By Cali Green
In a NORML article on “Why Mom’s Want Marijuana Legalized” it mentions that “many mothers have openly stated that they would rather have their adult children choose marijuana over alcohol.” With the many deaths, binge drinking, sexual assaults, alcohol poisoning, and other serious injuries due to alcohol abuse, it makes sense why these mother’s would want their children to choose marijuana over alcohol, because marijuana has less damaging effects.
Though the effects of marijuana may be less harmful than those related to alcohol, the prohibition of marijuana still criminalizes marijuana users sending a message to our society “that there is no such thing as a responsible marijuana consumer.” However, there our responsible alcohol and marijuana users out there, but marijuana consumers are not given the same rights or education about its use.
Our society has accepted the damaging effects of alcohol and has taken action by educating our youth on how to use alcohol responsibly. Even though marijuana is less harmful the same principles are not applied. With the illegal black market many mothers are concerned with their children’s access to marijuana and the lack of education on how to use marijuana maturely. The only way to create a safe environment and limit this access to marijuana illegally is by legalization and teaching how to use marijuana responsibly. In a 2005 report by the NORML Foundation, they looked at both marijuana use patterns and arrest rates, and found that over 1 million children were selling marijuana annually.
Serra Frank a mother of two young boys is an example of a mother who is fighting to change marijuana laws. She is the founder of “Moms For Marijuana” an organization of mother’s who are fighting for the marijuana law reform and the future of their children. Frank believes “that once you are an adult, it is acceptable to occasionally alter your state of mind” and that “creating a system of marijuana regulation would tell children that, like alcohol and cigarettes, recreational use of marijuana is an adult decision. Educating them to risks and benefits of the plant is a much better choice than lying to them.”
It is very important that we educate our youth on how adults use marijuana responsibly. Not only will we influence our youth to make responsible decisions, but also give adults the satisfaction of using marijuana legally without feeling like a criminal. As adults, we should have the right to choose a safer substance without fearing criminal charges. And we should have the right to legalize marijuana to stop the illegal access to our children. We need to face the reality of our society and stop refusing the truth that millions of people use marijuana every day.
You can read more on this topic at norml.org