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Should marijuana be legalized?

Posted at 6:41 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 18:41:41-04

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) introduced what he calls the Marijuana Justice Act.  It would legalize marijuana at the federal level and provide incentives for states to legalize the drug.

It is not an isolated act.  Right now a group called The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol says it has more than 100,000 signatures from people who want to see the issue on the ballot in Michigan in November 2016.  The group’s goal is to get 300,000 signatures by October.

If marijuana became legal at the state and federal level, what would the consequences be?

A study done by a law enforcement group in Colorado found that there was an increase in crimes, car accidents, and medical issues connected to marijuana after it was legalized.

Emergency room doctors say there seems to have been an increase already in issues connected to marijuana since the legalization of medical marijuana in Michigan.  It has become more common for people who are chronic, every-day smokers, to experience severe nausea and vomiting that requires medical treatment, even hospitalization.

Dr. Lydia Baltarowich, a Henry Ford Emergency Room doctor says some people think marijuana is harmless and are surprised when they experience changes in mental status so severe they hallucinate or fall.

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon says he knows there are consequences of marijuana use, but it should be kept in mind the prohibition also comes with consequences. A lot of law enforcement resources are put into fighting the criminal marketplace it creates.

“The war on drugs has been an abysmal failure,” said Napoleon.

Napoleon says he has worked in law enforcement for more than 40 years and therefore been a part of the war on drugs. He says law enforcement continue to do the same thing to fight drugs, without satisfactory results. He says perhaps the country should look into new ways of addressing the issue.

“It spans four decades plus and nothing has changed, so that is the definition of insanity,” said Napoleon.