An OpEd in my university’s student newspaper

Sure, the writing may not reach the level of a Bill Steigerwald or Maia Szalavitz , but it gives me a warm glow to see this OpEd in the Illinois State University Daily Vidette.

Just because marijuana is illegal, that does not mean that it is immoral. Slavery was legal, yet immoral. Many other contradictory cases exist. It is easy to believe that one should not do something because the law prohibits it; but sometimes that is not enough. […]
Therefore, just because it is illegal, that should not necessarily stop a person from participating or at least having the choice to participate. It does not make sense to me as to why marijuana is illegal.
For one, the government would be able to rake in huge amounts of money if they regulated and charged taxes for the so-called drug.
Additionally, the government regulation would make a much safer environment for those who do choose to smoke marijuana. […]
If you are against smoking marijuana, that is your right, but I hope you are then also against alcohol. Tens of thousands of people die each year in alcohol related instances.
According to, “An exhaustive search of the literature finds no credible reports of deaths induced by marijuana…. Marijuana alone has not been shown to cause an overdose death.”
If you are against marijuana due to legality issues, I hope you never drank alcohol under the age of 21. […]
One of the best arguments I have heard against smoking marijuana is that since it is illegal, instead of sitting in a room smoking, why don’t people go out and do something to make it legal? This is a great argument and there are groups on campus to join such as Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Whatever you believe or choose, be safe and remember, it is still illegal just like alcohol was during prohibition.

Nice job, Jes.
And a nice plug for SSDP.
Don’t forget, the SSDP conference is this weekend in College Park, MD. I’ll be there. So will Radley Balko, and Mayor Cheye Calvo. And folks from LEAP and DPA, and NORML, and ACLU, and the U.S. Congress.
If you’re there, or in the area and stop by, please introduce yourself to me. I’m pretty easy to spot — the big guy with red hair and a beard.

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