1. Liberty – Well a good place to start is so that we can live out our own American values of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness by respecting every individual’s liberty to make their own choices about their own body, their own time, and their own money.
2. Conservatism – Conservatives have been complaining about “the nanny state” and “big government run amok” for decades now, so here’s a chance to curtail the excesses of government overreach, something very well in line with purported conservative values.
3. Liberalism – Liberals have been vocal supporters of each individual’s right to make their own choices about their own bodies for decades now as well, so this is a chance to bring reality in line with rhetoric and let people be responsible for their own bodies.
4. Libertarianism – If you don’t like marijuana, just don’t use it. That’s a lot more simple of a solution than waging an entire war on it.
5. Consistency – Then there’s the fact that alcohol and nicotine, which are both also intoxicating substances, are legal in the United States despite the overwhelming empirical reality that they are both incredibly, incredibly destructive to health and life.
6. Not Toxic Nor Fatal – In fact according to the NIH, tobacco is the first leading preventable cause of death in America and alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death. And according to the DEA marijuana has killed exactly zero people ever in the history of the world. (Page 75 of the 2017 DEA report Drugs of Abuse)
7. Not Addictive – Not only is marijuana impossible to overdose on, unlike alcohol, according to former US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana responsible for the characteristic high is not even addictive like alcohol, tobacco, or even caffeine. While consumers can become tolerant to THC (the effects of the drug diminish over repeated consumption without a “tolerance break” of a few days), it does not cause dependence (the need for the substance to avoid going through an uncomfortable or painful withdrawal) like alcohol and tobacco.
8. Does Not Cause Violence – Another quote by Joycelyn Elders from the same interview: “Nobody says that marijuana causes violence. As we know alcohol can cause much more aggressiveness. You aren’t as likely to hurt someone from using marijuana as you are from using alcohol.”
9. Not A “Gateway Drug” – “Marijuana is not a ‘gateway’ drug that predicts or eventually leads to substance abuse, suggests a 12-year University of Pittsburgh study.” [Source]
10. Your Lungs – In a rigorous twenty year study of over 5,000 men and women published in 2012 by the American Medical Association, researchers at two American universities found that casual marijuana use (defined as smoking up to a joint a week for twenty years or even a joint a day for seven years) not only doesn’t harm lung function, but “was associated with increases in lung air flow rates and increases in lung capacity.” Seriously.
11. Cancer – From Cancer.org: “More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.”
12. Chemo – Same source: “A number of small studies of smoked marijuana found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. Smoked marijuana has also helped improve food intake in HIV patients in studies. Studies have long shown that people who took marijuana extracts in clinical trials tended to need less pain medicine.”
13.Opiates – Legalizing marijuana provides a safer alternative to highly addictive prescription painkillers that are killing so many Americans today it has become a major public health crisis.
14. Epilepsy – CBD, one of the cannabinoids in marijuana, has been scientifically demonstrated to help treat and reduce the severity of a very terrible form of treatment resistant epilepsy that tragically mostly affects small children.
15. Alzheimer’s – Marijuana and products made from it have been used to help Alzheimer’s patients gain weight and ease some of the agitated behavior that patients experience. Scientists have also found it slows the progress of protein deposits in the brain that scientists suspect may be part of what causes Alzheimer’s.
Published: April 24, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News