I was taught that smoking weed was bad

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I am a lifetime resident of Georgia. As I grew up I was taught that smoking weed was one of the worst things you could do to yourself. As if it were meth or heroine. As I became older and more independent, I smoked with friends and enjoyed myself. I have been a user of Marijuana for nearly five years now and have yet to use is as a “gateway drug” to harder things or been so addicted that I robbed a gas station to get my fix. The reality is that it is not only good from a medical standing, but is also a wonderful tool in social aspects of my life. I have made many good friends just from smoking with others or talking about the subject. I can be very introverted at times but, over the years, my use of Marijuana has helped me loosen up and meet new friends. The only thing I have ever been able to find wrong with this “drug” is having to put myself in a risky situation when buying it or if I have to take a drug test for work. It’s has yet to cause me physical or mental harm. I say all of this while I see people die on a regular basis from alcoholism and driving under the influence of alcohol. We as a state would benefit in more ways than I can write here by legalizing this plant that naturally grows from the ground. Less prison overcrowding, more revenue to the state… what more could a state official want? How can it be any worse than the liquor we sell or the prescription drugs we allow companies to sell us which have more side effects than they do positive effects? How can smoking this plant be any worse than picking up a pack of cigarettes with so many chemicals in them that we now have to pay more for cigarettes that are considered more natural? We have gotten lost in a stigma that Marijuana is the devil, when it could be the answer to many problems. Are we going to be the creator of problems and criminals, or the creators of a generation that steps out of the ticky-tacky society created by people in fear of something they didn’t understand? Nothing good comes from standing by and trying nothing.