First of all, let me say for the record that I genuinely believe that marijuana should be legalized. I live in a state where it happens to be legal, and lo and behold, the earth continues to revolve around the sun, and society as we know it has not come to a screeching halt. I also find it absurd that there are people doing serious prison time for selling marijuana to consenting adults (but sales to minors is a different kettle of fish). Overall, I believe cigarettes and alcohol do a lot more harm.
I know many people who use marijuana occasionally, a few who use it medically, and still others who abuse it. That could be said of many substances. Personally, the substance I abuse is food, which is a self-destructive, albeit socially acceptable habit.
Here’s the one issue I have with pot: a lot of people, especially the abusers, seem to be under the impression that it’s some sort of magical cure-all. We know that for some it can help with nausea, sleep, and anxiety. Wonderful. But that doesn’t mean it’s good for everything from carbuncles to cancer. It’s not going to take away your acne or wipe out malaria.
Here’s how I know this. If it were good for every health issue, then back when we were more in tune with the earth and relied on plants rather than chemicals to stay healthy, healers wouldn’t have bothered to look at any other plant besides this one if it cured everything. It’s common sense, really. Simply by trial and error, they had a much more realistic view of pot than we seem to have.
The real tragedy in all of this (or irony, depending on how you look at it), is that we probably are overlooking a lot of practical uses for cannabis, because until it is uniformly legalized, we can’t really do any in-depth scientific studies. Governments are also missing out on a phenomenal revenue source. And the industry could do with a bit of oversight.
Personally, I don’t smoke pot because it’s a depressant, and I’m already prone to depression. I can also think of much better things to do with my time and money. It’s just not something I need in my life. Still, it’s nice to have a choice, and it would be even nicer to have a highly informed one.