Marijuana: Should it be legalized?

Recently, there’s been one topic that my friends and I could never agree on: legalizing marijuana in Canada.

You could probably guess what their arguments are:

  • Drugs are bad!
  • Drugs kill people!
  • Everything’s been going fine now, why change it?

And while those are some quite valid, logical, arguments, the truth is much less simple.

Just to be clear, I agree that it’s unhealthy to smoke marijuana, just like nicotine and alcohol, and that nobody should do it, this is just my opinion on whether or not it should be legal.

Let’s start by comparing numbers: Around how many people are killed from marijuana overdoses every year? What about every day? The answer to both those questions: zero. There have been no reported deaths from marijuana use alone.  Let’s compare that to alcohol, which is immensely popular, and has been legal for a long time: About 30,700 Americans die from alcohol every year. Alcohol is also more addictive than marijuana. According to a study of 8,000 adults, 9% of people who have tried marijuana became addicted, while the figures for alcohol are 15%.

So why then, is alcohol legal and not marijuana? Well, it was. From 1920 to 1933, alcohol was prohibited in the USA. So the number of deaths must have gone down, right? Wrong. During prohibition, alcohol became a black market commodity. Bootleggers like John Torrio and Al Capone profited from the sale of illegal alcohol, and many were killed due to organized crime and police brutality. The worst part is,  alcohol consumption was hardly reduced, due to how easy it was to get illegal alcohol. The exact same thing is happening right now with marijuana, but on a smaller scale. Even worse, the ban on marijuana means less access to medical marijuana, causing even more deaths!

Fortunately, Canada is about to legalize marijuana, and while my friends might not realize it, save hundreds of lives.

PS: Sorry I haven’t posted in a long time, I ‘ve been busy writing my book, which will be published soon(post on that coming up!).