Life is full of change. Although not always accepted or called for change defines the society that we live in. However our society constantly tries to combat certain changes. Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard graduated lawyer and philosopher, proposes a change that can help stop useless torture. He calls for the judicial system to evolve, restricting the use of torture to only necessary situations by the means of a warrant. However, this idea is not only his. Many have come to the conclusion that our country must adapt to the world we live, I believe this may be a way to address the idea of terrorism, and our mortality, with humanity. My personal view is against the use of torture, but I believe this is the direction the human race needs to follow. This is the option that can protect you and your family if shit hits the fan.

He shows why the government should stop turning a blind eye to the fact that torture is inevitable, and is happening whether we as a nation like it or not. So, we should legalize it and make it impossible for non-warranted torture to occur. We should address the fact that it occurs anyway, and regulate it.

This can be done through the use of the warrant. The warrants would be issued by a judge, who would need an extremely compelling argument as to why torture is necessary. They would act as a second-check to the reasoning of the interrogator. It would mean far less torture would be conducted. The only reasonable situation, in which the judge agrees for the warrant, is the Ticking Bomb Situation.

This is the case where torture could so many innocent lives. A well-defined situation that humanitarian action calls for torture. The Ticking Bomb Situation must have: involve a terrorist that has vital information that could save innocent live, with a large imminent threat to innocent lives, and the only possible way to obtain the information requires torture. It’s not hard to see that the humanitarian action is to protect innocent life. So, if non-lethal torture can save innocent lives, it is our duty to ourselves as human beings to protect life. Although human rights are sacred constructs, nothing is more precious than a human life. After all, cuts will soon scar over and heal, but you can’t wake up after you enter the eternal being of death. If this situation presents itself, what do you think should be done?

There is one who does not believe that torture should ever be used, his name is Alan Scarry. He believes that despite the fact that the infliction of pain could save innocent lives. He calls for an unwavering resistance against torture, an absolute unchanging, non-evolving stand. Except, he does theorize of a reason to torture. He talks about such a situation: it is vital to a robust population of lives to extract information, the torturer is so confident that the suspect contains the information, and is willing to risk his future liberties to extract such information. It seems like Scarry has a flaw in his system. In the absolute opposition of torture, there is no legal means to allow something that everybody knows should be part of the toolkit of any realistic government. That means that when torture goes on, it will not be documented, or regulated. Do you rather have rogue torture conducted on possibly innocent beings, over legalized and controlled interrogation? No, of course not. In this instance, it seems almost impossible to comprehend the why blanket the blanket anti-torture system is the humanitarian choice. We all know it isn’t.

This all boils down to the value of humanity. What is worth more, human rights or the right to life? It seems obvious to me that life is far more valuable, don’t you agree? Chanterelle Sung, a well-established humanitarian, also a more legal reason why The Constitution allows for torture to be conducted in a time of need. The amendments that would usually restrict the use of torture: the Fourteenth, Eighth, and the Fifth Amendment, allow for an exception in substantial cases. If you don’t believe me read about it. The situation requires the ‘Ticking Bomb Situation’ and a known terrorist is in custody. The summary is that the terrorist forfeits his humanity by committing heinous crimes, allowing for torture when there are no other options.

I feel that the best stance is to face the reality that torture happens. We need to no longer turn a blind eye to this fact. A blanket no-torture system can’t prevent the inevitable, so it must remain ignorant of the atrocities of torture. We as humans must find a way to hold those who need to torture accountable, while also making sure that torture is simply the only option, all other resources have been exhausted. The system that can do that involves warrants that regulate and legitimate the types of advanced interrogation already used worldwide. After all a true Democracy does what it needs to protect its people, however, it cannot keep torture ‘off the books’ as it is doing now. These sort of hidden actions can damage the integrity of the democracy. The most viable option, that can systematically protect human rights, is our system of torture warrants. So I insist you do the human thing, think of your safety, the safety of innocence, and work to pressure the legislature to evolve. So, in the future we can live in a world of legal means oppose to one of covering up the truth.


Staying High-ly Informed

I’m going to be blunt real quick. Cannabis does not have a great track record. It is called a gateway drug and some have gone as far as to call it “The Destroyer of Youth.” This poor public view came about the use of cannabis began in the early nineteen hundreds, due to cult flicks such as Reefer Madness, and has been imprinted on American society ever since. People say it is can cause brain cell loss over long-term use as well as loss of lung capacity. Even if these were true, it seems like the adverse effects are better for you than alcohol or nicotine, yet both of which are legal. Honestly, I’d rather live in a world of pot heads than a world of alcoholics

I have worked in the cannabis industry for the past three years in a cannabis bakery. I have seen the wonders marijuana can do in as a medicine. I have personally seen two different cases of cancer completely eradicated from the human body, but that isn’t the purpose of this article.  However, many people do not use cannabis for purely medical reasons. It is a very common and enjoyable recreational substance that has less potential of danger than alcohol, no hangover or stomach ache, and is less harmful than nicotine. So why isn’t it legal? Perhaps is from the social fear, rooted in generations of ignorance.

One of the major health concerns presented about the use of cannabis is the loss of brain capacity. Yet drugabuse.gov has analyzed lab studies about this adverse effect of THC on the brain. To conclude it bluntly, “those who began using marijuana heavily in adulthood did not lose IQ points.”  Heavy use is defined as daily usage. Where does this leave us, the average cannabis consumer? It only makes sense that if the extremes are at worst mildly affected then moderate use can expect even lesser adverse effects.

Now compare this to the legal substance of alcohol. Which is known to cause brain damage when used consistently. Yet there isn’t the same social stigma against alcohol as there is against marijuana. It has been proven that the “more a person drinks, the worse their control and judgment is even when sober.” This again just concretes the fact that alcohol is just plainly more dangerous than cannabis.

Another major health issue associated with marijuana is loss of lung capacity. The hard-baked fact is that all smoke contains vaporized carbon atoms that form carcinogens which are irritating to the lungs. Despite this the researchers at University of Alabama at Birmingham have found that occasional users have increased airflow and lung capacity. They also concluded that those who have smoked a joint a day for 7 years do not see any lung capacity loss. The twenty yearlong studies show that those who smoke heavily for the duration show only a 6% loss of lung capacity.

Compare this to tobacco smoke’s effects on lung capacity. UCSF researchers has found “a consistent loss of lung function with increased exposure.” Meaning that at any point cigarettes a bad for your health. If health related issues are the reason that marijuana isn’t legal, then the United States Government must reexamine what is already legal.

We are at the age when cannabis has become legal in certain states. These states: Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, have highly profited from the tax of marijuana sale. In fact Colorado itself sells 60 million dollars of marijuana in the months of October and September alone. This all done with a 28% sales tax. That means Colorado’s makes 17 million in just two months. In the first year alone Cannabis tax raised 50 million for the Colorado’s school and infrastructure. Now imagine what could be done on a nationwide scale.

Luckily for us, California is poised to legalize cannabis in 2016. A recent Tulchin Poll showed that nearly legalization. I guess I’ll just put it bluntly, when you next get the chance to vote for the legalization of cannabis, think of your children and their school system. Vote yes, and help your country expand economically while providing us all with a safe and legal way to experience what we call life.