As Roni Caryn Rabin writes for the New York Times, those advocating for
the decriminalization of marijuana – making getting
busted for marijuana possession a thing of the past – generally argue that marijuana is safer than
alcohol. There’s no danger of overdose, for instance, and that it’s
less addictive than other drugs, including alcohol.
Therefore, advocates conclude, the government’s combative stance
against marijuana (the DEA continues to trumpet the fact that marijuana
is not legal under federal law) doesn’t make much sense.
But, as Rabin describes in her article, there are still unknowns in terms
of the health risks.
- Marijuana is generally stronger today (more potent in terms of active THC)
than it was in the past.
- Teenagers are at risk of getting addicted, especially young teens, and
presumably legal marijuana will increase availability of the drug in the
marketplace for teens.
Perhaps one doctor said it best: “Before we unleash the powers of
the marketplace to woo people to use this addictive substance, we need
to better understand who is at risk.”