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Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Modest Proposal

Have you ever read Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal?" It's a satirical solution to the Irish potato famine that suggests all parents eat or sell their children so they don't have to worry about feeding them all while finding adequate nutrition for themselves. Don't worry; it's not as gruesome as it sounds. It's quite funny, actually. 

Check it out here: A Modest Proposal 

I decided to write a modest proposal of my own, addressing one issue that plagues American society today: legalizing marijuana. (Don't worry, it's fake.)

A Modest Proposal

          It’s such a travesty that the American public cannot enjoy the numerous benefits of cannabis without fear of persecution by the government. Marijuana, which causes happiness and great philosophical thinking, has been outlawed in America since the early 1900s because of racism, yellow journalism, and tobacco and alcohol companies that want to protect their profits. Cannabis is still illegal today for the same reasons, but also because of the ignorance of our legislature. The media pummels them with biased, mostly fabricated facts on why marijuana is harmful to the body and should not be legalized. 
          But I would like to pose a solution to this problem, seeing as the political parties, rallies, and propositions in favor of marijuana do not seem to be working. Our unlearned Congressmen and women need to know first-hand just how wonderful marijuana is. So, I think it would be a great idea for a group of strong, pro-cannabis individuals to feed these leaders freshly baked batches of pot brownies, which are chocolate squares laced with marijuana. Within a few hours, they would feel the effects of the drug and their ways of thinking would change drastically. Partisan issues would disappear, bitter political battles would end, and everything would just be alright.
          Once the Congressmen experience the wonders of marijuana, they will also open their eyes to the other benefits of the drug. The legalization of marijuana will greatly boost the dwindling economy by collecting colossal taxes and creating a sharp increase in junk food consumption. An overall sense of relaxation would pervade through America. People would not find themselves so stressed about everything; they would simply learn to “chill” and “go with the flow,” so to speak. People with chronic pain could also find some relief in marijuana. Those with AIDS, anorexia, or other diseases that diminish one’s appetite would be cured. Imagine a society where people don’t have to live their lives with a constant pain throbbing in their body. A society where emaciated little girls and boys could find joy in food and maintain a healthy weight. A society where everyone takes just a little time out of their busy schedules to sit back and simply enjoy life. 
          As a recent graduate of Yale University with a major in illegal drugs and an periodic pot smoker myself, I am aware of almost all there is know about marijuana. Claims that it is an addictive gateway drug are absolutely ludicrous. Cannabis has no physical withdrawal symptoms and is not a “gateway” to anything. The study that made this declaration gathered the data in all the wrong ways; instead of tracking current marijuana users to see if they go on to try other hard drugs, they asked users of cocaine and heroin if they previously smoked marijuana. That’s like asking a group of obese people if they’ve ever eaten sweets and then telling people who are physically healthy that they’ll become obese if they occasionally eat a slice of cake. The research is flawed and the argument is invalid. And even though most hard drug users did admit to smoking marijuana, another, less ridiculous, study showed that 83% of marijuana users say they have never tried any hard drugs.
          And let’s not forget that marijuana has never taken the life of a single soul. Other, legal drugs claim the lives of many people, e.g., tobacco kills 435,000 annually, alcohol kills 85,000, and even caffeine kills upwards of 10,000 people a year. Think of all the people who have to sit back and watch as a tobacco-induced cancer eats away at their relatives. Think of all the women and children who are victims of domestic violence because a male is coming home and beating them in a drunken stupor. Think of all the people desperately addicted to caffeine, and how it is slowly but surely increasing their heart rate with every single sip of coffee. But I’m not saying that we should try to prohibit these drugs. I’m just pointing out the fact that their negative consequences are ten times more devastating than any of the few effects associated with marijuana.
          The benefits of smoking cannabis are plentiful and the drawbacks are minimal. Legalizing marijuana will provide Americans with a safe alternative to unwind after a stressful day and will also improve their dilapidated economy. The scrumptious pot brownies will leave Congressmen with no other option but to legalize marijuana, making a America a better, more enjoyable place.

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