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†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 and, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook.




Ellie M
Ellie M7 days ago


Ellie M
Ellie M2 months ago


Land Lost
Land Lostabout a year ago

The reasons for legalization are many. The reasons for retaining the status quo are few, if any. Occasional MJ use can actually be constructive. Anything abused can be dangerous. But wasting law resources on it when you could be taxing it is DEFINITELY a waste of time and money. THAT is what is more detrimental to society than even the worst of pot's effects since the law never stopped anyone from using it anyway. It simply doesn't make sense punishing those who choose to use it. Just a matter of time before national law catches up to what the majority already know. I could booze myself to death if i wanted do.. it's legal. Yet I don't. Why not? Because i've got better things to do. I don't think MJ consumption will greatly increase if it is legalized anyway, but for those that do use it, their cash will be going toward society in the form of taxes, instead of toward the cartels.

Justyna L.
Justyna Labout a year ago


Leanne K.
Leanne Kabout a year ago

Despite there being a huge difference between medical Marijuana and your regular get stoned Marijuana...bong heads all over the world are trotting out that argument. And as for this article, it surprises me like it did the author, that opinion polls show such an overwhelming support for legalisation. But heroin addicts want heroin legalised too. Its amazing how they cant sign a petition to save the seal cubs... And you never hear cigarette smokers professing how good it is, yet the perpetually stoned will go on for hours...

Mark H.
Mark Habout a year ago

Grass is great.

Mark H.
Mark Habout a year ago

I disagree somewhat, Tricia... it was also made illegal to stoke fear of Black and Brown people"raping our(white) women".

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

I love what Daniel from Alabama said in the poll. So true!!
I voted "YES" in the quick poll.
I take a lot of medications and I believe I wouldn't have to, if I could substitute a little marijuana!!

Patricia E. G.
Patricia E G3 years ago

Marijuana is a medicinal organic weed that grows freely in warm climates.
It consists of properties that relieve sickness and ailments in the body.
The government and the medical community have tests and proven facts.
The contraversy to legalize for medicinal and personal use is overwhelming.

Robin DeGroff
Robin DeGroff3 years ago

I watched a emergency Dr. say that in his many years doing this , he as never treated anyone who was there for marijuana related problems.TEXTING and driving on the other hand............?