Marijuana not the worst health threat

To the Editor:

The issue of legalization has come up a lot recently, and while Officer Strack has some legitimate concerns about the abuse of marijuana, I would like to contest the premise that government should have the authority to make any crop illegal. Such a precedent means that any crop could be outlawed, given proper political motivation.

Additionally, marijuana is far less addictive than certain legal substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and prescription medications (nor are the “withdrawal” symptoms as severe).

Also, there have been alternative means of administration, besides smoking, for decades (if not centuries), i.e. “special brownies,” which nulls most of the health concerns associated with its use. Ultimately, the arguments against marijuana all stem from the same concern, public health and safety.

Meanwhile, prominent health and safety issues, such as obesity, continue to rise beyond epidemic proportions. If health and safety are the real motivations behind the criminalization of marijuana, then it would actually make more sense to criminalize McDonald’s well before advocating for the criminalization of marijuana. After all, studies show that fatty foods are addictive and obesity is a precursor to numerous diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. — Michael Dunn, Pierz