I’m going to be blunt real quick. Cannabis does not have a great track record. It is called a gateway drug and some have gone as far as to call it “The Destroyer of Youth.” This poor public view came about the use of cannabis began in the early nineteen hundreds, due to cult flicks such as Reefer Madness, and has been imprinted on American society ever since. People say it is can cause brain cell loss over long-term use as well as loss of lung capacity. Even if these were true, it seems like the adverse effects are better for you than alcohol or nicotine, yet both of which are legal. Honestly, I’d rather live in a world of pot heads than a world of alcoholics
I have worked in the cannabis industry for the past three years in a cannabis bakery. I have seen the wonders marijuana can do in as a medicine. I have personally seen two different cases of cancer completely eradicated from the human body, but that isn’t the purpose of this article. However, many people do not use cannabis for purely medical reasons. It is a very common and enjoyable recreational substance that has less potential of danger than alcohol, no hangover or stomach ache, and is less harmful than nicotine. So why isn’t it legal? Perhaps is from the social fear, rooted in generations of ignorance.
One of the major health concerns presented about the use of cannabis is the loss of brain capacity. Yet drugabuse.gov has analyzed lab studies about this adverse effect of THC on the brain. To conclude it bluntly, “those who began using marijuana heavily in adulthood did not lose IQ points.” Heavy use is defined as daily usage. Where does this leave us, the average cannabis consumer? It only makes sense that if the extremes are at worst mildly affected then moderate use can expect even lesser adverse effects.
Now compare this to the legal substance of alcohol. Which is known to cause brain damage when used consistently. Yet there isn’t the same social stigma against alcohol as there is against marijuana. It has been proven that the “more a person drinks, the worse their control and judgment is even when sober.” This again just concretes the fact that alcohol is just plainly more dangerous than cannabis.
Another major health issue associated with marijuana is loss of lung capacity. The hard-baked fact is that all smoke contains vaporized carbon atoms that form carcinogens which are irritating to the lungs. Despite this the researchers at University of Alabama at Birmingham have found that occasional users have increased airflow and lung capacity. They also concluded that those who have smoked a joint a day for 7 years do not see any lung capacity loss. The twenty yearlong studies show that those who smoke heavily for the duration show only a 6% loss of lung capacity.
Compare this to tobacco smoke’s effects on lung capacity. UCSF researchers has found “a consistent loss of lung function with increased exposure.” Meaning that at any point cigarettes a bad for your health. If health related issues are the reason that marijuana isn’t legal, then the United States Government must reexamine what is already legal.
We are at the age when cannabis has become legal in certain states. These states: Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, have highly profited from the tax of marijuana sale. In fact Colorado itself sells 60 million dollars of marijuana in the months of October and September alone. This all done with a 28% sales tax. That means Colorado’s makes 17 million in just two months. In the first year alone Cannabis tax raised 50 million for the Colorado’s school and infrastructure. Now imagine what could be done on a nationwide scale.
Luckily for us, California is poised to legalize cannabis in 2016. A recent Tulchin Poll showed that nearly legalization. I guess I’ll just put it bluntly, when you next get the chance to vote for the legalization of cannabis, think of your children and their school system. Vote yes, and help your country expand economically while providing us all with a safe and legal way to experience what we call life.