Siebold: Time to legalize marijuana
The debate over the side effects of marijuana vs. alcohol, along with the lingering question of whether or not marijuana should be legal, has been long running and probably won’t end anytime soon. But according to new research published in the journal Scientific Reports, that looked at things people take to get high or drunk, weed is the least fatal. And guess what the deadliest was? Alcohol.
Not only was weed the least lethal, it was roughly 114 times less deadly than booze, according to the authors. Put science aside, and most anyone who has smoked pot will tell you it has a softer effect than alcohol. If alcohol and marijuana were animals, alcohol would be an anaconda and pot would be a housecat. Yet pot will land you in jail but you can drink alcohol in the White House.
It’s said the best way to learn is through experience. But apparently we didn’t learn our lesson through Prohibition. The 18th Amendment outlawing alcohol was as big a failure as the drug war. But we repealed Prohibition after 12 years. Where is the critical thinking in believing the drug war would be any different?
Who owns our bodies? If you say the United States government owns our bodies, that would give them the right to ban substances that harm us. But I don’t think anyone would say the government owns our bodies. So if we own our bodies, shouldn’t we have the right to drink, smoke or ingest anything we choose?
Past that, the drug war hasn’t stopped Americans from doing drugs. You can buy any drug you want in any city in America without knowing anyone by simply approaching a few people. Finding a drug dealer is easier than buying beer at 7-Eleven, and they don’t even ask for ID. Most people who do drugs are casual users who still get up for work the next day and live responsibly. Only a small percentage of people become addicts.
The solution is simple: It’s time to legalize marijuana. Legalization offers many benefits: It would empty our jails. It would save lives through the reduction of dangerous drug cartels. It would bring in millions of dollars in revenue and reduce crime like it has in Colorado.
But logic and reason don’t always prevail in America. The moral police do. These are people who believe they know how to run our lives better than we do, and they are here to save us from ourselves. These crusaders believe they are morally and intellectually superior, and they have blessed us with their presence so we too can see the light. These are the same clowns who can’t balance the budget and stop themselves from emailing lewd pictures to college girls, but they are here to guide us. What a joke.
Steve Siebold is author of “Sex, Politics, Religion: How Delusional Thinking is Destroying America.”