What Would Texas Look Like if Marijuana Was Legal? [POLL]
Two states have legalized marijuana this year. What would Texas look like if we followed them? This is something that is not soon to come, but it would be interesting to imagine, right?
With Colorado and Washington voting for the legalization of marijuana in their states, who is next? The South might take a little longer to feel comfortable with this idea, though. Maybe New Orleans, Atlanta, and Nashville will help influence the push for more lenient laws on the drug. Will the liberal-leaning Austin help guide Texas to the idea?
I want to paint an imaginary scene for you of what could happen if Texas voted in favor of pot.
It seems that medical marijuana licensing is the slippery slope that warms up a state to legalization of the plant. So, lets start there. Let's pretend that Austin and all of the weird that comes with the city have convinced our state government to allow medical marijuana for our cancer sufferers.
Slowly, acceptancewill spread.
Local celebrities will be caught by paparazzi with pipes in hand around the city. Texas Monthly magazine will do stories about the new culture growing in Texas. The Onion, the satirical newspaper, would be a lot more funny to some. Food trailers around the bat city will start offering THC infused sweet treats. Willie Nelson will spend more time than ever in his home state to avoid the arrests and charges he receives when out on the road. Blues on the Green, ACL, and SXSW will be enjoyed in massive clouds of smoke. This smoke will mix with that flowing out of Franklin's BBQ and the Salt Lick as their sales increase with the surge of munchies that grows everyday. Everything will have just a bit of difference to it, but the big change will happen when Governor Rick Perry will admit on live television that he loves a joint at the end of a busy day running the state.
Remember, this isn't real. But, what if it was? Would Perry take part in the marijuana take over? How fast would the trend spread? How long would it take before Texas completely legalized marijuana? Why would we be in favor of this?
Elspeth Reeves of the Atlantic Wire reported this, "It's a little funny that legalization really could spread through a pet idea of dorm room stoners going back years: states will figure out they can make lots of money taxing weed."
That is something that Washington and Colorado are soon to take advantage of, the extra tax revenue. Texas being a large state with a large population might like the idea of more income to help those citizens.
But, why has Texas refused this extra revenue? Why will we not see our state go up in smoke any time soon?
The effects of marijuana intake are not fully understood yet. It seems like it could be a dangerous decision to hand it out over the counter. There are legitimate arguments coming from both sides, for and against.
There are some facts out there to find, though. According to DrugeAbuse.org the effects of marijuana ingestion include, "[i]n one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status." They also comment on what happens inside the users body. Apparently there are carcinogens within the joint's, bong's, pipe's, and blunt's smoke. Some of these carcinogens are the same as those found in cigarette smoke, which we all know to be bad for us. Because pot smokers inhale and hold the smoke longer than a regular smoker, the carcinogens are exposing the lungs for longer. Yet, the links to marijuana smoke to cancer are not concrete. It seems, though, that every other form of smoke or outside substance introduced to the lungs causes problems down the line. So, it is easy to believe that "taking a hit from the bong" will end up causing something wrong in the lungs of the smoker.
If Texans become "pot heads," we might see problems down the line for health care and productivity. None of this is a for sure thing, but we can wait and see what happens in Colorado and Washington. If we decided that these effects are not too much of a change from the legal drugs we have such as; alcohol and tobacco products, what would the federal government have to say about a stoned Texas?
The president has been answering a lot of questions recently because of the new state laws set. What does he think the US government's responsibility is?
Let's go back to the daydream of what Texas would look like if marijuana was legal. Would it take our state in a bad or good direction? Would our systems and sense of control be thrown out with the dirty bong water? Would the Dallas Cowboys be able to come back to win another Super Bowl if they tested positive for THC? 'Dazed and Confused' was filmed here, would life turn into that movie script? Would all of our high school students spend more time climbing light towers and listening to Led Zeppelin and not remember to graduate? Or, would our seniors and cancer patients live more at ease because smoking has made them regain their hunger and their level of pain is lessened?
Lots of changes would happen in Texas if everyone was getting high. Who knows what would really go on, but we can rest knowing that this imaginary world will not happen within our life time. I still want to know, though, what do you think about a sticky, rolled up, and smoked Texas?
Please, keep in mind that all of the speculations and statements made while imagining what could happen are not meant to be seen as fact nor opinion. This is a fake and made up idea of fiction.