Here Are the Facts on Pot-You Decide

CNN asks whether marijuana is as safe or safer than alcohol. One of the headlines surrounding this headline is “High Profits” an indication of the exceptional revenue for states that have legalized it, particularly for recreational use. But this article is all about the medical benefits or disadvantages and there are a lot. As an opening, Pres. Obama said, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” That might do it for the Progressives but not for the conservative right. Anyway, here are the facts:

  • Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States.
  • Pot use is limited due to its designation as a Schedule 1 substance, the same category as heroin, LSD and Ecstasy, and also due to its illegal nature in most states.
  • The addiction of alcohol is proven with approximately 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults suffering from abuse.
  • Marijuana’s addictive qualities are not yet fully understood, but estimates say 9% of people who use marijuana will become addicted to it.
  • Drunk drivers kill one person and injure 20 every hour.
  • The pot smoker effects while driving results–a slight impact on the psychomotor skills–are still questionable since most of the studies are lab tests. 
There’s more in this comprehensive article, such as how alcohol and marijuana affect your appetite and weight gain, how it can help or hinder the sexual drive and lower your inhibitions to the point you neglect safe sex, and what the long-term health risks are for each. The absolute downside is some 88,000 Americans die each year because of excessive alcohol use. Again the marijuana facts are limited on deaths but one study found pot users have a 4.8-fold increase in risk of a heart attack during the first hour after smoking because of the drug’s effect on your heart rate.
But what do you want to bet it eventually comes down to the increased state income on the sale of pot. Legal marijuana state revenue (medicinal/recreational) in Colorado generated $63 million in 2014 tax revenue, with an additional $13 million collected in licenses and fees on $700 million in sales. Sales are expected to be $1 billion by 2016.

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