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    Should personal use of marijuana be legal?

    Date: 04.14.10 | by Judge Tom.

    That is the question voters in California will be asked at the state’s general election on November 2, 2010. Enough valid signatures were filed with the Secretary of State to qualify for the ballot.

    Under current California law, possession of an ounce of marijuana or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine. If the ballot measure passes in November, possession of an ounce would be legal for anyone at least 21 years old. It would also be legal to grow limited amounts in your home for personal use.

    Photo by Katherine Hitt

    Opponents of the measure argue that legalizing recreational use of the drug will increase impaired driving, crashes, injuries and fatalities. Activists in support of the change counter that taxing marijuana sales will help the state with it’s budget problems.

    What are your thoughts about this? Do you consider marijuana as a safe recreational drug, with little risk of addiction? Or do you think it is a “gateway” drug to more addictive substances such as cocaine or heroin? If you were a parent, would you like to see this proposal in California pass? Why or why not?

    Read more about juvenile possession of marijuana.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    • Benjamin
      Sat, 29 May 2010 at 04:54

      There are no recorded fatalities caused by Marijuana consumption…
      There is also incredibly limited physical dependence, withdrawal effects are lack of appetite or nausea. Therefore, any addiction is psychological, and someone who develops a psychological dependence to Marijuana could very well develop psychological dependence for anything that would alleviate their stress or whatever they smoke for.

      Hence, I think it should be legalized. Plus, the tax revenue generated would be immensely useful.
      (Also, I’m 14…)
      Thanks, Benjamin, for your thoughts.