+
More

Canada is legalizing marijuana. Here are 9 reasons the U.S. should too.

Let's be more like Canada, eh?

Canada announced plans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by July 2018, proving again they are the U.S.'s cool next-door neighbor.

The move to legalize the recreational use of pot fulfills one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's campaign promises. While medicinal marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, this would be an unprecedented move for a large, industrialized country. It's also something the U.S. should consider.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in March 2016. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.


Even if "But Canada is doing it" isn't a good enough reason to throw your support behind the legalization push in the U.S., there are plenty of other compelling cases to make for legalized recreational pot.

1. For one, more than half of Americans support legalization.

A 2016 Pew Research study found that 57% of U.S. adults (and rising) believe marijuana should be made legal. 37% believe it should be illegal.

A medicinal marijuana vending machine in Canada. Photo by Don MacKinnon/AFP/Getty Images.

2. The idea that pot is a "gateway drug" is not entirely accurate.

It's not actually a gateway drug, at least in the way your D.A.R.E. classes suggested. Yes, regular users are more likely to try other drugs, such as cocaine, than those who don't smoke marijuana, but there's not a whole lot of evidence that it's because of pot.

3. Enforcing marijuana-related violations is expensive, and resources could be better used elsewhere.

According to a 2016 report from Human Rights Watch and the ACLU, almost 600,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in the U.S. Add on the costs of keeping people behind bars and the court system, and it's clear this is a mess.

Flowering medicinal marijuana plants. Photo by Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images.

4. Legalization would add tens of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy overnight.

A 2010 CNBC article pinned estimates at a somewhat vague figure of anywhere between $10 billion and $120 billion per year. That's some serious cash, which leads to the next point...

5. There's a whole lot of tax revenue to be made off legalized marijuana, and there are a lot of government programs that could use the extra cash.

From July 2014 to June 2015, Colorado generated nearly $70 million in taxes from legalized marijuana. The next year, the state brought in around $200 million in taxes.

A Vancouver man sits on a beach smoking a bong on April 20, 2016. Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images.

6. Test cases in states like Colorado and Washington show that it doesn't actually cause an increase in crime.

While Denver has experienced a slight uptick in crime in recent years, there's nothing to suggest that it's due to the state's marijuana legalization, with "marijuana-related" crimes making up less than 1% of all offenses.

7. It's less dangerous than a lot of other things that are legal, so hey, why not?

Excessive alcohol use is responsible for an estimated 88,000 deaths each year. Cigarettes are responsible for more than 480,000 deaths annually. Prescription drug overdoses make up another 25,000 deaths. But marijuana? There's not a single reported case of someone overdosing on marijuana, and indirect effects (it can impair your ability to drive, for example) can be avoided.

A medicinal marijuana vending machine at the BC Pain Society in Vancouver. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward.

8. And speaking of those other drugs, many are a lot more addictive.

Cigarettes, opioids, alcohol, and caffeine are all more addictive than marijuana. While some people report getting "addicted" to marijuana, 91% of those who have used it do not.

9. And finally, the continued "war on drugs" directly and indirectly leads to thousands of deaths in the U.S. and Mexico each year at the hands of violent cartels.

Legalizing marijuana could take power away from violent drug cartels, reduce illegal border crossings, and save countless lives.

Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale, Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould, and Health Minister Jane Philpott discuss legalization of marijuana. Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP.

Only time will tell if the U.S. follows in the footsteps of our neighbors from the north, but hey, there's a bunch of reasons why we probably should.

A marijuana plant grows in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Vancouver. Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less

Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson in 2006.

A startling number of professional athletes face financial hardships after they retire. The big reason is that even though they make a lot of money, the average sports career is relatively short: 3.3 years in the NFL; 4.6 years in the NBA; and 5.6 years in MLB. During that time, athletes often dole out money to friends and family members who helped them along the way and can fall victim to living lavish, unsustainable lifestyles.

After the athlete retires they are likely to earn a lot less money, and if they don’t adjust their spending, they’re in for some serious trouble.

In a candid interview with NFL Hall of Famer and TV personality Shannon Sharpe, Chad Ochocinco (legally Chad Johnson) revealed that he saved 80 to 83% of the $48 million he made in the NFL by faking his lavish lifestyle because it made no sense to him.

Keep ReadingShow less
Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

American mom living in Germany lists postpartum support and women are gobsmacked

“Every video you make gets me closer to actually moving to Germany.”

U.S. mom living in Germany shares postpartum support she received.

Having a baby is not an easy feat no matter which way they come out. The pregnant person is either laboring for hours and then pushing for what feels like even more hours, or they're getting cut from hip to hip to bring about their bundle of joy. (Unless you're one of those lucky—or rather not-so-lucky—folks who get to labor for hours only to still end up in surgery.)

Giving birth is hard and healing afterward can feel dang near impossible, especially given that most states in the U.S. only offer six weeks of maternity leave and it's typically unpaid. But did you know that not everyone has that experience?

A mom who had her first child in the U.S. before meeting her current husband and relocating to Germany is shedding light on postpartum care in her new country. The stark contrast is beyond shocking to women living in the U.S. and she's got a few considering crossing the ocean for a better quality of life.

Keep ReadingShow less

Meghan Elinor chimes in on the Starbucks tipping debate.

Tipping culture is rapidly changing in America, so understandably a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when they buy a coffee and the debit card reader asks for a tip. It used to be that people only tipped bartenders, drivers, servers and hairdressers.

Now people are being asked to tip just about any time they encounter a point-of-sale system. There is a big difference between tipping a server who lugged around hot plates of food for an hour-long meal and someone who simply handed you an ice cream cone.

"We're living in an era of inflation, but on top of that, we've got tipping everywhere—tipflation. I take it a step further and call it a tipping invasion. Because that's really what I think it is," etiquette expert Thomas Farley (aka Mister Manners) told CBS 8.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

Keep ReadingShow less