The Battle of Marijuana
"A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly fifteen hundred pounds of marijuana within about 15 minutes to induce a lethal response... In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many of the foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death." - DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young
Opponents of legalization often ask why marijuana should be legalized. The real question is: Why should marijuana not be legal? Legalizing marijuana would benefit Americans because it is safer than alcohol; it would bolster the economy; and marijuana has been proven to have many beneficial medicinal qualities. Marijuana should be legalized in the United States. The main reason that marijuana should be legalized is that it is far less dangerous than alcohol. The government has the responsibility to regulate substances that cause significant harm to the public health. In 2006, the Center for Disease Control reported that excessive alcohol consumption was associated with approximately 75,000 deaths per year. Additionally, the CDC cited alcohol as a factor in approximately 41% of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes, while marijuana was held responsible for no motor vehicle crash related deaths (CDC 1). In an opinion handed down by Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young, he states, “nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality” (Young 56). Marijuana is not nearly as great a risk to public health as alcohol. Another reason that marijuana should be legalized is that its production and sale would boost the economy. Newsweek magazine estimates that the annual expenditure on marijuana in the United States may...
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