Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized, Period.

 

Marijuana plants. Owned by forbes.com.

The legalization of Marijuana is a very popular issue in today’s world, especially among American Millennials. Some states have legalized it and they have reaped the benefits while most states are behind on the legislature. Here are the reasons why Marijuana should be legal for recreational and medical purposes:

  1. There is nothing clinically wrong with Marijuana

It is no secret that Marijuana releases THC which is a chemical that affects one’s mind and/or body, depending on the strain consumed. However, there are no negative clinical affects with using marijuana. The euphoric sensation released by smoking marijuana is not harmful, and can be good for you. According to “Here Are All The People Who Have Died From A Marijuana Overdose”, a 2013 article from the Huffington Post, there have been zero deaths related to marijuana overdose. Unlike hardcore drugs, like cocaine, heroin, etc. and even alcohol, which kills over 75,000 people a year according to NBC News, marijuana is significantly safer and poses no drastic long or short-term effects.

  1. The government can make a lot of money

    Inside of a dispensary. Photo owned by marijuanapackaging.com

Benjamin Franklin once said, “There are only two things certain life: death and taxes”. Franklin could not be any more correct as the government generates most of its income from taxes. If the government legalizes marijuana, they can impose a tax on it like the way they do cigarettes. People reap the benefits of marijuana. End of story. Also, the marijuana industry makes a lot of money, legally and illegally. So instead of the money going towards drug cartels, the black market, etc. the money made off marijuana would go straight to the government via taxes. This is what the legal states have done, and they use the money they make from marijuana towards schools, parks, etc.

  1. Marijuana has significant medical benefits

There have been numerous studies over the years of the medicinal effects of marijuana. Some benefits are it helps people with insomnia sleep, helps people who struggle to eat by helping their appetite, helps with anxiety and depression, helps people with PTSD cope, and helps people suffering from cancer. According to cancer.gov, Cannabis has successfully helped cancer patients in dealing with the pain of the disease and chemotherapy and has shown to kill cancer cells. There are people who rely on marijuana to cope with their medical issues and live a full life so preventing them from obtaining and using their medication is downright cruel.

Why college males should join a fraternity

When I graduated high school, and entered my first days of college, I had no idea what Greek Life was. All I knew were the basic stereotypes surrounding fraternities and what I knew from Animal House. Going into college, I even told myself to not join a fraternity because they are nothing but trouble. Little did I know at the time that I would and it would change my life for the better.

 

Brothers of Pi Lambda Phi. Photo taken by Danny Ranz.

The first week I was at WCU there was a block party thrown by all the fraternities and sororities at their on-campus housing area known as The Village. This was Greek life’s first opportunity to recruit new members into their organization. I reluctantly agreed to go with some people in my dorm. I did not actively try to socialize with the other fraternities I went just for the food. While I was walking around a brother of Pi Lambda Phi found me and started talking to me. It felt nice talking to an older guy because I was just a freshman. He then invited me to go over and meet some of his other brothers and since then, the rest is history.

 

As soon as I first met the brothers of Pi Lambda Phi, I said to myself “Damn, these guys are really cool and I kind of want to be a part of this.” After getting to know these guys, I was offered a bid which I graciously accepted and became a brother eight weeks later. At the time, I did not think much of it but the best was yet to come.

My story is like others’. According to WCU’s Interfraternity Council, most Greek Life members did not want to be a part of a fraternity of sorority coming out of high school. I fell for the trap of recruitment and went from anti-Greek to a fraternity man. The reasons why college males should join a fraternity is based on my experience. Fraternities allow you to bond with people like you would never be able to anywhere else. You get close with your brothers really quick because you all take pride in the fraternity. All members live up to the standards of their fraternity and brotherhood is taken very seriously.

Fraternities, at least for me, force you to grow up and put in work. Fraternities rely on all their members’ support to keep it afloat. While at times this can be a handful, it is all worth it because you and your brothers worked together to accomplish a goal for the fraternity. There is no better feeling than that.

Fraternities also allow you to grow as a person and develop skills you would not be able to anywhere else. You learn leadership skills, social skills, and other important life skills you would never learn anywhere else. For example, this past semester I was elected treasurer of my fraternity. Since then I have grown as a leader because I serve on our executive board and help govern our chapter. Pi Lambda Phi has also helped my social skills. I now know how to talk to people in a more efficient manner, whether it is trying to convince somebody to join our fraternity or reaching out to our alumni or national headquarters for help.

