By Matt Jackson
Staff Writer

In the 1960s, the United States underwent what is considered one of the greatest and most controversial cultural revolutions in history. A society of church on Sundays, white picket fences and Audrey Hepburn quickly transcended into one of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. While the generation that followed saw a culture slightly more mild, the current generation seems to be following the trend set forth nearly fifty years ago; except this time around, our generation may have the law on its side.

Our generation is on the fast track to making marijuana, the most common illegal substance, legal. A recent poll of Washington, D.C., revealed that 63 percent of the city’s population supports the legalization of marijuana for personal use. An even more staggering survey produced by the Washington Post showed that an overwhelming 89 percent of readers supported legalizing marijuana for personal use. 

While many Americans argue that marijuana is a less addictive substance than nicotine and, therefore, denying it to the public is some sort of human right violation, that percentage of the population ignores the most common side effect of pot use: the use of other and much more detrimental illegal substances.

Statistics from The National Institute of Drug Abuse state that marijuana users are 14 times more likely to use other illegal substances than traditional non-users. It is also estimated that two-thirds of those who use pot are using some other illegal substance as well. 

These statistics come as no surprise, considering the current state of American culture. The 21st century has produced an entertainment industry that glorifies substance abuse through its music, movies and television shows. 

As Christians, this issue begs the question: Can such a culture be stopped?

Complaining and pleading for the current generation to change its ways and turn back to Jesus has become a counter-productive system. Some tactics which are currently being used, such as showing educational videos about the side effects of drug abuse, are intended to scare our generation away from substances it so eagerly chases. However, these tactics only seem to make the population want to use drugs even more. These statistics show that the overwhelming majority of our generation wants to have what it knows it shouldn’t.

I do not argue that we sit back and watch while everyone else around us lights one up. Instead, I ask for our actions to speak louder than our words. While arguing and protesting the legalization of controlled substances can be done with the best of intentions, taking a stand must go beyond words. We must accept that changes are coming, but we must also realize the power of our example. 

The basic Sunday school lesson of living a set-apart life is our generation’s greatest weapon against the opposition. In a generation that is gradually removing its moral compass, we must ensure that our own remains strongly intact. Accepting that detrimental changes are occurring in our generation does not mean that we support them. It simply means we are preparing ourselves to stand against them.