Va. could benefit from
legalized marijuana use
I was pleasantly surprised when I read RTD reporter Mel Leonor’s recent news story “Northam backs effort to legalize marijuana in Va.” I wondered what made Gov. Ralph Northam change his mind?
As a teenager, I constantly am bombarded by adults repeating phrases such as “Drugs are dangerous” and “Marijuana is a gateway drug.” However, marijuana has numerous positive health effects, such as treating depression, anxiety and ADD. As someone who has struggled with severe anxiety, having the option of a more natural treatment instead of turning to pharmaceuticals would be more comfortable.
The legalization of marijuana inevitably will bring economic benefits to Virginia. Virginia could earn a potential $300 million in revenue. This also would require marijuana to be processed through a privately owned dispensary and the cost would increase. But since the dispensary would be regulated, the marijuana does not have the potential to be laced with deadly opioids, like fentanyl.
We must encourage public safety. We must encourage the safe use of marijuana. We must encourage Northam to legalize marijuana. Virginia only recently decriminalized marijuana, and now it's time to take charge and lead the Southern states into a new era of acceptance.