In this years election the legalization of medical marijuana has become an important issue. For Some students on the Bloomsburg campus however, the legalization of marijuana does not sway votes, should not be a political issue and should be regulated similarly to alcohol.
“Marijuana is the patients choice,” said Mike Grevera, a senior anthropology major with an associate degree in psychology. “Not a politician or anyone else’s choice for that matter.”
President Barrack Obama favors the legalization of medical cannabis, basing his decision on the reports of medical professionals, while Governor Mitt Romney is against the legalization of cannabis for any reason.
Between 1997 and 2005 the FDA reported 196 deaths where the primary cause was Anti-emetics, medication used to treat vomiting. During this time marijuana was the primary cause in zero deaths.
Grevera’s vote has not been influenced at all over the debate for marijuana legalization. He says drugs are something everyone is exposed to.
“I’ve met people who do drugs and are unbelievably smart and I’ve met people who do drugs and are idiots,” said Mike.
Many Americans who are held to a higher standard have admitted they have smoked. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian, admitted he smoked. President Barrack Obama talks about his extensive cannabis use in his book “Dreams of My Father”.
The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, a successful businessman, said he smoked pot when he was younger and enjoyed it. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was in charge of California’s legalization for those who have a prescription.
Medical Marijuana is currently legal in 17 states including Colorado and New Jersey. It is also legal in the District of Colombia and legalization is also pending in seven states, including Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 1003, introduced April 25, 2011, decriminalizes the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. It was carried over into the 2012 legislative session, which began on January 3, 2012.
Reports from the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows an increase of marijuana usage by the national youth from 2.3 percent from 20.8 percent in 2009 to 23.1 percent in 2011.
These reports also show the usage of marijuana decreased 2.8 percent among the youth in Colorado from 2009 to 2011.
“I support the legalization of medical marijuana because it has no life threatening or harmful side effects,” said Kristin Stauffer, a senior Psychology major. “If the AMA finds that medical marijuana has medicinal favors then I see no problem using it for those purposes.”
Kristin’s vote for this presidential election has not been altered based a candidate’s standpoint on medicinal marijuana.
“No, the debate on medical marijuana hasn’t influenced my vote for the presidential candidate, I vote democratic regardless,” she said.
In 2009 the CDC reported 24,518 deaths caused by alcohol. These numbers did not include homicides or accidents.
Students agree cannabis is less toxic and less harmful for the body than alcohol. Once you turn 18 legally you are an adult, giving you the right to make your own decision on this issue.
“Marijuana should not be used as a medical excuse but it should be legal and we should tax it,” said Julianne Heater, a junior majoring in pre-med. “It should have the same restrictions as tobacco products because at 18 you’re an adult.”