Marijuana & Drugs
The war on drugs costs our country billions of dollars every year,
and while drugs are definitely harmful, (Source: drugwarfacts.org)
the war is also harmful.
Marijuana, unlike cigarettes, hasn’t yet shown very strong connection to cancer.
(Source: WashPo 2006, later mixed)
And even though it can damage adolescent brains, (Source: APA)
there are more harmful substances out there like alcohol,
which increase the risk of fatal accidents. (Source: IIHS)
Studies have shown that states that have legalized marijuana
have seen an increase in tax revenues. (Source: Tax Foundation)
So, are we fighting the right war?
Federal spending on drug enforcement has increased over a long history.
Marijuana has apparently not yet been linked with lung cancer in a 2006 study but other later studies have indicated some links.
Marijuana is associated with potentially serious negative effects on adolescents.
Crash rates in states that have legalized marijuana have increased in statistically significant way. However, the states that have legalized it generally have the same or lower total fatalities as the other states (presumably because of non-marijuana-related reasons).
Marijuana legalization has been a growing source of tax revenue in Colorado.
1. Drug war spending information: http://drugwarfacts.org/node/2637
2. Study finds no link with lung cancer: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729.html
3. Effects on brains: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/11/marijuana-brain.aspx
4. Tax collection continues to increase: https://taxfoundation.org/marijuana-taxes-lessons-colorado-washington/
5. Driving fatalities by state: https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/alcohol-and-drugs/topicoverview
6. Tax data by state: https://taxfoundation.org/marijuana-taxes-lessons-colorado-washington/
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