There’s a saying in sobriety circles about why people get addicted to substances: They work. If drugs and alcohol didn’t make you feel better, be more productive, or make you think that you look/talk/behave/sing/dance better than you do, then people wouldn’t be lining up to abuse them. The issue, of course, is that drugs and alcohol are a slippery slope — take too much, and your body becomes addicted. What once worked can quickly become an albatross.
As far as substances go, marijuana is the least addictive and least dangerous drug to ingest, certainly far less dangerous than alcohol which is — as we all know — legal in all 50 states. (I know this from experience.) It’s also true that marijuana has legit therapeutic benefits, which isn’t a claim booze can make. Why, then, does use in America range from illegal to severely controlled? Shouldn’t it be legalized across the board?
Perhaps that’s the wrong question to ask. (Though across-the-board legalization is exactly what Canada is trying to do.)
Instead of the “why,” we should be focusing on the “what,” as in, “What good can marijuana use bring?”
I’ll refrain from delving into all the reasons why marijuana can be beneficial for those that smoke it — that’s outside the scope of what I’m going for here. But, as a recovering addict, I know one thing: Where there’s one drug dealer, there are drugs.
Notice the plural form.
I’ve never met a drug dealer, even if he’s just selling weed, that didn’t have access to harder substances whether it’s via a third party or his own stash. Buying marijuana illegally can open up a rabbit hole into a dark realm of opiates, hallucinogens, and other drugs that hold grave consequences. Translation: Maybe it’s not weed that’s the dangerous gateway to harder drugs, but rather the weed dealers.