Isabella Uribe hunched over the toilet. She was just a sophomore in high school, but she had been here before, most weekends in fact. The culprit: too much cheap vodka at the clandestine party in her friend’s basement in suburban Florida. “My body is crying,” she remembers thinking as she gasped between heaves.
By her junior year in high school, she was done with booze. She put down the bottle and picked up a joint instead. She would pray to the porcelain god no more. With the change in her recreational drug of choice, she says her headaches decreased, her cramps lessened and her stress levels fell. She’d get high in her room and paint surrealistic visions.
She hid her use from her parents, who saw marijuana as a gateway drug to harder and more dangerous substances. “My parents believe that if I smoke one joint, then I’m going to be lost forever,” the advertising freshman at Syracuse University said. But Uribe’s beliefs were set. Marijuana was safe. It benefited her life more than it detracted from it. Marijuana should be legalized.