Sunday, 29 March 2009

People have been getting all upset with Obama for not getting on board with marijuana decriminalization. Fair enough, I suppose. I think that drug use for the most part should be an individual choice and that the government shouldn't be wasting money on the war on drugs but instead regulating and taxing it. Okay, fine.

But, I wish people would get their facts straight when making this argument. I've read a number of things in the blogosphere attacking Obama because, after all, "pot is harmless." This line of argument troubles me because, well, it's just untrue and paves over a large number of issues of which people should be aware before engaging. For starters, and the one that's most concerned me, marijuana use is strongly linked with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. (One can read "Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review". It surveys a large number of studies from over the years.)

As noted, I don't think the government should make every dangerous thing illegal, I'm no fan of the nanny state, so my support for legalization has nothing to do with my views on the safety of using it. But I wish people would do a bit of research before blithely proclaiming marijuana use harmless or safe or, my favourite, "no worse than cigarettes". Yeah, right.

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