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Barney Frank's Marijuana Legalization Talk Examines Poignant Parallels

By: Vasiliki Marapas - Sep 25, 2014
References: youtube
In his marijuana legalization talk, Former US House Representative Barney Frank compares public resistance towards the drug to the public resistance to gay marriage.

The mandate against marijuana, drafted by the Nixon administration, failed to come up with adequate reasons why the drug should be criminalized. It had no negative behavioral affects, addictive qualities or destructive social consequences. Instead, the report claimed that marijuana "discouraged people's work incentive and therefore was not good for the economy." Despite its shaky criminal justification, marijuana, like same-sex marriage, has been demonized; it is no longer an issue of harm, but an issue of morality. Similarly, both gay marriage and marijuana legalization are issues that soften with each succeeding generation. Younger people are aware of the hypocrisy of banning marijuana, and allowing a more harmful substance, such as alcohol, to be legally distributed.

Marijuana and gay marriage have been legalized in several states, and none of the panic and destruction that both were rumored to cause occurred. In both cases, prejudice is quickly losing out to the concrete evidence of reality: these issues are not disruptive to those that choose not to engage in them.