Why Not Weed?

Cannabis Leaf (Public Domain/Google Images)

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people succumb to diseases caused by tobacco use. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with illnesses that are related to the use of tobacco products. Many of these diseases include cancer, heart disease, and emphysema. Yet, after all these years of people having health issues from tobacco use, we don’t see any type of effort from our government to make tobacco products illegal. On the other hand, marijuana has been shown to have positive effects on people with various illnesses. People all over the world have consumed cannabis in an effort to fight neurological conditions, and to relieve the painful side effects of chemotherapy. There are no medicinal benefits to be gained from tobacco products, but yet cannabis has been beneficial to society more so than tobacco, which leads us to the question, if tobacco products are legal in this country, why not weed?

There’s been a great deal of propaganda against marijuana over the years. There was a film that was made in the late 1930’s entitled Reefer Madness. It was first funded by a church group as a lesson in morality to show the dangers of marijuana use. It was exploited on a wider scale by producer Dwain Esper from the late 1930’s to the 1950’s. This film basically portrays marijuana as a drug that influences people to kill, rape, and commit other unspeakable and violent acts. This film was actually used for satirical purposes in the 1970’s by marijuana activists. There’s been much paranoia and propaganda in an effort to keep cannabis an illegal substance. Fake news articles, like the one that was posted last year that stated many had died or either had adverse effects from using marijuana in Colorado, completely misinform people. I was speaking with someone in law enforcement and they said that they’ve seen people get in car accidents and commit other crimes under the influence of alcohol, but it is rare that someone commits crimes under the influence of marijuana.

Anti-Marijuana Propaganda Wikimedia Commons
Anti-Marijuana Propaganda From The 1930’s (Wikimedia Commons/Google Images)

There are many who state that marijuana is a gateway drug but there’s not much merit in that argument. Hell, anything could be a gateway drug. Over-the-counter medications could lead to an addiction to painkillers or other substances. It’s been proven in studies that alcohol consumption could lead to heavier drugs. Caffeine consumption could lead to amphetamine abuse. Anything could lead to something more drastic but over-the-counter medications, alcohol, and caffeine aren’t illegal. If someone is not getting the desired effects from a particular substance, it’s possible that they will try something stronger until they satisfy their desires. Also, I’ve heard people state that marijuana alters your consciousness, but so does alcohol, so there’s no logical argument there. Should alcohol be illegal? I don’t think it should, but you get the point. Stating that marijuana is a gateway drug is illogical, whenever some of the people making this statement would not hesitate to consume alcohol or any other legal substance for that matter. It doesn’t really make much sense, does it?

Although the medicinal benefits of cannabis have yet to be fully realized, due to the lack of research, which is a causality of it being illegal in most nations, there appears to be positive effects from cannabis use by individuals with certain illnesses. While it probably isn’t healthy to overindulge on cannabis, it isn’t healthy to overindulge on fast food, but Wendy’s or McDonald’s isn’t illegal. With the above-mentioned conditions and other illnesses such as glaucoma, epilepsy, and Dravet syndrome, marijuana has been beneficial in reducing the effects of such ailments. Cannabis is no worse for you than tobacco products. At the present time, marijuana is considered to be a Schedule I drug. Our elected officials are taking an in-depth look at the drug, exactly why it was deemed illegal, and it is indeed plausible that it could very well become legal in the future. Many of the reasons that marijuana is illegal are outdated and illogical. We need to embrace the mindset of today, and leave behind the mentality of the past in regards to marijuana laws and many other issues. This nation could generate billions of dollars in revenue by legalizing it. I’m not a consumer of cannabis, but I don’t see much logic as to why it is illegal. To reiterate what I’ve said before, if tobacco products, alcohol, and other harmful substances are legal across this nation, then why not weed?

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”

– Carl Sagan

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