The United States is currently stuck in a failing war against its own people in the so-called War on Drugs. Of course, the best way to win this war is to “just say no” to saying no and continue to use certain substances that this land of liberty does not give us the freedom to use. This can pose certain problems, which for most of us just means thinking about how broke you are 10 minutes after smoking some of the herb that you just dropped 50 bucks on. Of course, you could also find yourself shooting heroin into your last few healthy veins in a truck stop bathroom while the “Intervention” crew records the whole thing, but if that’s the case then you probably aren’t sitting in class reading this.

As well-educated students trying to survive in these tough economic times, there is an easy step we can all take to save money: Help win this failed war on drugs and smoke a lot of marijuana at the same time. All you need to do is invest a little time and grow your own weed.

The reason it’s even called weed is because it is a resilient plant, which basically means that it is easy to grow. Of course you can get technical and use more advanced products, fertilizers and techniques, such as hydroponics or aeroponics, but all you really need is soil, water and some source of light. Preferably the best place to grow is outside, as the sun provides the brightest and cheapest light you can find, and you have much more space to allow those small weed plants grow into monsters. However, with many of us students living in small apartments, not to mention in a town with a ridiculously bored and unnecessarily large (and I’m not just talking about Lt. Brian Olmstead’s waist size) police force, matters of space and security might make growing outdoors quite tricky. Luckily, it also happens to be very cheap and easy to bring your garden indoors with you.

You know those compact fluorescent lights that environmentalists always tell you to replace your old bulbs with? Well for only about seven or eight bucks each, you can have yourself a very capable grow light for a smaller operation. Or you can invest about $200 in a high intensity light that can easily be purchased online or in a local hydroponics store and can illuminate a large area. If done correctly, even just one small plant could yield you enough weed to earn your money back and leave you with enough chronic left over so that every day of your life would be like hanging out on Snoop Dogg’s tour bus.

Another bad thing about the war on drugs is that it forces you to deal with scary criminal drug dealers who probably lace your weed with PCP and crack without telling you and won’t hesitate to put a cap in your ass if you don’t have exact change. You also have to worry about your weed coming from some cheap grower who flooded his fields with harmful, inorganic chemicals. Since you’re growing the weed yourself, you get to control what you’re putting into your lungs without having to pay the unreasonably overpriced cost for a simple plant.

Finally, the most important reason to grow your own weed is to combat global warming. As Al Gore, who is probably smoking a blunt at this very moment, says, there is far too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Plants consume carbon dioxide and, thus, growing marijuana is obviously the only solution to solving this enormous problem facing the world today. So stop driving your SUV to spend half of your paycheck on weed, and get on the Internet to learn specifics on how to grow it yourself. Then clean out that closet, which is holding nothing except that vacuum cleaner and surfboard you never use and start growing your own. Together we can inspire hope in our fight for the right smoke weed… by smoking a lot more of it… for free.