Section 4) History and current pattern of abuse.
It has long been recognized that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, other drugs whose use is far more prevalent in the United States than marijuana.
Marijuana use remains a widespread, persistent, and unregulated social practice among all age groups in the United States. Nearly 80% of marijuana users do not use other illegal drugs.
There is no evidence that this widespread use indicates equally widespread abuse of marijuana.
The credibility of government provided information about marijuana and health decreases as age and education increases, discrediting the hypotheses that marijuana use is inversely dependent on risk perception.
Marijuana’s schedule I status has failed to keep marijuana away from school-age children.
The prevalence of alcohol and tobacco use by school-age youths exceeds and precedes marijuana use. Targeting marijuana use as a convenient battleground for the prevention of “drug abuse” is like closing the barn door after the horses have already left the barn.
Marijuana use alone results in less emergency room visits per 100,000 population than common household painkillers or benzodiazepines.
Marijuana law enforcement efforts persist as the dominant supportive force in the supply and distribution of marijuana in the United States.
Marijuana’s schedule I status instigates international competition to supply illicit marijuana to American users.
Marijuana arrests continue to consume law enforcement resources; arrests continue on the level of several hundred thousand per year.
The efforts to legitimize marijuana’s schedule I status at all costs results in several errors in reasoning popular in anti-marijuana warnings. Examples include: 1) National surveys do not support the assertion that people must be scared of marijuana not to use it, 2) Marijuana users are portrayed as polydrug users, when in fact a majority do not use other illegal drugs, 3) Unfounded and inaccurate comparisons are used to defend the erroneous assertion that marijuana is now more potent that the marijuana available in the 1970’s, and 4) research hypotheses are presented to the public as findings of fact, such as claims that marijuana harms every biological system to which it is exposed.
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