The most reasoning behind legalizing and selling cannabis goes like this: alcohol prohibition was wrong and it didn’t work, which means that marijuana prohibition won’t work (or isn’t working) either, therefore we have to legalize marijuana and pretend it’s the same as alcohol. But isn’t this too simple thinking for such a complex issue? Basically, it’s a false choice, perhaps a logical fallacy or a cognitive bias? Not sure exactly what, but it definitely smells like one of those. Surely, that nasty alcohol prohibition made no sense, but you know what else doesn’t make sense? Modeling marijuana policy on alcohol policy. And you know why? Because contemporary human is different than the one who lived in 30’s (of the last century!) and – marijuana is not alcohol.
Is marijuana addictive?
Ask anyone who is consuming it for fun, and they’ll tell you to bugger off: “Of course not, I am in control, I can stop whenever I want.” Spoken like a true junkie. All jokes aside, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 1 in 11 marijuana users become addicted, and for teens it’s 1 in 6. People who are consuming marijuana as a medicine do not belong into this statistic. So, how do we legalize pot while protecting those who are vulnerable? Is it even possible? Should recreational marijuana be available to anyone over 21 or it should also be available with prescription? For someone who just wants to have free access to it, this is not the desirable scenario, however, marijuana is not for everyone. Scientific studies have found, for instance, a link between marijuana and schizophrenia – new studies showed that those of us who are genetically pre-disposed to schizophrenia used cannabis more often, and in greater quantities than those without schizophrenia risk genes. “Our study certainly does not rule out that cannabis increases the risk of schizophrenia,” one of the researchers said. “But it suggests that there is likely to be an association in the other direction as well — that a predisposition to schizophrenia also increases your likelihood of cannabis use.” Does recreational marijuana by prescription sound better now?
A new kind of reefer madness
Legalizing marijuana is a beautiful idea, and marijuana should be legalized, but saying things like “everyone can consume it without any consequence” is just plain stupid. During our toking career, we have seen people who consume it occasionally, who smoke/vape every day, we’ve been endlessly jealous of those whose effectiveness actually rises when they’re high and we’ve seen those whose life was slowly, but surely consumed by cannabis. We’ve never witnessed a case of marijuana being a gateway drug, though. Today we keep hearing that pot is safe for everyone and that is simply not true. There are people who can’t control it, who are emotionally unstable or what else – for all those vulnerable folks out there, we need to stop clinging to an antiquated view of legalization, start building upon the existing framework and legalize marijuana the right way.