These surprising stats about death from alcohol, tobacco, weed and other drugs aren't eye opening just from the sheer number of people losing their lives, but how dramatic the differences are. This is a marijuana-themed media site, so of course we're ecstatic that there are ZERO deaths from weed but it brings up the question (for the millionth time), why is marijuana illegal?
More to the point, why is marijuana illegal and considered a dangerous gateway drug when the two biggest killers—tobacco and alcohol—ARE legal. And not only are they legal, but alcohol brands can advertise freely. Ever watch the Super Bowl? The largest television audience in the world is treated to ads from Budweiser or Coors, which last time we checked, is alcohol. And according to the Sports Business Journal, beer and alcohol companies spent $50 million advertising during college sports events in 2014.
But we're told weed is "dangerous".
Technically, it is possible to die from smoking marijuana but you'd have to smoke a few thousand joints within an hour to run the risk.
Despite the vast difference in health risks between marijuana an other vices, there are still people in the DEA and other corners of the federal government who deny pot is less toxic than alcohol.
Out of 1.5 million drug-related arrests in the U.S. in 2011, half were for marijuana. HALF! That works out to one pot arrest every 42 seconds, according to an FBI report. There is a clear underlying racial injustice tied to marijuana. Black weed smokers in America are 4x more likely to be arrested than white smokers despite the fact usage is nearly identical between both groups. Marijuana became illegal due in part to racially motivated politicians in the 1930's who used propaganda to scare Americans into thinking it was linked to crime and certain ethnic groups.
In 2014, the annual deaths from drugs and alcohol were:
Tobacco - 400,000*
Alcohol - 100,000*
Meth - 15,000
Pain Killers - 15,000*
Heroine - 400
Cocaine - 200
Ecstasy - 75
Marijuana - 0
* Legal in all 50 states
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