A Thoughtful Look at the Marijuana Legalization Trend



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Society is gradually becoming more liberal – or libertine – in many ways, and one of the latest trends is the gradual legalization of marijuana in one state after another. This past election, voters approved marijuana for legal (recreational) use in Colorado and Washington. Marijuana has been legalized for recreational or medicinal use in 13 states, with more states to consider it soon. 15 million Americans are regular users of marijuana, a little over 5% of of the population. It seems problematic to criticize its legalization from a logical perspective considering alcohol, another psychoactive substance, is legal. If it is acceptable to legalize alcohol, why not marijuana? Libertarians particularly have a problem with the distinction, which seems inconsistent and arguably a restraint upon freedom.

Legalizing marijuana is not so black and white of a decision as its supporters claim. Marijuana legalization proponents claim that marijuana is not dangerous like alcohol. The facts reveal otherwise. 15 percent of shock-trauma patients who were injured in car accidents had marijuana in their blood, and another 17 percent had both marijuana and alcohol in their blood. 33% of fatally injured drivers who were tested for drug use had drugs in their system; 3,952 drivers total in 2009. Marijuana is the second most commonly found psychoactive substance among drivers after alcohol. In 2009, 376,000 emergency room visits nationwide involved marijuana.

There is a strong correlation between marijuana use and crime. 60% of those arrested across the U.S. test positive for marijuana. This isn’t just crime related to drug use, there is a positive correlation between chronic marijuana use and increased risk of violent behavior. In fact, there is a stronger correlation between property crimes and frequent marijuana use than there is with alcohol use or other illegal drug use, particularly among teenagers. A study of postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana had 55% more accidents, 85% more injuries and a 75% increase in being absent from work.

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  • 2dogs

    Yeah, who ever heard of a violent pot smoker, as opposed to a violent drunk?  Those “violent” adjectives are never applied to pot smoking like they are applied to alcohol.  The article is not biased, it is full of lies.

  • Livefree1200cc

    This article is Biased is an understatement. Most people who smoke stay home and do it. I’ve never seen a violent stoner, and I am 100% sure if there was marijuana in someone’s system in the ER that it was not the ONLY drug in their system. Traces can be detected up to a month after use but the effects only last a few hours after use. This whole article is a big pile of crap anti-cannabis propaganda. Probably pushed through one or more of the many Powerful groups lobbying against cannabis. Big Paper, Big Cotton, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, and Big Plastics all have a reason to hate cannabis/hemp. Hemp produces a superior product with less of an environmental footprint.

  • AWKingsley

    Is this article a bit biased? From having lived in a drug corridor, Albuquerque, NM, I can verify that citizens there are being overwhelmed by crime from the illegal drug trade. Our biggest challenge is stopping a very dangerous crime wave. As to marijuana legalization being Libertine, all drugs were once legal in America.  Drug use, just like maintaining a healthy diet, needs to be returned to personal responsibility. Parents and pastors need to start tackling this problem again. When I was a child abstinence cards were passed out at church each year in response to a sermon by a reformed alcoholic who came to bear witness. Drug abuse is a problem whether drugs are legal or illegal, so lets decriminalize drug sales and use. There are always going to be irresponsible employees, and drug legalization will not change that one way or the other. Only firing changes irresponsibility.

  • Evermyrtle

    This may one more of the big O’ death traps.