Marijuana – Casualty of a Failed War

MarijuanaThe war on drugs started with saying that marijuana is a gateway drug leading to the use of more dangerous ones. It’s popular recreational use over other drugs hasn’t helped it’s reputation either. However, by targeting the substance, are we ignoring the possible benefits we can gain from using it medically? Recreational use shouldn’t be overlooked because we allow other more dangerous substances like alcohol and cigarettes.

There are many medical benefits to marijuana; it can provide relief to sufferers of many conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and others. Although it has many proven benefits, it is less likely to be prescribed because of the illegal drug stigma.  Looking past this stigma is difficult since allowing marijuana to be consumed is admitting the war on drugs is based on a false premise.

Since legalization in Colorado, they generated approximately 44 million dollars in taxes in the first year. Now that it’s legalized, minor possession of marijuana is no longer a punishable offense, which saves money and time on officers. However, being high while driving continues to be a DUI charge just like alcohol. There have been reports of more people visiting the ER since legalization, but it’s unclear if the visits are marijuana related.

Unlike painkillers, alcohol, prescription drugs, and even water, it is impossible to overdose on marijuana. While your reaction time will be affected while you’re high, you cannot die from having too much marijuana. This doesn’t make it 100% safe, but compared to  current legalized items, it is a much safer alternative.

There is no denying that smoking cannabis would possibly, over a prolonged period, cause cancer in most people just like smoking cigarettes, cigars, and even vaping. This is a choice people should choose to make. In moderation, the risks could be low and if they are only harming themselves then we shouldn’t be interfering. The only point we should interfere is when they become a risk to other people because of their habits, much the same as we do with alcohol abuse.

Legalizing marijuana should be granted across the country. With more potential tax revenue and less money being used towards arrests, it helps benefit the economy. Medically speaking it is safer than most of the alternatives that are already legal, but still can cause damage in the long run or with heavy use. Used correctly for medial purposes, marijuana is relief for many conditions in lieu of alternative therapies with harmful side effects. It’s stupid we don’t use something that is completely natural to help benefit our society, instead of treating it as a crime to use.

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