More organizations are siding to legalize marijuana

The Marijuana Question: To Legalize or Not Legalize?

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The New York Times became the latest organization to reverse its stance on recreational marijuana, calling for the repeal of a federal law that bans it.

This past Saturday, the newspaper’s editorial board endorsed federal decriminalization of the drug saying it could lead to fewer arrests, additional revenue, and solves the country’s problem with overcrowded prisons.

Sharon Collier of Indian Orchard cheered Colorado and Washington state’s decision to legalize pot and encourages other states to follow their path.

“Right now there are plenty of drug dealers that are making lots of money illegally so why doesn’t the state go in on it, and possibly lower our taxes,” she said.

The hot button topic is attracting both businesses and advocates alike, but not everyone’s convinced, including Holyoke resident Paul Shea.

“I just think that would get younger kids into it a little easier, more accessible to get to it, and that may lead into other things besides smoking marijuana,” he said.

During prohibition it took 13 years before the United States lifted the ban on alcohol and some argue that same pattern could reemerge, “for the simple fact that its revenue the state could make,” Collier said.

Shea still thinks the government should hold off on blanket legalization until the health effects of marijuana are completely understood, “I think it’s a starting point to something else,” he said.

This November, Alaska and Oregon will be the next states to vote recreational legalization of the drug.

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