Should Marijuana be Legalized?
The New York Times conducted a poll asking readers whether marijuana should be legalized or not. While I anticipated that many people favor legalizing marijuana, their results were still shocking: only 41 people said they were unsure, 206 were against legalizing marijuana and a whopping 4043 people (as of noon on Monday, July 28) were in favor of legalizing the herb. Based on the results, journalist Juliet Lapidos states: “the lopsided reaction indicates that, among Times readers, there’s a virtual consensus: †The federal ban on marijuana makes no sense.”
In many ways current laws banning marijuana use are similar to Prohibition in the last century during which time alcohol was banned. And, with the clarity of time, most of us look back on those laws as being, well, rather backward.
Personally, Iím in favor of legalizing marijuana and have been for a long timeóno, not because Iím some sort of pot-head vying for a hidden personal agenda. I donít smoke pot and donít care to start. But, I was out walking in the woods one time and stumbled upon the herb, growing so humbly upon the ground along with dandelions, clover, wild roses, and countless other plants, that I thought ďwhat is our legal hate-on for this particular plant?” I hadnít seen it growing in the woods prior to that and the experience definitely made me stop and think.
I was also taken aback when I learned about Israelís highly successful and non-controversial national medicinal cannabis program, in which almost 10,000 patients with serious diseases and health conditions have low-cost access to up to 100 grams of the herb each month to aid their health. That seems a stark contrast to North America where many pharmaceutical drugs, replete with enormous lists of side-effects, also have enormous price tags that mean only the rich or those with amazing health insurance have access.
But, these arenít the only reasons Iím in favor of legalizing marijuana. As a long-time herbalist and doctor of natural medicine, I routinely come across research showcasing the herbís long list of healing benefits, some of which include alleviating pain in various pain disorders, glaucoma, and even cancer. Be sure to stay tuned for my upcoming article on the Health Benefits of Marijuana. And while some people continue to debate the medical benefits of marijuana, stating instead the potential risks, the herb has far fewer health risks than most over-the-counter medications that are, obviously, readily available. So, that argument seems moot and actually seems to favor legalization too.
Again, these are not the only reasons why Iím in favor of lifting the ban on marijuana use.† As Daniel from Alabama so aptly stated on the NY Times poll: ďI reject the Federal Governmentís right to decide what I put in my body. Even if it was Ďbadí for you, so what? We donít ban skydiving, driving in cars, hunting, professional backyard wrestling, traveling to 3rd world countries, sugary foods and beverages, standing outside during thunderstorms with a metal pole, swimming after eating, caffeine, ibuprofen, alcohol, cigarettes or prescription drugs, all of which are statistically more likely to harm you. The risk averse are smart enough to avoid dangers, and others are free to put themselves in as much danger as they wish. Why outlaw a plant?Ē† Well said, Daniel; I couldnít have said it better myself.
If you think severe sentencing laws are doing more harm than good, consider signing this Care2.com†petition.
Iíd love to find out what you think.† Are you in favor of legalizing marijuana?
Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.† Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox and 60 Seconds to Slim. Subscribe to my free e-magazine Worldís Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow my blog on my sites HealthySurvivalist.com and DrMichelleCook.com, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook.