Secoy Richey, Staff

Stoner. Lazy. Unmotivated. Less educated. Druggie. Low life. Pot head. Unsuccessful. Addict. Wanna be. Loser. Criminal. Rock head. Hippie, hipster. Gangster. Grungie.

The negative stereotype and opinions behind smoking weed are outdated and ridiculous. Everyone needs to just drop it and let people do whatever it is they want to do.

I’m not saying it’s okay to go out and steal a car because you “want to,” but if someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their home, let them. How does that really affect you at the end of the day?

What if Americans were a little more open-minded? What if we tried to accept things we are not comfortable with? What if behind those simple questions lied the answers to this country becoming a better place. A more accepting place. A more understanding place. We are America, “the land of the free” why can we not do the things that please us if they have no harm to others? What if making one simple change could benefit the people and the nation all in one?

By legalizing and monitoring who can buy weed, you are automatically going to see a boom in the economy. Have you looked into anything relating to marijuana and hemp sales? If not take a second and do it. It will eliminate the imaginary “gateway” that marijuana leads to. It would then reduce non-violent crime like possession charges and kids couldn’t get their hands on it as easily. Jail occupancy would be lower and create more room for people who commit real crimes like murder, rape, drinking and driving, domestic abuse, child neglect and so on and so forth.

I think it’s alarming and disheartening that we live in a world where it’s more acceptable to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco and take narcotics than it is to smoke marijuana, which is not addictive, has never killed anyone and there are no toxic side effects to either the kidney or liver.

My best friend makes comments all the time about how people who smoke weed need to grow up, get a more productive hobby and stop being lazy. And that’s fine; she’s entitled to her own opinion. And I agree to a point. There are lazy stoners out there but that’s not fair to assume every person who smokes weed is unproductive.

 If someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their home, let them. How does that really affect you at the end of the day?

If someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their home, let them. How does that really affect you at the end of the day?

That would be like calling everyone who drinks alcohol an alcoholic, or everyone who reads for pleasure a nerd, or everyone who works out a gym-rat, or even everyone who goes to church holy.

I was watching the AMA’s Sunday night with my grandma, when Pitbull said something along the lines of thinking everyone backstage must have glaucoma. I snickered and said they must all be getting high. My grandma, surprised, asked me why I thought that. I then told her that marijuana is a proven treatment for people with glaucoma. She had no idea, and I know she’s not the only one who is unaware of all the things marijuana treats.

For decades people our grandparents and parents ages were told all kinds of crazy, unsupportive ideas about marijuana. That it kills brain cells, it creates a nation full of zombie-pacifist or that everyday you smoke you add 1/2 pound to your body and you lose a day of life. It has been associated to violent-causing crimes like murder and rape.

When in reality, none of that has ever been proven. And the only crimes related to marijuana could be easily prevented if it was legal. The government and the media have completely misinformed the public.

I believe that part of the reason the government is more hesitant to legalize it because pharmaceutical and alcohol sales would decrease because the ones who are depending on antidepressants, sleep-aid or a handle of whiskey would have a choice to go to a distillery and buy a gram of weed to treat their needs instead of taking a pill.

The “stoner” doesn’t care if you take a Xanax or grab a beer, why do you care if they smoke a blunt? You’re still going to get the same hours of sleep tonight whether they do it or not.

It’s 2014 and whether people want to accept it or not, smoking marijuana is normal, natural, healthy and I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s not that big of a deal. And in reality it’s more than your Average Joe, or hippy, or gangster, or what-have-ya who smokes marijuana.

It’s some of your kids teachers who smoke on the weekends, or your lawyers who have burned a few this month, or your accountants, business owners, musicians, mechanical engineers, administrators, construction workers, celebrities, salesmen, doctors, painters, political members, your family, friends, neighbors, parents, someone you know, even if it’s just one person, has smoked or still smokes marijuana.

And some of the most kind hearted, hard-working, down to earth, inspired, successful, world changing, average, motivated, creative, badass people just happen to smoke weed.

America has changed and it’s changed fast over the last century. I believe legalizing marijuana in every state would be the most beneficial thing to happen to America, as a whole, since sliced bread and wi-fi. And I’m hoping that since Washington D.C just legalized it, it will create a ripple effect to all of America.

There’s a good side and a bad side to everything, but life’s all about balance.

I’m not saying smoking weed is for everyone and I’m not saying everyone needs to smoke it, I’m just saying, at the end of the day, who really cares?