Marijuana should not be Legalized- An Article for the Commonwealth publication

Marijuana should not be Legalized

Most of us have either seen or smoked marijuana, either in a recreational or medical setting. What is common about the drug, locally and internationally, is its illegal status. But this has not discouraged some people from partaking of the drug and the consequences for this legal disregard is socially and economically catastrophic. There exists a divide on opinion regarding the legal status of the drug with some loudly calling for its legalization especially in major powers like the US. The debate on the legalization of marijuana is not new and has raged for several decades with both the proponents and opponents of this motion using emotional appeal and factual evidence to back their claims. Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs across the world and the call for its legalization has a significant impact on governments and individuals. This has informed my opinion that marijuana should not be legalized since doing so will lead to increased addiction, social evils like crime and additional burdens to the world’s health care system through treatment of this addiction and drug induced accidents.

Marijuana is addictive and one of the most abused illegal substances in major cities across the world. Legalizing the drug will just increase addiction by making it readily available to the users and tempting non users to engage in its consumption. This will in turn lead to reduced productivity and increased social evils in form of crime since drugs reduce inhibitions. Education might also be affected either through teens dropping out of school or their performance being greatly affected by marijuana use.  Those who have had the privilege to study in public universities here in Kenya will attest to the extent which student’s abuse the drug which they have ascribed nicknames like weed, bush, kush and “ndome.”This abuse leads to risky behaviors like experimentation with alcohol, other drugs and reckless engagement in dangerous sexual activities. Needles to say sustaining this addiction requires money and student’s who have no ready source of income result to dangerous behavior like robbery or prostitution to get cash for basic needs and marijuana. The side effects include increased AIDs prevalence, unwanted pregnancies and an increase in the rate of abortions.

Those calling for marijuana legalizations have citied taxation of the drug as a way for government to control its use and increase its revenue. However, statistics have shown that legalization of drugs does not increase its effective control or add revenue in relation to social cost as demonstrated by the two legal drugs; alcohol and tobacco. For instance, in the United States, the federal cost of attending to alcohol related conditions amounted to $185 Billion as compared to alcohol related revenue totaling $14.5 billion. Medical data collected in trauma wards have shown that most deaths and major injuries on our roads are caused by marijuana smoking drivers. Marijuana, like alcohol, impairs the judgment of the driver and the resultant effect is unnecessary carnage. Innocent lives are lost simply because a few people chose to engage in illegal fetish. What would happen then if the drug was made legal, how many innocent lives would the world lose under the hands of a few hedonistic individuals. How many more resources would we need to assign to treatment rather than focus on other welfare programs meant to make this world a better place? No, legalizing marijuana is not just impractical; it’s downright immoral.

 

If it were you

I’m sitting in my crib,  a second floor flat in Jacaranda Donholm. I have balanced a laptop, precariously in fact, on my lap as the theme song on the TV goes on and on about some “I don’t want to” crap. I have on my table a cheap glass of wine, cheap because its that Penasol crap they pack in green bags and call it white wine. But hey, I belong to the struggling low middle class and good wine is a luxury I can afford in special occasions. I have a solitary scone resting languidly on my table, puzzled, as to why I just let it wallow there in bored anticipation. I have thought of a million ways to write this post, a way that will appeal to all without discriminating upon those who believe, or actually are, on the upper echelons of the literal world. The only way to begin this post, is to ambush you, my dear reader.

My sincere apologies, perhaps I hit below the belt, perhaps I should have prepared you for the visual onslaught that I just waylaid your strained eyes with. But if I told you that my intentions were not to shock and inspire forced empathy in you, I’d be lying. yeah, I’m guilty as charged. Actually, I’m a self professed shocker of bloggers and fans alike. I’m not sick within my humble soul, neither I’m I a sadistic bloke bent on a path of torturing simple, law abiding readers in search of a fulfilling literal experience in the huge expanse that is the internet. All I wanted, ladies and gentleman, is to pose the following question and lay the ground for introspection and create a fertile ground to achieve the right answer. What if it were you sitting on that stool, without a small and vital part of the body we call a jaw?

What if instead of this comfortable couch that I sit on, oblivious to my blessings, unappreciative, indifferent and assuming that it should always be like this, what if I was standing next to that hospital bed like Maoga is? What if instead of this lone scone on my table lay a million tablets whose sole intention is not to quench hunger but to prolong a painful existence. Instead of this cheap wine, what if I heard several needles sticking into my veins pumping sustenance into my blood if only to see a few more days, days full of pain and haunted by the ghost of despair. Instead of this flat, if positions were exchanged and I dwelled in some roadside shanty in some insecure, cold and lonesomeness place of this unforgiving city. Imagine then, when nothing can be worse than the aforementioned conditions, that small refuge was demolished and you were unceremoniously thrown into the sarcastic street. What would I do, really, what can I do. What if all that happened not to me, dear reader, but you.

I see you lying luxuriously in your fat mattress and warm duvet, oblivious of this suffering and indifferent to those entombed by the misfortune of an unfair world. I see some of you enjoying a drink at pretentious joints in the city sipping you daiquiris and bloody Mary’s and doing what upcoming Kenyans do to feel important.  I’m talking about you guys hanging at the roof top of the Sankara having candle lit dinners and looking down upon your rich ventures and homes too big, unwelcoming and completely unnecessary in the heartlands of our great city. So I ask again, what if you didn’t have a jaw to enjoy those dinners. What if your mouth gaped open and you didn’t have any vestige of confidence to venture out of your house leave alone flaunt your presence like a peacock on heat. What if no one would hire you because you terrified the bejesus out of them and were not the kind of corporate image they wanted to portray. But that’s not you is it? No. That’s Maoga, and sad as it sounds, all this is the situation mother nature has thrust him in and the poor guy has no way of remedying his situation. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t. He can’t my fellow beings, and my heart goes out to him.

Because I’m not there, I’m going to do the only thing I can do. I’m going to go into my bank, and if that bank account is empty, I’m going to search every nook in my house until I find some money. Then I’m going to call Savvy, who started the campaign to rejaw Maoga, and I’m going to MPESA her my contribution. Since today I’ve been bestowed with immense prophetic power, I will prophesy as to what you, dear reader, will do in the next few days. You will dip into you pockets, you will extract some notes, any denomination being okay and MPESA it to Savvykenya. Some of you will pass by the ATM and withdrawal a lot of cash. Mostly to go out and have fun but also to MPESA some loose cash to the aforementioned person. Together, we are going to raise the 150K necessary to rejaw maoga. Some day soon, somewhere in Kenya, after a few hours on the operating table, Maoga will smile with gratitude and bless those who give with concern and love. For those who can’t give, may God open his stores and grant you his mercies. And those who refuse to give, karma is a bitch. For further inquiry you can contact Savvy though the number below or me through this number 0724073319

PS.Savvykenya’s  MPESA Number 0727832685