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What the Marijuana Issue Is Really About

The problem with the debate about marijuana is that both sides take a preventative approach of some kind. Those who are against the recreational use of it just talk about the importance of having a law preventing such use, while marijuana advocates just want to prevent the enforcement of such laws. Both are just pointing fingers at the other; the former saying smoking pot is irresponsible and dangerous, and the latter saying law enforcement is infringing upon their liberty to recreate and relax.

If those who support the recreational use of marijuana really want to promote the drug, they need to stop fighting the laws against it because the law is the law until otherwise stated. If they really want to see a marijuana culture thrive, it behooves them to share the positive effects of the drug instead. They may also benefit from standing behind the tried and true American principles of freedom and a hands-off government on all levels. Those who are against the recreational use of marijuana might benefit from a similar proactive, positive approach. Instead of preaching about how bad marijuana can be for someone, they should share how good a responsible and active lifestyle can be, and share how those who are doing true good in society have no interest in getting high because they're too involved in much more exciting, meaningful things like making a difference in their local community, or forming truly genuine relationships. They're not bored with life, so they don't need marijuana to have fun. They might find recourse in the argument: Those who are doing something with their life, those who have worthwhile aspirations, simply aren't interested in smoking pot. In both cases, the debate is really more cultural than political. A law against marijuana isn't going to have much effect if the drug is already a part of the lifestyle of a large percentage of the people. This is where democracy should shine. 'We get the government we deserve.' Even on the local government level, I've seen too many lopsided polls where the majority of voters came from one interest group -- and it's usually the group closest to creating the law. Our government is no longer a reflection of our culture. It's a reflection of the culture of those involved in government. When we vote, it's quite often only because we don't want something our government is proposing; or it's because we're tired of the government we have and want a new one. Gone are the days when Americans had a proactive approach to politics, where each side contributes positive ideas that everyone can agree with because they are founded upon universal social values. Today politics is just one side against the other. The marijuana debate is a classic example.

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