With weed and alcohol the most dangerous drug is the most legal

With weed and alcohol the most dangerous drug is the most legal

With weed and alcohol the most dangerous drug is the most legal
August 01
20:47 2019

Recently the state of Texas decided that Marijuana would continue to be criminalized and illegal. As I learned of this decision, I wondered what the reasons were for continuing to keep the prohibition of marijuana necessary. 

I feel like it might be popular knowledge that there are actual health benefits from the use of marijuana and some of the negative effects are not as harmful in comparison to a legal substance like alcohol and nicotine. Alcohol especially, which is so common in our society, is known for causing liver diseases and alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is known for having positive effects on the user’s health. Many of the early uses for medical marijuana, which is marijuana that is only prescribed by doctors, is commonly used for nausea from chemotherapy. It is also prescribed for chronic pain and was one of the most popular uses for the substance.

So why is it that marijuana is demonized while drinking is a social activity when most kids would kill to be at their 21st birthday already. It kills more per year than marijuana, with the CDC reporting that from the years 2006 through 2010, there were approximately 88,000 deaths per year. 

In the year 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 1400 automobile accidents were caused by those who were intoxicated.  

Alcohol kills thousands of people each year, whether it is by health effects alone or behind the wheel of a car. Marijuana has zero documented cases from its use alone. 

Despite this, the number of arrests based on the number of drug possessions in the United States was 36 percent of arrests were marijuana charges. Many have been criminalized and locked up for small counts of possession.

In the lives of students, financial aid can even be prevented. If the student is arrested sometime during the school year, it can limit or completely close off opportunities for students that deal with poverty and do not have the ability to pay for school. And while illegal under the law, it is still quite the overreaction for a substance that causes less harm to the body than alcohol which causes thousands of deaths each year. 

There is no real threat presented by a society that smokes weed. 

During the era of the War on Drugs by President Ronald Reagan’s administration, Marijuana was presented as a gateway to other more dangerous drugs through its addiction rate. But according to Business Insider, marijuana has a lower addiction rate than alcohol.

So why is it that this plant is such an issue for many in power when it has been shown that the health effects of marijuana are immensely better with less negative downsides in comparison to alcohol?

Weed is already culturally accepted by many. Many in the entertainment industry spoke openly about marijuana use since before the drug was legal in the state. Actors such as Matthew McConaughey and Mark Ruffalo of Marvel fame, are well known for being open about smoking pot. 

Culturally, weed has been known to make people unproductive, but not dangerous. With  alcohol, the amount it takes for the user to get hurt is much lower—and it’s legal. It’s time to stop attributing negativity and criminal sentences to a plant when it makes no sense to do so. 

Featured Image: Illustration by Austin Banzon

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Nick Parkinson

Nick Parkinson

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1 Comment

  1. Dr. Jim McHugh
    Dr. Jim McHugh August 06, 16:16

    As a retired, crippled, and retired graduate (’86) of UNT, I am the criminal defense lawyer who got marijuana (Medicine) legalized in the state of Oregon. Marijuana is sold at local grocery stores to the general public with all the tax earmark to benefit the disabled.

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