CNN has a big opinion piece up from David Frum, a CNN contributor who recently joined "a new organization to oppose marijuana legalization." Frum trots out the same tired old arguments: marijuana "damages brain development in young people." Heavy users "become socially isolated." The smoke is bad for your lungs. And the evidence "suggests" that it can trigger psychotic episodes.
CNN contributor offers same old BS arguments.
Frum's time would probably be better spent opposing alcohol. Alcohol, after all, is also extremely damaging to the brain development of young people. And while we still aren't sure if cannabis usage during pregnancy can damage a fetus (or how), it is very clear that alcohol usage during pregnancy damages the fetus in very clear, long-lasting ways. Alcohol abuse also causes its users to become socially isolated (and how). And if marijuana is bad for your lungs, it's nothing like the damage alcohol wreaks on your liver. Alcohol is fatal in both the short term and the long term, and is fatal to non-users (like the victims of drunk drivers) as well. The jury's still out on whether marijuana is addictive, but the addictive powers of alcohol are undisputed.
In fact, on every possible metric, alcohol is orders of magnitude worse than marijuana. And yet it is legal, freely sold to adults everywhere. Why? Because we as a nation have decided that people should have the right to choose their poison. And in small, responsible doses - like that enjoyed by the vast majority of casual drinkers - it's both fun and safe.
Alcohol is also legal because it is a financial powerhouse. Distilleries, distribution networks, stores, and bars all benefit greatly from the legal sale of alcohol. Not to mention the tax revenues that states earn from the sales.
If Frum is (as he explains) worried about "the children," then he should teach them to use marijuana responsibly or not at all. Just as I assume he does about alcohol. Frum argues that it's easier to ban marijuana than to teach people to use it properly. But the same is true of alcohol, surely. In fact, we have agreed as a nation that you shouldn't drink alcohol when you are under the age of 21, which is why we have age limits for booze, just as we do (in Washington and Colorado) for marijuana.
No, it's just a lot of the same old scaremongering from the same old white conservative dudes. Luckily, American voters seem to be wising up to this kind of double-talk and choosing to make their own decisions instead.