Marijuana Legalization Gaining Ground as Politicians Weigh In
What is going to happen to the percentage of people who have the environmental and genetic components that will lead to addiction? No one seems to bring this up, but a former state Governor is pro-legalization.
On the Colbert Report, at the State Capitol in Sacramento, and wherever else he can get an audience former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is rallying for marijuana legalization.
Gary Johnson brings up salient points about the relative harmlessness of marijuana and it's potential to generate large sums of cash through taxation. Gary focuses on the amount of money spent arresting, processing, and imprisoning people for marijuana possession or use.
The clip below shows some of Gary Johnson's philosophy as he appears on the Colbert Report. He espouses the philosophy that marijuana is much less sinister than some of its legal counterparts (ie. alcohol).
Gary also brings up the salient point that in countries like Holland and Portugal, marijuana legalization has led to a statistical reduction in other kinds of crimes (like theft and violence).
Since there are many relatively strong arguments for marijuana legalization, we would like to offer some thoughts against legalizing pot.
The Minority Who Will Suffer Under Marijuana Legalization
Not everyone has the "perfect storm" of biological and environmental factors that will cause them to "have an addictive personality." However, some do. Varying studies show different statistics but it is pretty well accepted that at least 10% of U.S. adults struggle with chemical dependency to some substance. Lives are ruined every day because of addiction, which is a progressive and clever disease that instills denial in its victims.
Inevitably, marijuana legalization will expose more people to the substance and a percentage of these men and women will gradually progress into an addictive usage pattern of marijuana. Marijuana is psychologically addictive but has not been shown to be physically addictive.
While the mere fact that some people will become addicted to pot if it is legal might not be enough reason to prevent it's availability the the masses who will mostly be responsible with its use, the marijuana addicted individuals who graduate to harder drugs are the ones that we treat in our drug rehab facility.
Some people will graduate to using pills like OxyContin when the marijuana or hash they've been smoking is no longer giving them the sensation they crave due to growing tolerance. Others may try cocaine for more of a rush. Others may find themselves becoming more dependent on alcohol because it is easier to obtain and a fraction of the price of marijuana.
People who become cross addicted to other drugs face sinister effects like the potential of a deadly drug overdose, or a fatal motor vehicle accident (the most frequent cause of accidental death in the U.S.)
So, while this might seem to be a leap of logic to apply to the discussion of marijuana legalization, the fact of the matter is that making marijuana widely available and reducing the stigma (of what was once considered "dope") might have more negative consequences than seem obvious at first glance.
Here is Gary Johnson on the Colbert Report:
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