Words of Wisdom?
Marijuana was made illegal in the US in 1937. Whipped into a prohibitionist frenzy by tabloid newspapers which declared that "marihuana" goaded blacks and Hispanics into insatiable blood-lust which resulted in them raping white women and killing white men. The statements made by newspapers and politicians are practically unbelievable. The complete history of marijuana criminalization is a stunning tale of deception, scare tactics, and manipulation of popular opinion.
Medicine and More
A study performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 70 million Americans have smoked marijuana, with 20 million having used it this year alone, and 10 million who use it regularly. Marijuana prohibition is not working, to put it mildly. Solutions have been proposed but ignored.
A growing awareness of the strong medical potential of marijuana has sparked numerous studies such as this one, and these, but in fact the drug is already being used by millions of persons suffering from diseases such as cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma. Nine states in the US have passed laws allowing doctors to prescribe the plant for their patients, and in many cases allows those patients to grow their own marijuana.
Perhaps one of the more interesting effects that medical marijuana has brought about was the invention of the "pot pill", a pill containing THC (the active ingredient of marijuana) but without the "getting high" effect of the drug. The pill is not very effective; quite simply, many of the medical benefits of marijuana stem directly from the drug's high. Our society simply has a hard time accepting this concept, however, due to our long-standing "if it feels good, it must be bad for me" mentality.
A plethora of short- and long-term studies on the effects of marijuana, many spanning 25 or more years, have revealed that the drug is safe, non-addictive, and without signifigant negative long-term side-effects.
Despite the common myth, marijuana does NOT cause cancer, unlike tobacco cigarettes. In fact, recent studies indicate that it might actually kill brain tumors!
On the Road Again
Although responsible drug users know that they should never operate a vehicle while under the influence of any substance, studies in the UK and Australia have discovered that stoned drivers are slightly less likely to get in an accident than sober drivers.
Is It Legal Anywhere?
Marijuana will soon be completely legal in Switzerland.
Marijuana is unofficially legal in the Netherlands, where citizens can purchase and use the drug in small amounts in coffee shops. The flood of marijuana smokers visiting from bordering countries has risen so high that the authorities have set up drive-thru marijuana shops to service the tourists. Marijuana use is actually lower in the Netherlands than the United States. Neoteric thinkers will be unsurprised by this fact upon examining their sensible drug policy.
Police are experimenting with a no-arrests policy for marijuana in a borough in London, England. Another police department in the UK delivered this report recommending that drug use be legalized in the UK.
About half of all Canadian citizens favor the legalization of marijuana, and their legislators are considering the issue. Unfortunately the police continue to escalte their enforcement. Canada even has an entire political party focused on marijuana legalization.
In the US, Mendocino County in California allows citizens to grow marijuana - up to 25 plants for personal use.