Throughout my career as a clinical psychiatrist, I have seen lives ruined by drugs like cocaine, painkillers and alcohol. I have also borne witness to the devastation brought upon cannabis users — almost never by abuse of the drug, but by a justice system that chooses a sledgehammer to kill a weed.
Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, caffeine and refined sugar are among the most commonly used, potentially habit-forming recreational substances. All are best left out of our daily diets. Only marijuana is illegal, though alcohol and tobacco are clearly more harmful. In several respects, even sugar poses more of a threat to our nation’s health than pot.
Diabetes affects over 20 million Americans, and about 40 million more are on the verge of having it due to poor diet. Our relationship to sugar is a direct connection here, yet sugar remains perfectly legal and basically unregulated.
The final paragraph offers an interesting conclusion; if you think marijuana should be illegal, then so should alcohol and tobacco. And if not, then you must conclude we legalize, regulate and tax marijuana just like alcohol and tobacco. Heck, guns are legal and they do kill people every single day. Pot has yet to claim a direct victim.
If you still believe that cannabis should be illegal, then you must logically support the criminalization of alcohol and tobacco, with vigorous prosecution and even imprisonment of producers and consumers. Does that sound ridiculous? Then you must conclude that the only rational approach to cannabis is to legalize, regulate and tax it.
It’s hard to argue with the science behind marijuana, it offers many health benefits, and who wants to deny someone help in need? It’s also hard to argue with the taxation behind marijuana, legalizing it will create jobs and cashflow for many states around the country. Marijuana is mostly a mellow drug, much less harmful than alcohol and many prescription drugs. In light of these facts, how could anyone want to continue treating this plant as anything but legal and helpful under the right circumstances?