How many have called for the decriminalization of marijuana? Supposedly it doesn't harm anyone else. Even President Obama repeatedly promised to stop federal interference with state laws that allow the medical use of marijuana. The writer is reminded of a comment by Connecticut editorialist Joe Bell saying that the legalization of drugs was reminiscent of how the subject can make otherwise solid thinkers turn into intellectual oatmeal.
So many have claimed that what one does to himself without any harm to anyone else is his business only. If you have any close relatives, if you go to school, if you work in a job that involves others, if you have a spouse and/or children, neighbors, or if you drive on roads, you directly effect others. That involves others 99.4% of the time. If you happen to be driving down the road and you become distracted or psychotic and hit me, or worse--my wife or daughter--you are an eminent hazard.
In Brent Bozell : "Weeds" and Marijuana Chic - Townhall.com, he points out that in the 2006 Nation Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were 14.8 million current users of "pot", and 4.2 million Americans who were classified as dependent or abusers of marijuana. The same 2006 survey also found that 16.1% of hospital drug treatment admissions were for marijuana, which was the primary drug of abuse.
From George Will : Dose of Realism in a Drug War - Townhall.com, it seems obvious that Gil Kerlikowshe, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, realized the difficulties with drugs in America--especially marijuana. Asked about marijuana being a "gateway" drug he responded guardedly, "You don't find many heroin users who didn't start with marijuana". The cannabis smoked today, referred to as "skunk" (or AK-47, White Widow, Armageddon), is readily accessible online.
Statistics from the National Treatment Agency (UK), revealed number of under-18 year olds who sought drug treatment for addiction to marijuana almost doubled in a years time--from 5,000 in 2005 to 9,600 in 2006. Over 13,000 adults also sought similar treatment for addition. But that was 4 years ago. In “Pot Is More Dangerous than LSD or Heroine” - Liberal UK Newspaper ..., as well as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it was documented how the weed in circulation that the "baby-boomers" smoked in college was typically 2-3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Now, the active ingredient of THC is 20-30% of the existing cannabis.
More importantly, a Study: Even Infrequent Use of Marijuana Increases Risk of ... psychosis by 40%, was conducted. Alarmingly from Britain is hard data with emergency-room admissions involving cannabis are rising. Robin Murray (professor of Psychiatry at London's Institute of Psychiatry) says that, in his estimation, at least 25,000 of the 250,000 schizophrenics in in the UK could have avoided the affliction if they had not used cannabis. "Psychosis" is defined by the dictionary as: "Any severe form of mental disturbance or disease which may also be associated with physical disease, and which produces deep and far reaching disruption of normal behavior and social functioning."
Medical Reseach Council (Professor Colin Blakemore) admitted, "The link between cannabis and psychosis is quite clear now; it wasn't 10 years ago." Antonio Maria Costa (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) said "Evidence of the damage to mental health caused by cannabis use--from loss of concentration to paranoia, aggressiveness and outright psychosis--is mounting and cannot be ignored." Confirming, but alarming data from a 2005 study at New Zealand's University of Otaga revealed that marijuana smoking can raise the risk of mental illness by 50%.
Jonathon Owen (Independent/ England) had previously campaigned for the legalization of 'pot'. Now, with the recent available medical data, he admits that key elements of their decriminalization efforts were flawed. A Canadian Supreme Court declared it within the government's jurisdiction to outlaw its use [So how dangerous is skunk? - Health News, Health & Families - The ...]. Canadian Director Derek Rogusky (Focus on the Family) showed how decriminalization of marijuana actually led to greater use (see above link on "pot is more dangerous").
In the Netherlands, decriminalization was accompanied by large increases in the numbers of users. Just between 1984 and 1992, student increases in the use of marijuana was 250%. Interesting, he also found out that young people who use marijuana are 85x more likely to begin using cocaine than teens who never tried 'pot'. Mexican President Vincente Fox reversed his decision to decriminalize marijuana as can be seen in http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/may/06050402.html.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (White House) admitted that a teenager who was depressed in the last year was twice as likely to have used marijuana than teenagers who did not report being depressed (25% to 12%) [Office of National Drug Control Policy - Juveniles & Drugs: Facts ...]. Depression at some time is a fact of life for most teenagers sometime during the year. And they're the ones calling for decriminalization .
Alcohol may be risky at high levels, but knowing the number of drinks you've had, what your alcohol tolerance is, or simply taking a breathlyzer test to make sure you're under 0.8 % alcohol in the bloodstream can keep one within the lawful limit. For marijuana, one doesn't know his tolerance, there are no legal limits of detectability, one normally drives almost everywhere, no one knows the actual potency of any cannabis plant nor do they know what the future potency may be, and one rarely knows if they can become psychotic, or at what level the symptoms my raise their ugly head.
In fact it's a good bet that if you've ever smoked cannabis before, you'll probably do it again. And the writer would somehow be foolish enough to give his OK for you to smoke marijuana before or during driving around his wife or children? Maybe when pigs fly.