An op-ed appeared on the L.A. Times website this weekend that took issue with the media supposedly ignoring the health effects of marijuana. This is ridiculous considering the media buys every doomsday prophecy our opponents spew. Be that as it may, the main focus of the article was marijuana’s “9% addiction rate,” which is lower than that of alcohol and cocaine, both of which have addiction rates of 15%.

There is plenty of dispute over addiction studies and the criteria they use to consider someone “addicted,” but let’s say 9% is an accurate number. Doesn’t that make cannabis a safer alternative to alcohol and other hard drugs? Shouldn’t we be accepting of marijuana as an alternative to much more dangerous substances instead of demonizing it as the evil of all evils?

The most interesting part of the article to me though is how it runs out of steam relatively quickly. Instead of the usual prophecies of doom, the author begins listing supposed health problems that cannabis causes and how the available data shows these fears to be overblown, including the risks of lung cancer, the “gateway” theory, and the dangers of “stoned” driving.

So not only is the “addiction” rate of marijuana lower than alcohol and cocaine, it poses less of a risk when it comes to a users health and less of a risk to others on the road when a user is driving. What exactly is so bad about that?

Joe Klare

4 Responses

  1. Michael C

    I diagree that marijuana is addictive, i have had to quit several times for long periods due to employment reasons, Have had NO ill side effcts whatsoever. I have been clear a year now at my newest job
    Take this scenario: Although not diagnosed by a physician for depression I know that I am, I know myself, my job is also very physical and causes alot of muscle pain come the day after work it settles in. I dont feel I can go to a doctor for help because I know they will prescribe pills for me to “cure” all my ailments which in my job will not work because I need to inform them of all and any prescription medicine, and in turn I won’t be technically able to perform my job due to running heavy equipment etc. So my job would be at risk. They drug test for any and all accidents or near misses that may occur and if prescription drugs(that is not reported to them) , marijuana or alchohol is found at that immediate time you will be dismissed on the spot. (the effects of pain medication can last up to 8 hours) and can be very addictive.
    So to keep a roof over my families head and be a responsible tax paying citizen I go without.
    On the days off I tend to drink a vodka mixed drink, I have turned into a big binge drinker in the past year, and have noticed my alcohol intake has increased considerably in that time..”Why?” because it’s legal, socially accepted and over time can be a disease(alcoholism) It is the only option I have to relieve stress, get away from it all or however you’d like to put it. When I smoked I could relieve the stress, be comfortable, relax and actually function.
    I appologize if i strayed off the real subject here, it turned into a “venting” session for me.

    My only hope is that prop 19 passes and is successful in so many areas that other states see the benefits.

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