14 Sep 2014
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Speak Out: Should Georgia Legalize Marijuana?

After two states passed the measure on their ballot, more states may legalize the plant in future elections.

Speak Out: Should Georgia Legalize Marijuana? Speak Out: Should Georgia Legalize Marijuana?

In case you missed it, Colorado and Washington State are the first states to legalize recreational marijuana.

Seventeen other states currently allow marijuana for medical uses. 

Under Amendment 64 in Colorado, "marijuana is taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. It gives state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older," according to the Huffington Post. 

"Today, the people of Colorado have rejected the failed policy of marijuana prohibition," Brian Vicente, a co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, said in a statement published on Huffington Post. "Thanks to their votes, we will now reap the benefits of regulation. We will create new jobs, generation million of dollars in tax revenue, and allow law enforcement to focus on serious crimes. It would certainly be a travesty if the Obama administration used its power to impose marijuana prohibition upon a state whose people have declared, through the democratic process, that they want it to end."

It's complicated, of course, as bureaucracy normally is. It could take up to a year for the amendment to go into effect, according to CNN, and the DEA has already said that they will continue to enforce the law as it was before the amendment passed. 

In Washington State, the measure allowed the sale of marijuana to be taxed heavily, potentially contributing tens of millions to the state's economy. 

The argument against legalization of marijuana for recreational use is strong too, however. For example, many believe marijuana is a gateway drug that would lead to the use of more dangerous substances. Additionally, the occurrence of those driving under the influence of marijuana would potentially increase. 

What are your thoughts? Should Georgia consider legalizing the drug? Why or why not? 

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