Fairfield Student Makes Case For Legalizing Marijuana In Connecticut

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From left, Fairfield Warde High School senior Brandon Campbell, and Staples High School students Brandon Rakowski and Christopher McKinney believe the state should legalize, tax and regulate marijuana.
From left, Fairfield Warde High School senior Brandon Campbell, and Staples High School students Brandon Rakowski and Christopher McKinney believe the state should legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. — News that a New Jersey state senator introduced a bill on Monday proposing the legalization and taxation of marijuana sparked conversation in Westport.


Should marijuana be legalized, taxed and regulated in Connecticut?

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Should marijuana be legalized, taxed and regulated in Connecticut?

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Connecticut approved legislation legalizing medical marijuana in May 2012 and is preparing to open dispensaries across the state. Legalizing marijuana altogether, and then taxing and regulating it, is the next logical step to take, said Staples High School sophomore Brandon Rakowski.

“The money that’s spent trying to enforce current policy, it doesn’t work,” Rakowski said. “Marijuana is as common now as alcohol. Regulation is a better approach if you want to keep it out of the hands of kids.”

The three biggest issues with marijuana, he said, are: easy access, concerns over buying a laced/altered product, and it’s reputation as a “gateway” drug, based on the fact that the person selling it more than likely sells other drugs.

The most effective way to solve these issues, Rakowski said, would be through legalization and regulation. Staples senior Christopher McKinney agreed, saying regulation would add additional safety measures and cautions to users.

“Government regulation would reduce the amount of marijuana that’s out there and make it easier to control,” McKinney said. “It would also make it safer. Not only would marijuana only be available from approved sellers, the government isn’t going to allow the production of marijuana laced with other substances.”

Brandon Campbell, a senior at Fairfield Warde High School, said he believes marijuana should be treated the same as cigarettes. Not only would this protect users, taxing it would be a deterrent for some, he said.

Finally, all three agreed that the regulation and taxation of marijuana would be beneficial for the state in that it would raise revenue.

“The state could then turn around and put that money into schools and programs for kids,” Rakowski said.

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Comments (3)

As a Colorado resident - who voted against legalization, good luck CT! Personally I could care less if people choose to smoke pot. What drives me crazy is the "edibles" To a kid, a brownie is a brownie. It looks the same, tastes the same and the child has no idea that the THC content of that innocent looking brownie is fatal. It already has happened in Colorado - If you can, Ban edibles, including the beverages. Smoke all the pot you want, but protect the kids from a fatal mistake. Just last Friday, a three year old was found dead - waiting on toxicology reports, but edibles were legally present and is the probable cause of this tragic death the coroner has stated. A Hotel maid found a "cookie" in the room she was cleaning after the guests had check out...she ate it and had to be flown out on life support to Denver. The media is looking the other way for some reason - don't let this happen to the kids of CT.

Pamela you are exactly right! I love how these "crunchy" people of Connecticut drive hybrid cars, try to tell everyone to eat organic even if they cannot afford it, and who are intensely into physical activity to stay healthy and care about the world would put absolute junk and garbage into their bodies that have long term negative consequences. There are a few cases where a special type of marijuana is grown that does not give the high and euphoric effects kids look for that had been shown in some cases to benefit medically for seizures and the most common use people claim is for cancer patients in pain. We are a society that mocks vaccines that have been proven beneficial and certain medications that have been studied for YEARS in clinically randomized double blind studies-- the best kind. No studies like that have been done with marujuana. I love how spoiled little rich kids are taught to talk "smart" like politicians. Marijuana can have side effects 24 hours later and no one would regulate how much they can smoke because they wouldn't get a quick "poisoning" like they would with nicotine in large amounts. I don't want my kids or anyone drinking on the road with kids who are stoned. Only until some politician's kid is killed by a stoned driver would the laws ever change. We may as well take away drunk driving as being illegal because you can have one small alcoholic beverage and be more slert driving than after a joint. This state has bigger issues it needs to worry about instead of constantly following liberal trends to stay popular.

The World Health Organization has stated that the biggest public health mistake was the legalization of tobacco that will claim the life of one in four people on this planet in this century. The normalization of tobacco and the tobacco epidemic on a globally basis is a catastrophe and the tax revenue do not balance out the enormous cost to the public health care system. We do not need another legalized, normalized smoking product. The major reason why marijuana should not be legalized is due to the lack of public awareness on the associated risks. The science is there but it is not getting into the public's hands - Marijuana smoke contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. The second most important reason not to legalize marijuana is that 1 in 6 adolescents who use marijuana will become addicted to it and with persistent and heavy use risk the reduction of their IQ permanently. The sobering truth is that real market for marijuana is an underage market that is served by the criminal element which will thrive in a socially accepted marijuana culture but cause damage to the future of American youth.