Is legalizing weed going to be the end of all things sane or will we be doomed without it?
Believe it or not, there are more dangerous things out there than marijuana, weed, pot or whatever else you may call it.
President Barack Obama is no stranger to the issue. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous,” he said in an interview earlier this year.
On its effects he holds, “In terms of its impact on the individual consumer, it’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”
But then he also went on to say, “I would not let my son play pro football.”
Legalizing marijuana has been a huge debate for quite some time now. So much so that it has pushed a lot of serious issues on the back bench.
The Drug Enforcement Administration catalogs marijuana as a Schedule I drug — i.e. substances that are the "most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence."
There is no denying the downside or side effects of marijuana. But while they range from sensory distortion, anxiety, poor coordination of movement, sleepiness, depression and lowered reaction time, serious concerns like affects on immune system, growth disorders, affect on internal organs and slowing brain functionality are only a risk in long term use.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse holds that only about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana.
It’s actually annoying to see how much commotion the debate has caused. If the effects of pot mean it should be illegal, then so should numerous other things we use so casually in our daily lives like soda, tobacco and alcohol.
In fact, these are more dangerous than marijuana. So where are the pickets against them?
Without going in to too much ado, here is a list of legal things that are statistically more dangerous than weed.
Fast Food and Sodas
According to the CDC, more than one-third of American adults are obese. It is nothing less than an epidemic that can lead to a host of health risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and cancer — even death.
And what exactly is the major cause of obesity?
Of course we are a lazy lot – a fact that speaks for itself; then there is the genetic factor also at play. But that’s just a fraction.
Smoking tobacco harms nearly every organ of the body. Here’s how the CDC explains it in one simple diagram:
Smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is about one in five deaths.
Just to give you some perspective, “More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States during its history,” according to CDC.
The horror doesn’t stop here. The CDC section on smoking is full of eye opening and mind blowing statistics.
“Smoking causes about 90 percent (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in men and women. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.”
“About 80 percent (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are caused by smoking.”
Prescription Drug Overdose
A hundred people die from drug overdoses everyday in the United States. That's not an exaggeration, just plain and simple CDC statistics. On a daily basis, 114 people die as a result of drug overdose and another 6,748 are treated in emergency rooms for the misuse or abuse of drugs.
Acetaminophen, for example, an active ingredient in Tylenol and the most commonly used painkiller in America, has caused many cases of liver failure, mainly by overdose but also through users taking the recommended dosage.
Let’s not even get in to the ever so easily available drugs like the deadly bath salts, the Bliss, bitter orange and K2.
There are no less than 18 million Americans that are alcoholics or have alcohol related problems. There were 15,990 alcoholic liver disease deaths in 2010 alone. In 2012, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 10,322 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).
Apart from death, it causes a myriad of illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
Remember Sandy Hook, the Santa Barbara shooting, the Colorado massacre? There are approximately 81,300 nonfatal injuries and 31,672 deaths every year involving guns. That is approximately 308 shootings and 86 deaths every day.
No denying marijuana or weed use is not without damage or risks but why single it out and make such a hullabaloo over it that overpowers and overshadows issues much more serious, even deadlier.
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