Marijuana should not receive such media coverage

A home video of the late Marilyn Monroe has recently surfaced that’s creating a huge buzz. According to Reuters, collector Keya Morgan recently purchased the silent home movie for $275,000 from an unidentified source.

The movie shows Monroe reclining on a couch with at least two others in a New Jersey home. She is smoking what appears to be a cigarette allegedly containing marijuana.

This is a growing trend of media outlets showing the use of marijuana and other illegal drugs. The media should be careful of this because it can have devastating effects on young people and minorities.

The Showtime television show “Weeds” is a prime example. It is about a woman who becomes the neighborhood pot dealer to help her family through its financial problems. It portrays most of the town’s residents as pot smokers and renders financial troubles as an acceptable reason to sell marijuana.

While these shows can be entertaining, more focus should be on those who suffer from this illicit activity.

Most of the marijuana arrests occur in California and New York. According to CNN, almost half the population in New York is black and Latino, but they account for 86 percent of those arrested for possession. However, a report from New York Civil Liberties Union shows young whites use marijuana more than blacks and Latinos.

Well-off whites should not be getting away with this crime while others don’t.

In a recent issue of Marie Claire fashion magazine, career women who smoke pot to wind down the day were interviewed. These so-called “stiletto stoners” do not see why their actions are a big deal.

According to a recent study by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 8 million American women admitted to smoking in the past year. Furthermore, one in five women who earned more than $75,000 a year admitted to smoking in the last month.

While the media puts pot smokers in a positive light, officers are arresting more people than ever before for this crime.

According to an FBI Uniform Crime Report, police arrested 847,664 people nationwide in 2008 for violations dealing with marijuana, with 89 percent arrested for possession only.

The rate of cannabis arrests has tripled in the U.S. in the past two decades.

The media has profound effects on people. Positive emphasis on drug use only helps elevate arrest numbers.

Celebrities such as singer John Mayer publicly admitting to smoking pot could contribute to the public thinking it’s acceptable behavior.

Prosecution in the U.S. is not always fair. Celebrities and the upper class are less likely to get arrested for smoking or possession of marijuana than the lower class or minorities.

There is a disparity in this country when statistics show some people can get away with marijuana while others cannot. Just because the media portrays marijuana smoking as acceptable does not mean people should see it that way.

Xhenis Berberi is a senior majoring in political science and economics.