Despite the fact that 60% of American voters approve of marijuana being legal at least as a medicine, the four old myths remain, depicting marijuana as the ultimate bad wolf.
The four most common arguments against legalizing cannabis don’t hold water after all: Facts vs. Fiction
One in every eight US adults admit to smoking marijuana; maybe they don’t have to carry the stigma of being losers, drug addicts, or bad people anymore. Complex.com debunks the four most popular myths quoted by those supporting prohibition.
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The “gateway drug” argument
This is fiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the majority of people using marijuana don’t progress to using hard-core drugs.
In the past, users of heroine, meth, or cocaine were questioned on using marijuana first, and the outcome supported the “gateway” theory. But if marijuana users get asked about using harder drugs as well, which is obviously the more logical approach, the answer does not support the “gateway” theory.
Furthermore, U.S Attorney General Loretta Lynch, turned the tables earlier this year when she suggested the culprit to be blamed for the increase in heroin addiction should be opioids or prescription painkillers rather than cannabis. She says opioids are more likely to initiate addiction to heroin, as painkillers, a legal substance, are found in every household across America.
Marijuana is as addictive as heroin
This is yet another fiction. It is rather unlikely that someone who uses marijuana will become addicted, but not impossible. Studies show lifetime dependence amongst those who have used cannabis as 9%, cocaine 17%, heroin 23%, nicotine 32%, alcohol 15% and other stimulants 11%.
Among these bad wolves, marijuana seems to be the least addictive. Nicotine, legal and available, is right up there as being the most addictive substance.
Marijuana will ruin the economy
This one is really quite difficult to understand. Here goes the reasoning: for every $1 dollar gained in tax on alcohol and tobacco, $14 is spent on “social damages” caused by the use of these substances. Now here comes the so-called argument: there are no studies showing what impact or “social damage” marijuana will cause, so it’s best to keep it illegal.
A Harvard economist shows that this too, is a needless concern. He estimates that the US government could save $13.7 billion if prohibition enforcement were lifted and tax was collected on controlled marijuana sales.
As greater evidence, Colorado created 18,000 full time jobs and added $2.4 billion to the state’s economy by legalizing marijuana. According to ThinkProgress, cannabis is adding more to the economy than anything else on a pound-to-pound basis. The only hindrances to creating a national boom are federal prohibition and lack of access to traditional banking services.
Marijuana is bad for your health
Perhaps, if smoked, but then again, maybe not. Robert Melamede did research in 2005 that showed marijuana smoke affects the lungs differently to tobacco as marijuana contains cannabinoids with anti carcinogenic effects.
He concluded; “components of cannabis smoke minimize some carcinogenic pathways, whereas tobacco smoke enhances some.”
And smoking is by no means the only way of using cannabis. Growing numbers of people prefer vaping, edibles and ingesting CBD oil. Smoking is going out of fashion in a big way, and there are many, including prominent scientists, who believe that cannabis is very good for your health.