Credible arguments against marijuana don’t exist

Cheyene Miller, Managing Editor

Cheyene Miller

On Wednesday, some UK students were likely celebrating a certain unofficial holiday inspired by marijuana culture, yet it is 2016 and marijuana users are still criminalized for their lifestyles.

Marijuana legalization is without a doubt the most black-and-white political issue of our lifetime. Valid arguments against marijuana legalization simply do not exist. What few arguments opponents actually make are not based in science or even common sense. Let’s examine some of those arguments.

Legal marijuana will lead to more overdose deaths: 

This is just laughable considering no one has overdosed on marijuana in human history. Science has actually never recorded a lethal dose of marijuana. Alcohol and prescription drugs, on the other hand, kill thousands of people every year.

Marijuana causes lung cancer: 

While marijuana does contain many of the same carcinogens as tobacco, there is no conclusive link between marijuana smoke and lung cancer, as there is with tobacco smoke. Research shows that daily marijuana smokers are no more at risk for lung cancer than non-smokers, and a study performed by the National Institute of Drug Abuse even showed that the therapeutic components of marijuana have the potential to slow the growth of cancer cells.

Marijuana kills brain cells: 

Again, there is no existing scientific data that confirms this. Alcohol on the other hand, is a well-documented brain cell killer, yet it is sold within a walkable distance of this campus.

Marijuana legalization will lead to an increase in crime and intoxicated driving:

Tell that to the fine citizens of Colorado, where they actually saw a decrease in both violent crime and motorist fatalities during marijuana’s inaugural year of commercial sale in the state. And again, ALCOHOL.

Marijuana is addictive:

Coffee is probably more addictive than marijuana. Research shows that marijuana, as far as its addictive qualities go, ranks at the bottom of the recreational drug spectrum, below alcohol, tobacco, and even caffeine.

Marijuana makes you a loser: 

Here is a short list of “losers” who have been documented marijuana users at some point in life: Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Steve Jobs, Carl Sagan, Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Martha Stewart … the list goes on and on. The idea that marijuana users are all sitting on a couch eating Doritos is both offensive and contradictory to reality.

Again, credible anti-marijuana legalization arguments just don’t exist. It is time for our society to accept that and stop punishing people for a relatively harmless activity.

Cheyene Miller is the managing editor of the Kentucky Kernel.

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