If an individual can fight and die
for his country or smoke cancer all at the young Cannabis which unlike 350,000 people a year cigarettes which can give him age of 18, then why cant he smoke tobacco that kills more than

various medical uses. to not cause cancer, even prevents growth of cancer cells (Harvey, B.). What would you have to go through to purchase Cannabis? The process should be easy and it should prioritize medical patients. The licenses should be divided into four classes. Class D is for people who are eighteen and older but not twenty-one using recreationally. To show they are class D patients they simply show their license or identification. These individuals pay a tax of one dollar and twenty cents per gram which is twenty cents more than a tax on a pack of cigarettes. Class C patients is primarily made up of twenty-one and older recreational users. This group of people pays a tax of one dollar and thirty cents per gram, and to show they are Class C users the simply show Identification. Class B users are above the age of twenty one that have a medical condition and are recommended medical cards by a medical professional. This group can qualify medical insurance which covers a fraction of the cost of their medication; all they pay is the remainder and the tax. Class A people under the age of twenty-one that are prescribed Cannabis. They are treated the same way as Class B patients and are issued special medical cards. It makes sense to assist those that truly need it and allowing medical insurance to help pay for their medication is just the right thing to do. As previously we should establish a lineate system stated that is rewards based giving more privileges to those who follow the laws and takes away privileges to those who dont. So what is an offense and what are the punishments? Excessive Possession of plants, or herb, and usage in unauthorized areas are all Class C misdemeanors which may result in a fine up to onehundred dollars. Distribution to a minor, purchasing for a minor (17- ), and using with a minor are all felonies with no less than one year jail time. When committing any Cannabis offense where jail time is required, the user can not grow any more until he gets permission from a judge. He can only possess up to an ounce in both in public and at home. As our nation itches closer and closer to legalization, the need for a system that regulates Cannabis and accommodates medical patients. We truly need establish a lineate system, we have to let this industry take off in order to make it successful. It is up to us as a nation to use cannabis safely.

(Harvey, B.), has hundreds of Cannabis also has been proven deteriorates tumor size, and


Harvey, B. (8, June 2007). The Union: The business behind getting high. Norml (national organization for reform of marijuana laws). ultetveny.jpg (picture)

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