Published on Thursday, February 2, 2012 by Davis Downey
The legalization or banning of various substances is based on the harm they could cause to people who use them. Marijuana being the most used of these substances, and the cause millions of arrests and thousands of hours of police time being wasted, is frequently under scrutiny from both sides of the legalization discussion.
Cocaine, meth, heroin and various other “hard” drugs are all illegal for obvious reasons. If you use them, odds are that you will die. At some point though, the consistency behind this method of classifying drugs was interrupted.
Alcohol and cigarettes are both legal and easily available, yet there are countless examples of the harm they can cause people. Alcohol can turn a normal person into a vicious drunk, leading to countless cases of abuse due to alcohol. Cigarettes cause cancer in millions of people, not to mention the other terrible things it does to the human body. Both of these are still legal.
Now, take a look at marijuana. It has been proven that it’s impossible to overdose on THC, the active ingredient that makes you high in marijuana, and there’s no way to become physically addicted.
According to the federal government’s schedule system, which classifies drugs based on their ability to cause harm and their medicinal value, marijuana is a Schedule 1, the same level as meth, heroin, MDMA, etc. Not only is marijuana nowhere near as deadly as various other Schedule 1 drugs, it actually has proven therapeutic uses. It can be used as a pain reliever and appetite inducer. I’ve read stories of cancer patients who went for weeks without having any desire to eat and medical marijuana changed that when nothing else would. How can marijuana be placed on the same level as drugs like meth that ruin entire lives, or heroin that leads to junkies shooting up in alley ways?
Some states are realizing the truth of marijuana legalization, and are on the way to decriminalizing it, but the war isn’t over yet. More congressmen need to support the legalization of marijuana, not because I say so, but because it makes sense.