Marijuana is not a dangerous drug [”Proposed pot law ignites debate,” Opinion, Feb. 23]. Alcohol causes thousands of deaths each year from overdose (alcohol poisoning), while no one in recorded history has ever died from marijuana overdose. It’s physically impossible to smoke or ingest enough marijuana to come anywhere close to a harmful overdose. We have our legal drugs backward. Numerous scientific studies in Canada and Europe have proven that pot is safer than most FDA-approved prescription drugs. Habitual pot smoking doesn’t even significantly increase the risk of cancer. The worst side effect from chronic pot use is chronic laziness. And the studies that claim pot is a “gateway drug” are inherently flawed because the omit alcohol, tobacco and prescription drug abuse.
The argument that legalization will lead to an increase in traffic accidents is also flawed. Of the millions of pot smokers who are currently breaking the law, studies and statistics show that only a small percentage are stupid enough to drive while stoned.
Those like myself who would be inclined to smoke pot once it’s legal, but who currently refrain, are already respectful of the law, and, therefore, would not be likely to drive stoned once it’s legal.
Marijuana was made illegal for two purely political reasons. The first was a back-door agreement that ended alcohol prohibition. The prohibitionists wanted something in return for alcohol’s return to the market; marijuana was the trade off. Second, William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate, wanted to eliminate the hemp-based paper competition for his paper mills.
OC Register, February 27, 2009