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It’s April 20th and everyone is stoned

That’s right, if you are not aware, today is a holiday for imbibers of marijuana. You can Google to figure out the various reasons people attribute special meaning to "420". Obviously this means the roads will be riddled with crazed drivers disregarding all rules of the road, maniacs disregarding the rules of society, and wild-eyed reefer madden thugs looking to beat and murder innocent people as well as engage in sexual acts without protection!

I believe in a short time you will see marijuana legalized all over the United States. Even Tennessee has proposed legislation to legalized medical marijuana but Governor Bill Haslam is opposed. There’s even a Facebook page. See also Volunteer TV’s discussion.

A bill that gained approval in three legislative committees last year has been reintroduced in the Tennessee legislature. Sen. Beverly Marrero has introduced β€œThe Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act.” The bill, SB 251, would allow patients with certain serious illnesses – HIV/AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few – whose doctors recommend marijuana to legally purchase it from state-licensed distributors.

[Source, Marijuana Policy Project, Round 2: Sen. Marrero reintroduces "Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act"]

Tennessee Leger which covers legislative issues in the 107th general assembly lists the proposed medical conditions which would qualify a person for medical marijuana in TN. Tennessee Leger also has a poll which at the time had 60 voters all claiming they’d vote Aye on the bill.

I was the president of Students for a Smoke-free Campus while an undergrad at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. I like smoke-free buildings and despise walking through cigarette smoke to get into a building. That said, I believe we are at the beginning of seeing marijuana legalized all over the United States. I think we are living in times not dissimilar to when Prohibition (for alcohol) was breaking down. Even former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders supports legalizing marijuana.

See more of Garfunkel and Oates.

Extensive discussion can be made regarding the for profit nature of the US penitentiary system and the cost of enforcing marijuana laws both monetarily and socially. Instead, let’s look at a couple of maps. First, cannabis laws around the world:

[Source, wikimedia]

And now, marijuana laws by state in the United States:

[Source, NORML]

If you feel your tax dollars are wasted on marijuana laws and enforcement, write your representative.