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Teens Push For Legalized Pot

Cozmo

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While defendants implicated in last month's drug bust spent Monday afternoon filing through the courthouse, five Stevens Point teenagers staged a small protest against the criminalization of marijuana use.

Holding signs declaring "Be Wise, Legalize," and "Hemp Can Save the World," protesters courted honks from passing vehicles on the corner of Main Street and Strongs Avenue, only blocks away from the building where more than 20 defendants made their initial hearings in drug cases.

"People should be able to choose what goes in their body," said Ben Eisner, 18. "Caffeine has more deaths per year than marijuana," he said.

Eisner, who said he is proud of being a marijuana smoker, stressed that he believes the legalization of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use will promote healthier using habits.

"With legalization comes responsibility," Eisner said.

"I think it should be used the same way alcohol is used," said Eryn Edelbeck, 17, adding that abuse of alcohol is more damaging to long-term health than marijuana.

The protesters also emphasized the practical uses of growing hemp, citing its viability as a fossil fuel substitute as well as its potential usefulness in manufacturing and agriculture.

"It's the most versatile plant on the planet," Eisner said.

This is the second week marijuana enthusiasts have gathered downtown to speak in favor of the plant. The group says they will meet there weekly to draw local support, possibly with the goal of starting a chapter of NORML, a national lobbying group that opposes the prohibition of marijuana use.

Not every protester claimed personal experience with the drug, however. Eleni Schuler, 16, said she has never used marijuana.

Said Shuler, "I just support the idea."

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: Stevens Point Journal (Wisconsin)
Author: Jason G. Zencka
Copyright: stevenspointjournal.com
Website: Stevens Point Journal
 
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