Society is gradually becoming more liberal – or libertine – in many ways, and one of the latest trends is the gradual legalization of marijuana in one state after another. This past election, voters approved marijuana for legal (recreational) use in Colorado and Washington. Marijuana has been legalized for recreational or medicinal use in 13 states, with more states to consider it soon. 15 million Americans are regular users of marijuana, a little over 5% of of the population. It seems problematic to criticize its legalization from a logical perspective considering alcohol, another psychoactive substance, is legal. If it is acceptable...
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At some point I thought the author was going to write "you really need to see the movie Reefer Madness to realize how bad this stuff is." No serious person would argue there are no potential negative side effects from using marijuana. However, the misuse of statistics brings to mind Twain's "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics." I look forward to using this essay in a liberty course I teach. The allusion to Mill's "harm principle" borderlines on funny. It doesn't take a degree in creativity to use this same principle to justify outlawing anything.
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