Greek life also has some long-term benefits. The biggest benefit is networking. When you become a member of a fraternity, or sorority, you have access to so many connections that can help you in your career. Fraternities and sororities can help with getting internships, jobs, recommendations, etc.

Photo taken By Danny Ranz.

 

The biggest turnoff for Greek life are the common stereotypes associated with them. When people who have never been a part of Greek life are asked about fraternities and sororities, they typically will say something along the lines of fraternities and sororities are a bunch of alcoholics and drug abusers, they pay for friends, party nonstop, hazing, etc. While some of these stereotypes can be true, most of them are false. Being in a fraternity has allowed me to realize what is and what is not true about Greek life. We do not “pay for friends.” Our dues money goes towards fraternity expenses and events, not to force people to like each other. Brothers would still be close if they did not have to pay dues. While yes, some fraternities are guilty of hazing, most fraternities do not haze. The North American Interfraternity Council, NAFC, has outlawed hazing and most of its chapters do not haze. Most fraternities do party as that is inevitable at college. However classifying fraternity brothers as drug abusers and alcoholics is incorrect. Fraternities have a Risk Management officer who ensures the safety of the brothers and reprimands brothers for any illegal activity.

I have now been a brother of Pi Lambda Phi one year and can say that it was the best decision of my life. I have learned so much more about leadership, people, life, etc. than I ever thought I would. I have matured drastically, become a leader, and, most importantly, met the best friends of my life. No matter how stressful it gets or what drama unfolds, I cannot imagine who I would be without Pi Lambda Phi.

Who should win the NBA MVP?

This year’s race for the NBA MVP is very tight as there are many superstars have played stellar seasons this year. This past season broke many records and featured some of the best individual performances the NBA has ever seen. This NBA MVP race may be the tightest one yet.

Many players shined this year but the two frontrunners for MVP are Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Both these players have enjoyed a lot of success over the years but have never won the MVP award. Here are the cases for both candidates.

Russell Westbrook

Photo owned by sportingnews.com

Westbrook had arguably the best season ever. According to espn.com, He averaged a triple-double for the season with 31.6 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, and 10.4 assists per game. Westbrook led the NBA in points per game and placed second in rebounds, assists, and steals per game. More notably, Westbrook recorded 42 triple-doubles, breaking Oscar Robertson’s record of 41 which dates to the 1961-1962 season. Prior to the season, many people were skeptical of how Westbrook would play without playing alongside forward Kevin Durant. It seems to me that Westbrook is doing just fine and, in fact, playing the best basketball of his career.

After all his accomplishments, what could possibly stop him from winning the MVP. Well as excellent as Westbrook played all season, the Thunder’s 47-35 record was worse than Harden’s Rockets and Leonard’s Spurs. The Rockets ended the season with a 55-27 record and lost to the Rockets in five games in the opening round of the Western Conference Playoffs. Also, Westbrook’s 42.5 field goal percentage placed outside the top 100 players in the league, according to espn.com.  

James Harden

Photo owned by basketballghana.com

Harden’s numbers during the regular season are almost identical to Westbrook’s. According to espn.com, Harden averaged 29.1 points per game, 11.2 assists per game, and 8.1 rebounds per game. Harden was second in the NBA in points per game and led the league in assists per game. Westbrook may have the edge in numbers, but Harden has led his team to a better record going 55-27 and claiming the third seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Basketball is about winning games and Harden was more successful in that than Westbrook. Also, Harden’s Rockets bested Westbrook and the Thunder in their playoff series 4-1 to add something more to his MVP resume.

Despite leading his team to the third best overall record in the NBA and nearly averaging a triple-double for the season, some of Harden’s game did not compare to the rest of the MVP candidates. Harden’s 8.1 rebounds per game left him outside of the top 20 in the league and the Rockets’ record is not as good as the Spurs. Harden’s field goal percentage was also the 88 worst in the NBA, according to espn.com.

My Prediction

As well as Harden has played this year, Westbrook deserves this year’s MVP. As well as Harden played and as much as I personally hate to watch another terrific Harden season come up short, his play was not up to par with Westbrook’s. Westbrook’s season is a once in a lifetime season and his numbers tell the whole story. Westbrook placed in the top 10 in three categories, including placing 10 in rebounds which is unheard of for a point guard. He broke Oscar Robertson’s triple-double record which is impressive beyond words and played alongside teammates that were not as good as Harden’s. For Westbrook, the team’s record does not represent his individual performance. Harden will definitely get the MVP within the next couple years, but this year it belongs to Westbrook.