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Alicia Strusa wrote this article for Toke Signals

If you’ve been paying attention to what has actually been happening most recently, you are aware that the push for the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana is on the rise.

It would seem that people are finally waking up and realizing the good that would come from this, and the strong push is coming from Generation Y, or the “Millennials.”

The open-minded generation that dared to wonder, innovate, and ask thought-provoking questions is the same generation of free-spirited creators and thinkers who brought on the push for change within our society.

Public opinion on legalizing marijuana use has ebbed and flowed over the past four decades. Today, for the first time, a majority of the American public favors legalizing marijuana, and support has risen 11 points since 2010. [mySA]

Public opinion on legalizing marijuana use has ebbed and flowed over the past four decades. Today, for the first time, a majority of the American public favors legalizing marijuana, and support has risen 11 points since 2010.
[mySA]

Our power has led us to influence others because we think for ourselves and encourage others to do the same. We are the people who understand that making a difference in the world first begins with looking into ourselves because to bring about true change we must start from within.

This is an inescapable truth. Thus begins the story of why our opportunist generation coupled with the cannabis movement is so critical now. We already have many 420-friendly groups, some new and some older, that are clearing the way with their active quests for legalization, decriminalization, and truth.

It’s time for the people to get re-educated about pot. So where do we begin and how do we even get started? First, we need to take a look at marijuana and its uses throughout history. (Let’s do so briefly, but dare to do the in-depth research on your own, too.)

The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung. [Did You Know?]

The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung.
[Did You Know?]

The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug was in 2737 B.C. Chinese emperor Shen Nung first documented the drug’s effectiveness when it was used to treat pains of gout and rheumatism.

Skipping ahead to 1619, the first law in the American colonies was that farmers were required to grow the hemp plant; it was illegal if you didn’t grow it!

[This fact brings up another major element: knowing the difference between hemp and marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same species of plant. Hemp seed is nutritious and actually contains more essential fatty acids than any other source. Hemp seed is not psychoactive and cannot be used as a drug. Marijuana has a high THC content, unlike hemp. THC is what gives marijuana its mind-altering affects. Hemp can be used for paper, housing, food, textiles, fuel, and oil…should I go on? It is more than clear that we need to bring the hemp industry back for global sustainability!]

During the temperance movement of the 1890s, marijuana was commonly recommended as a substitute for alcohol. The reason for this was that use of marijuana did not lead to domestic violence while alcohol abuse did. [The Blong]

During the temperance movement of the 1890s, marijuana was commonly recommended as a substitute for alcohol. The reason for this was that use of marijuana did not lead to domestic violence while alcohol abuse did.
[The Blong]

During the temperance movement of the 1890s, marijuana was commonly recommended as a substitute for alcohol. The reason? Marijuana did not lead to the domestic violence that alcohol abuse did.

Then, skipping to 1970, The Controlled Substances Act made it illegal to possess, use, sell, buy, or cultivate pot in the United States. Being classified as a Schedule I drug meant that marijuana had no acceptable medical use and that it had a high potential for abuse.

This is completely inconsistent with previous years, as 1850 to 1942 had marijuana being listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a useful medicine. It helped with nausea, headaches, anxiety, and labor pains.

If you look at the bigger picture, you can see why marijuana is so controversial. Pharmaceutical companies make bank off of our sicknesses. If everyone knew that a natural plant could help ease our pain and that there are no proven harmful effects from using it, then pharmacies would be irrelevant.

Even though this is only a tiny piece in the larger puzzle, marijuana still being illegal in the year 2013 is evidence that our government values money over the health of the people.

Prohibition never worked in the past and it will never work now or in the future. If we treat marijuana like we treat alcohol, controlled, taxed, and only for those 21 and older, we would be taking steps in the right direction.

Contrary to popular belief, the whole cannabis movement has nothing to do with getting high.

Millennials are pretty open about their pot use, medicinal and/or recreational. It’s crucial that we keep questioning and researching and honestly the more talk about it means that this major marijuana movement is very real. Thirteen states at least have medical marijuana legalized and, last November, Colorado and Washington became the first two states in the nation to legalize the private use of marijuana for adults 21 and older.

The truth is that we need to be open to this change that could save our planet, not run from it. Our generation is not the first to take a strong stand on a controversial topic.

We only ask that others join us and stand together with the bold, bare truth backing us up. When it comes down to it, we know that this is not about being selfish or getting high. This is about saving our planet.

~ Alicia Strusa

Alicia Strusa

Alicia Strusa

Editor’s note: Alicia Strusa is a creative writer with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the New England School of Communications.

She has always loved writing about things that are outside of the typical news stories, featuring different angles and perspectives of a story.

She is a strong activist for the re-education of cannabis and strong human interest pieces that allow others to be a part of the conversation, are her specialty.

When she’s not writing or reading a thought-provoking book, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the beach, and painting.

 

 

Sources:

www.drugpolicy.org

http://host.madison.com/ct

 

  • SundownLF

    I am definitely a boomer, not a Millenial and/or Gen Xer. And, to be honest, I’ve been fighting for legalization for MANY years, now, and – although I am delighted to see that younger people are much more open-minded about marijuana (and hemp), I don’t think they should be getting ‘all’ the credit for this specific social change!

    Now, if only we could get Holder to start prioritizing his ‘job’ – lay off of pursuing medical (or legalized) marijuana and get around to working on the banks, Wall Street, even those who pursued the Iraq war with NO justification. (Hint: Elizabeth Warren could provide some valuable insight!)

  • Katie Stevens

    Millennials are losers.

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