Pubdate: Tue, 08 May 2012
Source: Santa Maria Times (CA)
Copyright: 2012 Lee Central Coast Newspapers
Author: Alan Alcantar


Everyone knows marijuana is illegal, but the reasons why it is 
illegal seem to be vague.

One of the main arguments is that it is addictive. An online study 
shows that marijuana is about 4 percent addictive compared to alcohol 
at 11 percent, and tobacco, 21 percent, which are both legal.

Those who say it is addictive just bend the definition of addiction. 
It isn't as addictive as drugs like cocaine. Instead, they use the 
term "addictive" as they use to describe teens with their video games.

When someone decides to stop smoking marijuana, they won't have the 
same heavy withdrawal as one would with heavier drugs such as heroin. 
The symptoms of quitting all depend on the user and how often they smoke.

But it is harder to quit smoking cigarettes than it is to quit 
smoking marijuana.

Another argument might be that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads 
to much worse. However, in a 2001 study, marijuana use does not lead 
to drugs such as alcohol or heroin. The gateway-drug myth actually 
depends on the user.

Marijuana might not be completely harmless but it is a lot less 
harmful than most people make it out to be. It is not a violent drug. 
In fact, it is the total opposite.

Therefore, it is safe to say there are more reasons why marijuana 
should be legal, rather than why it should remain illegal.

Alan Alcantar

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