The Small Town Girl Talks Weed Legalization

2highMy name is Ashley Bedford and here is my blog post:

The current “new wave” changes in our society, such as the acceptance of gay marriage and controversies on abortion, shifted the way we live our lives and the things we tolerate as individuals within this society. Along with many other changes, the legalization of marijuana remains as a “hot topic” that many Americans feel needs a solution.

As a fresh adult in our world, I never encountered a situation in which weed directly affected me or my family. I would “stay the course”, as they say, focusing on the most important elements of my life, going to school, getting good grades, basically assuming the “good girl” role. I always kept friends that played a great influence on me and never allowed me to stay off my track.

It’s safe to say I lived a privileged lifestyle up to this point, but thanks to technological advances, I’ve stayed informed about the world around me through various media mediums, such as the local news and internet web posts.

FoxMarijuanaPollHuffington Post caught on to a Fox News poll showing a rise in marijuana legalization supporters within the past fourteen years, similar to that of the rise in supporters of gay marriage in the past, not only displaying the significance of the topic, but the widespread popularity in keeping up with this specific topic. Also stated in the article, one reason marijuana would not exist as a legalized drug, because of the drug’s high classified danger level, sitting right next to LSD and heroin on the list. Considered by many, the consumption of marijuana could potentially save lives and integrate into the medical field to help others, yet as the Huffington Post article states, the danger of marijuana could pose a threat on people’s lives.

I see the widespread popularity of marijuana legalization in our society through the Huffington post, along with many other sites, and start to question why. Similar to cigarettes, marijuana would serve as a product that contains many side effects, negatively harming the body, yet the majority of consumers approve of these negative side effects and would continue to use the drug regardless.

In observing our society’s trends, regarding their actions, I consistently found the majority to win in persuading the rest of the nation to submit to agreeing with their views, even though sources like the Huffington Post and Fox News do not explicitly state this, nor do they, and never will, admit this.

TRUENormative Social Influence, exactly stated in Wikipedia, officially defined as “the influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them” plays a big role in society daily, because, similar to the gay marriage controversy, people want acceptance by society, so they agree with the legalizing weed. An example of this massive conformity lies on the day that gay marriage commenced as a legal action in America.

While many people posted their opinions, many felt the need to change their profile pictures to a rainbow filter in an effort to display that they accept the majority and support the law passing. Although, these kind of actions occurred to celebrate a new moment in American history, the amount of people that changed their profile pictures consecutively exemplifies this conforming mentality and non-individualistic approach to widespread controversies, like that of  the marijuana issue. Many people “followed the crowd” and did not stop to question why they should change their profile pictures and what message would that send about themselves, and what they stand for specifically, out in this world. Of course, not to imply that I oppose gay marriage, but the idea of embracing others’ opinions about a topic and not specifying your own or taking action solely after the implementation of a crucial action reinforces this idea of normative social influence.

Where the normative social influence of the topic of legalizing marijuana stands, plays a huge role on this shift in society siding more with the drug’s legalization than opposing. An article from the Pew Research Center states that many Americans side with legalizing marijuana due to the criminal laws attached to the possession of this drug and many favor a lenient law, replacing the harsher one, attached to marijuana.

I agree that the marijuana laws place citizens in American jails over a “petty” charge, as rapper Two Chainz stated in a recent interview with Nancy Grace. Where I disagree in this lies in the very reason that this drug contains a harsh set of laws. My government teacher would always say, “the government is reactive, not proactive when it comes to laws,” and this very saying backs the government’s awareness of the drug’s danger level, because the government reacted to the growing hype of marijuana usage which lead them to restrict the very possession of it in the majority of places.

Exposure, even as much as decriminalizing this drug, would not only emphasize the effect normative social influence contains on changes in society, but would also would endanger people’s lives through their health and eventually will create more problems in our community.dogweedmeme


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2 Responses to The Small Town Girl Talks Weed Legalization

  1. Briza

    I really like your use is of the 2 Chainz-Nancy Grace interview! I remember when I first saw it I thought it was so weird seeing a rapper calmly discuss his views instead of rhyming them with a background beat. I can relate to you being a “good girl” because I’m pretty much the same, so much so that my friends used to make jokes about me being so rule abiding and responsible. I also agree with you saying that the media does sort of push their beliefs to try to force people to side with the majority. Even though in the end we may have ultimately different views, I think it’s cool that I can relate to you in some ways.

  2. acb3897

    Hi Briza! This was my first time posting an opinion on this, but thanks for commenting. I never knew that you related to me on this. That’s nice to know. I loved the Two-Chainz and Nancy Grace video, because i shows the two extreme view on marijuana and is really funny too. Although, Nancy can be a bit selfish when it comes to speaking on her part, but I guess she’s just very opinionated. I personally was never bullied or called names for being the “good girl”. I was actually looked up to (not trying the be conceded, I promise) for playing this role and people would always expect more of me for that, but this really is just who I am. I have my moments, but when it comes down to it, I’m a “good girl” people just put a label on it, but it does not define me in any way.

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