I am 18 and a Senior at my local high school. I have good news! My school distributes a monthly newspaper written by students in the newspaper class. Every article must be approved by the teacher and by the principal. I wrote an article for the newspaper and I am very glad to announce that we have a Pot legalization opinionated article in this month's newspaper! I am so glad to see that our school did not shut down our 1st amendment rights, especially on such a topic. This is a good step in the right direction. I have written the article verbatim below: "Marijuana Comes Back Into Question as Pros and Cons are Explored: This controversy of marijuana is a battle that has been going on for many years now, and there are few people who do not have an opinion of the issue. With the movie "Super High Me," a parody of "Super Size Me," in which a man smokes weed for 30 days, coming out there is even more evidence of why weed would be legalized or at least decriminalized. "Super High Me" shows the story of comedian Doug Benson in an experiment testing the effects of marijuana on various aspects of life. Benson along with a team of doctors and medical professionals tested the before and after measurements of his blood pressure, SAT scores, weight, psychic ability, memory, and sperm count. His blood pressure was reduced, SAT scores increased, he gained 8 pounds, psychic ability improved seven fold, memory stayed the same, and his sperm count more than doubled. These measurements show that there is no negative side effects besides mild weight gain from the increased appetite. Compared to the physical effects of carcinogenic cigarettes and cirrhoses causing alcohol, weed is much healthier. Why other substances like alcohol and tobacco are legal when marijuana is not is hard to understand. Tobacco and alcohol have become a large part of the economy especially in North Carolina and marijuana could become another money making opportunity for the state. If weed were legalized it is estimated that the government would make a billion dollars a year in taxing. Weed is the number one import and export in the nation, and is the highest profiting agricultural product. I'm surprised the government would pass up such an opportunity to make money. While many people would not want to legalize weed because it would give the government control of pricing and distribution, the government would be able to stabilize the quality and purity of the industry. With government control, the marijuana would be grown pure and the danger of buying laced weed would be removed. Pricing would also be stabilized, and the transactions would be safer. Dealing with creepy drug dealers would be eliminated. By legalizing weed, it would also remove some of the influence of gang activity. In California, we can see how the legalization of marijuana can be manageable and productive. Although it is only legal at the state level and the DEA constantly raids the legal stores, it still offers many benefits to the citizens of California. Weed offers relief for many illnesses and forms of pain, and is a safe, regulated treatment to help people in their recuperation. The legality of marijuana has caused no problems for California and the citizens of the state itself continue to vote to maintain its legal status. The decriminalization of weed is also an important topic to consider. Even if it is not legal, decriminalizing it would remove the jail time and probation served and replace it with rehabilitation. With the lack of room in jails we cannot afford to imprison citizens for something as minute as marijuana use. Overall, there are many benefits to the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. It offers the government a chance to make money, provides people with a form of relaxation and relief, offers medical benefits, and could be used as a treatment for many problems. Hopefully as the world becomes more progressive, we as a nation, will see the benefits of marijuana and put it on the same scale as other substances like alcohol and tobacco." I was very glad to see that this made it in a public high school newspaper. We're on our way!