Home / Spring 2014 / 2014-03-13 / The lesser of three evils

The lesser of three evils

Written by: LaMarcus Wilkerson

Two legal drugs continue to cast a plague over the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 443,000 people die from tobacco each year; 8.6 million live with a life-threatening illness, and approximately 46.6 million Americans continue to use the drug.

Like tobacco, alcohol is abused by numerous Americans. Over 80,000 deaths are caused by excessive drinking yearly in the U.S.

However, both tobacco and alcohol are legal and sold at a store nearby. Two of the top three killers in America are sold at grocery stores and gas stations.

Yet people are jailed in Georgia for possessing marijuana, which has no recorded deaths.

Recently, Georgia legislators voted to approve research on cannabis oil, a substance that can be used to treat disorders.

Past FBI data claims a person is arrested every two seconds for marijuana possession. That means a lot of potheads are caged behind bars with felons eating prison food and taking open showers.

But why are people imprisoned for something as harmless as marijuana? The fact of the matter is that marijuana is not harmless. Effects of cannabis range from short-term memory loss to an increase in one’s heart rate.

However, everything has a price, and the effects of cannabis are minuscule in comparison to excessive tobacco and alcohol use.

Tobacco is known to cause various cancers, and alcohol can damage the liver and kidney.

According to the DEA, marijuana is a Schedule I drug along with heroin and LSD, two drugs that have consumed the lives of many abusers. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous.

Stats show that cannabis isn’t nearly as dangerous as other Schedule I drugs, or even tobacco and alcohol.

Statistically, cannabis is the safest drug. Yet millions have spent time behind bars for possession. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 52 percent of individuals age 18-25 use marijuana.

Tobacco and alcohol usage has caused numerous deaths in America.  If marijuana is illegal, tobacco and alcohol should be too.

I don’t quite understand why marijuana is a Schedule I drug; I don’t quite understand why tobacco and alcohol are legal and why they aren’t on the list at all. 






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