The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Marijuana less dangerous than others, should be leagalized

November 15, 2017

The battle for legalized marijuana is being fought in many states across the nation. Even in Nebraska, a very Republican state, some senators are pushing for legalization medicinally. The states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have already legalized some use of marijuana, as well as Uruguay, Portugal and a few other countries. Many countries in Europe and Asia don’t have legalized marijuana, but it is tolerated, like in India where it grows naturally in the forests and is tied to the Hindu religion or in Spain where cannabis clubs are common and members evade punishment by paying for the club, not the weed. 

The benefits to legalizing marijuana, medicinal or recreational, far out weight the costs. Medicinal cannabis can be very beneficial to those suffering pain, seizures and anxiety disorders. It’s a more natural option than most medicines or surgery that is sometimes needed. One of the reasons marijuana is illegal at the present is because the government is protecting big pharmaceutical companies. These companies produce medicines that may stop the disorder at hand. However, many of these medicines are prescribed opioids, particularly to treat pain. When we are already facing an opioid crisis as a nation, it seems cruel that the government promotes these companies. 

Marijuana is obviously much safer than opioids, but it’s also safer than alcohol and cigarettes. There are no known cases of death-by-weed because the lethal limit is far beyond what anyone could consume. When someone smokes marijuana, carcinogens like carbon monoxide are released and absorbed into the body, just as if they were to smoke a cigarette. However, the main cause of cancer in tobacco smokers is actually the chemicals used to make mass-produced cigarettes. Marijuana use doesn’t raise social aggression, like alcohol, and the high it causes can be just as calming as nicotine is for addicts.  

As far as recreational cannabis goes, legalization would make the whole process safer for everyone involved. If marijuana were legal and responsibly distributed like alcohol or tobacco, the strain and origin of the plant could be more reliably advertised. There would be fewer injuries, deaths and robberies in back-alley deals. Responsible laws could be placed regulating legal age of purchase and processing the plant can go through before being sold. 

Cannabis is no longer a taboo in today’s world. It’s not as dangerous as all the D.A.R.E. officials claim. When these people talk to children about drugs, they put weed and heroin on the same level. By doing this, they’re making the two seem like equal evils. While marijuana can be dangerous, just like any other drug, it’s effects are nowhere near that of heroin or even alcohol. It is unfair that the less of many evils is still criticized for the reputation of its past and generations of false teaching. 

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