Does Legal Really Mean Better?

Evidence that Will Change Popular Opinion on Drugs

Nicotine

Although tobacco is legal in the United States for those 18 years or older through consumption of cigarettes or dip, it is also the leading preventable cause of death in the country (CDC). In 2014 the Surgeon General's report estimated that "cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 known deaths each year in the United States." A total of 163,700 of these deaths (CDC) are caused by the contraction of a type of cancer due to excess nicotine inhalation as well as consumption reduces a persons life expectancy by an average of ten years. There is currently no known medical benefits correlating to the inhalation or consumption of this legal drug.
Drug Wars: Cannabis Vs Nicotine

Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant legal to those 21 years and over in the United States, and to a much younger age in other countries. Excessive alcohol consumption has accounted for 88,000 deaths in the United States, not including accidental incidents induced by usage (CDC). Short-term effects include car accidents, detrimental falls, overdosage, burns, and drownings. On average 50 people die from alcohol-impaired drivers everyday, which is equivalent to about one death every 51 minutes (CDC). Violence such as homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and partner violence is highly linked to alcohol usage as well as risky sexual behavior resulting in unintended pregnancies or contracted STD's. Consumption of alcohol while pregnant can also result in miscarriages and stillbirths. Long-term causes include stroke, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, learning and cognition issues, depression, anxiety, social impairment, and alcohol dependence leading to alcoholism. There is currently no positive connotation to the use of alcohol and no known medical uses.
5 Ways Alcohol is MORE Dangerous than Marijuana!

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs such as opioids are a growing epidemic in the United States. Though prescribed for medical pain relief, people with access are abusing it's power for highs and other non medicinal benefits. These drug overdose death rates have increased 3 times as much since 1990, leaving 100 people dead everyday (CDC). In 2008 more than 38,000 people died from prescription drug overdoses, and this number has only risen from then (CDC). The Center of Disease Control reports, "In 2010, 2 million people reported using prescription painkillers non medically for the first time within the last year-nearly 5,500 a day." Easy access to the drugs are also a source of the growing mortality, due to the fact that almost anyone who claims pain can be prescribed painkillers by their doctor. Overdose limits can be easily maintained with these strong pharmaceuticals and many are not careful when consuming the drug.
How To Decrease Overdose Deaths

Marijuana

Marijuana is a depressant that is legal for medical usage in 23 states and for recreational use in almost four states. It is also the most widely used illegal drug in the United States. Mortality rates due to the overdose of marijuana are non-existant to this day. While limited deaths have occurred while under the influence of marijuana, none have been the directly caused by marijuana usage, just linked to the drug. Studies also show that common tasks such as walking in a straight line, operating machinery or vehicles, and doing everyday things are more attainable when under the influence of marijuana rather than alcohol. Marijuana is medically linked to reducing nausea and other effects of chemotherapy, increasing appetite in those with anorexia and other eating disorders, and even preventing tumor and cancer cell growth. Though marijuana is illegal in most areas, it is not the enemy, but the friend. Legal drugs today are more dangerous than marijuana and have been linked to higher mortality rates as well as nonexistent medical benefits.
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