The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Commentary: Thou shall not pass

“This is some good grass ... .just the way I grew it." Illustration by Adrian Liwanag

Laws should reflect the morals of the people they govern, that is the democratic way. The efficacy of the democratic way is, however, up for debate.

The most recent challenge to the democratic process is the legalization of marijuana in California, seemingly an economic decision; at least that is what the proponents would have us think.

But for me, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

As of March 24, the “Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010” will appear on the November ballot. A hum of excitement hovers like a cloud above marijuana smokers.

Let’s take a brief gander at marijuana and the law.

The year was 1937 and the “Marihuana Tax Act of 1937” [sic] was passed into law. Regardless of the act’s lawful ramifications, the negative sentiment toward marijuana is clear.

In the transcripts of the congressional hearings on the Marihuana Act, Harry J. Anslinger, then drug czar and the act’s main proponent, associates marijuana use with Muslim assassins of the 11th century B.C.E.; not exactly sly rhetoric.

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My point is this: The negative connotations surrounding marijuana use have been drilled into us — even our parents — for years.

Smoking pot is taboo, and those that partake form a counterculture of delinquents.

However, now that our state is broke, pot smokers suddenly look like a new source of income.

But I’m shouting a loud and resounding “NO!” I’ve been forced into the shadows of my own culture for years, forced to withstand the scrutiny of family, friends, and state just to be taxed for the very thing I was outcast for? No. I want retribution.

I don’t want legislation for the legalization of marijuana to pass because our state needs a few extra dollars. No, I want that legislation to pass because there is nothing morally wrong with smoking marijuana, and I want the legalization campaign to reflect that sentiment so voters know exactly what they are voting for.

Sure, I might be getting drawn into semantics.

Sure, my quest might be quixotic. But it is what it is, and I will be voting “no” for the legalization of marijuana.

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