There’s only one thing more annoying than a judgmental sod doing his or her utmost to tell you your weed lifestyle is a bad one – and that’s a judgmental sod armed with a bunch of BS facts and stats. The problem is that every single person with an opinion to share…sadly…will have heard something somewhere that makes them think they’re right and you’re wrong, even when they’re not. A friend told them, it’s a simple ‘factoid’ or they read it in a reliable source…i.e. a tabloid rag.
Chances are, however, that as you prefer to live, breathe and do your business on planet Earth, you’re more about real facts and truths rather than trumped-up opinions. Should this be the case, the good news is that with a few genuine facts and figures from real sources of value, it’s perfectly possible to wipe a fair few smug grins off a few faces and walk away proud for doing so.
And when it comes to the possible/eventual legalisation of weed, the pickings are particularly rich!
The next time you’re in that conversation with the person who’s dissing marijuana legalisation, you can deliver these knockout statistics to shut them up.
1 – Legal Pot Will Hook Too Many Kids
It’s a common misconception that just because something is made readily available, it means the kids of the country in question will end up with a serious problem. There are so many countries where stuff like beer and cigarettes can be bought from vending machines, on the streets, by anyone at any time. Is the whole childhood population hooked on booze and ciggies? Of course not. Just to quote a stat, the number of under-17 weed smokers across the West has actually been on the decline for the past decade and most legal states in the US report a drop in use by teens (I guess it's not so cool when 'old' people are doing it!).
2 – Weed is More of a Threat on the Roads than Alcohol
First of all, ask a sample group of a thousand weed users during the middle of a session if they reckon they could drive and chances are about 998 of them wouldn’t dare or be stupid enough. By contrast, alcohol makes you think you’re a superhero and can do anything. As for a stat on the subject – since the legalisation of weed in Colorado and Washington State, their respective smoke-driver rates have actually fallen even lower than those of states where weed is still illegal.
3 – Weed Causes Brain Damage
Folk always bang on about the hard-core ‘evidence’ that weed rots the brain. In reality however, while there have been links drawn between OTT weed use and certain cognitive problems, there is still, even after so many generations of studies, NO hard evidence whatsoever that regular weed use is bad for the brain…there just isn’t.
4 – Weed is Addictive
No, no and no again. The confusion here comes in the way that smoking pot can of course be habit forming…it’s somewhat on the moreish side to say the least. But in terms of actual addiction in the same sense as say heroin or even tobacco, it’s a totally different story. Sure, a life-long smoker may feel they can’t live without their buds, but this doesn’t count as full-scale medical addiction.
5 – Marijuana is Worse than Tobacco For Your Lungs
This is another one of those examples that seems to have come out of nowhere on the back of wild theory and opinion with no hard evidence at all. Studies over the years have shown that ‘sensible’ use of marijuana on a pretty regular basis isn’t just less harmful that tobacco smoking – it’s totally harmless for the lungs. Yes, you might do some damage if you’re toking from dusk ‘til dawn every day, but in terms of being worse that tobacco…yeah, right!
6 – Pot Today is Too Strong to Be Safe
Are buds getting better year after year? Damn right they are! Does this make today’s pot less safe than that of a generation ago? Hell no! First of all, these days you can at least get a good idea of where and how your weed’s been grown, meaning no real dangers in that department. And as far as strength goes, considering there’s been a pill available with dose of 100% THC that’s been on the market since the 80s, it’s hardly logical to call any weed of any strength ‘risky’ or ‘strong’ by comparison.
7 – Legal Weed Will Lead to Legal Cocaine, Heroin etc.
No, it won’t. Not now, not ever. The big difference between weed and other drugs like these is the plain and simple fact that heroin, meth, crack and so on are all potentially lethal. They mess you up, they’re stupidly addictive and they can kill you in one go – no benefits at all. Recent studies have shown that while over 80% of adults are in favour of legalised weed, less than 2% think it would be a good idea to legalise any harder drugs…so there you go.
8 – Weed Use Breeds Criminal Behaviour
When temporary legalisation tests have been carried out across towns, cities and even whole countries, crime levels during such periods haven’t just fallen, they’ve plummeted. Weed has never been associated with crime, violence or any real antisocial behaviour – it’s more associated with kicking back at home and letting the outside world do whatever the hell it wants. By legalising it you force criminals out of the market, which can only be a good thing.
9 - Legal Weed Will Cause Higher Costs for Health Insurance
Simply not true. Recent studies showed than on average, a standard weed smoker costs 95% less in medical bills each year than a standard habitual drinker. Which in turn means that if the US put down the bottle and picked up a blunt, the cost of medical insurance could actually lower as payouts become less....maybe.
10 – Legalisation Sends the Wrong Message
OK, so there’s one glaring problem with this theory – we’re supposed to live in a democracy. If 80% of the population want something, the whole idea of living in a democracy is that it should happen. Heck, even if just 60% want it, there’s really no grounds upon which a reasonable government should be able to say no. If anything, to legalise weed on the back of public pressure would be to send the message that it is in fact the people that run the country, not some kind of dictatorship.