Monday, March 16, 2009

Marijuana as an economic stimulus?

So there's been lots of discussion regarding the state of California attempting to legalize marijuana- I've heard it covered on NPR, CNN, MSNBC and the like. A big article in Time magazine covers a lot of the topics- from economic impact to societal impact. Now Dr. Sanjay Gupta has come out and said he is against the decriminalization of marijuana, and I can't hep but stop and think a little. With our current legal drugs (alcohol and nicotine) costing us $98 billion and $157 billion respectively, is it worth it add another one to the mix?

And yet I'm struck by anecdotal evidence. In talking with people who DO continue to smoke pot, they seem less likely to get behind the wheel of a car after having "one too many tokes." The long term health effects of smoking marijuana are similar to those of smoking nicotine, an already legal substance. And from purely talking to people, it seems as though marijuana has a lesser occurrence of addiction than alcohol does. So I'm torn. If we're already making money from people for two terrifyingly addictive substances, why not add a third to the list? And if that's not justified, then why not ban alcohol and nicotine as well? We're living in this gray area that seems to be driven by lobbyists, and that's the hard part.


Here's some thoughts from CNN-

And here's a debate from Fox News (which I don't really watch but the debate was good:)

Here's something funny.

As always, find me on LinkedIn or Twitter. Have a great day!

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