Commentary: Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco

Commetary By Billie Thomson

For The Cordova Times

In response to the letter to the editor opinion regarding “Would a marijuana store affect Cordova youth?”, I would like to offer the following:

No one wants our youth using cannabis. It does have an effect on the developing brain. You can say the same thing regarding alcohol. With alcohol, we have stores that “card” the customer, insuring that the youth can’t have access to it. The same would hold true for a cannabis store. Customers would be carded to make sure they were of age. The chances of our kids getting their hands on pot would be much less if we have a store than it is now.

According to a recent survey published by researchers at Washington University and the National Bureau of Economic Research, investigators examined the associations between cannabis decriminalization and both arrests and youth cannabis use in five states between the years 2009 and 2014. Authors reported: “Decriminalization of cannabis was not associated with increased use by adolescents.” There are several studies that support this — States that have legalized see little, if any, increase in pot use by kids; It just stays about the same.

Cannabis was used for centuries as a medicine, before our government decided to demonize it. The history of cannabis is fascinating. It is not the “demon weed” it was made out to be.

According to the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, only about 12 percent of Americans in the 1960s supported the legalization of cannabis. Today a slim majority (53 percent) of Americans support legalization and 68 percent of Millennials believe it should be legal for recreational use. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of Americans (85 percent) report that they would not be bothered by people using cannabis in the privacy of their own homes.

The bottom line is cannabis use is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. We “kid proof” our homes if there are children in the house to keep those substances out of their hands. The same holds true for cannabis. Keep it out of the reach of children.

Cannabis has never caused a death and is actually less harmful than sugar or aspirin. To quote Willie Nelson, “The only way you can die from pot, is if a bale of it falls on you!”

I strongly support a cannabis store in Cordova.