Why we need weed

Val Miller | Marlin Chronicle
Val Miller | Marlin Chronicle

By Andrew Deluca

I know what you’re thinking. Before I even begin sharing my thoughts, you’ll think that I’m just a helpless stoner who wants to legalize marijuana so I can be high all day. I’m not going to justify your preconceptions with a response; not because they’re wrong, but because I honestly feel it should be legalized for several reasons that don’t just benefit me. Let’s dive in.

I think marijuana should be legalized because of its medicinal effects. According to Medline Plus, a National Institutes of Health website, 3-5 percent of the United States population has generalized anxiety disorder. I’m taking medications for it that generally make me drowsy, give me insomnia and can make me feel worse than I actually am. Plus, I get random bouts of depression from them as well. Some days I literally just lie in my bed all day and listen to sad music because I feel overwhelmed and upset that death is inevitable. But there’s a lovely antidepressant known as cannabis. It significantly improves mood from THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

In addition to the medicinal benefits of cannabis, there are no conclusive studies published to prove whether or not marijuana is more dangerous or less dangerous than alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that around 38,000 deaths last year were alcohol-induced. There was no category for marijuana-related deaths. And this was without its legality.

There are said to be many social benefits to smoking marijuana regularly, and cannabis can also spur creativity. I’m not saying that I recommend smoking pot all the time, or even that you should do it once if you’re uncomfortable with doing it. There are plenty of worse things to do than marijuana (murder, for one). I am upset people seem to be taking the same stance on marijuana that they did on vaccines when Dr. Wakefield came out with his experiment. Sure, it opened up a discussion that was worth having, but we really need the research present to form any opinions and have any conclusive changes.

I’m noticing a theme in my editorials for the Chronicle, and it’s pretty simple to grasp: don’t be stupid. Get the facts and make a decision. When you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t spread false information. Don’t speculate or assume. If you care enough about the subject, please do some research and try to find the correct answer. Until then, it’s fine to say that you don’t know something; that’s why we’re all here to learn.

We are making scientific advancements every day. Anything could be proven wrong at any moment, but right now, we can only go off of the information that we have at our disposal. The earth is still spherical; time is still a concept of human perception; death is still inevitable; Donald Trump still can’t win my vote; Oprah still won’t give me her cell number. What was the point of this again? Oh yeah, don’t be stupid. I’m begging you. Just don’t. On to the next issue.