If you don’t smoke marijuana, are you likely to suddenly make it the center of your life if it is legalized? Probably not, no more than a pot smoker is likely to quit if the law remains. It’s not the law that is the main deciding factor in whether or not someone smokes marijuana.
Based solely on health consequences, it has never made sense that we put pot smokers in jail and only have taxes and minor restrictions on the consumers of alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana is much easier on the human body than either of those substances. Health problems with marijuana are seen only after consumption of quantities more massive than the average person would ever take. Most people are familiar with the lab tests in the news in years past, wherein some poor mouse was subjected to eight times his weight in cannabis. Lo and behold, he got sick. A person who only smokes marijuana on special occasions is likely to have no health problems from it at all.
We can reject the idea that marijuana is somehow as safe as purified water, however, and that is a notion peddled by too many people. If it was completely without effect on the body it would not give the high, which causes people to want to smoke it. It’s doing something in your brain. After years of heavy consumption a pot smoker risks becoming a “burn-out,” and like so many terms that make people chuckle, there’s nothing funny about it. The personality is flattened, energy is gone, the mind is foggy. We don’t need medical studies to know that is true. We’ve all seen someone who’s reached that point, and in every case it was unnecessary. If you cross a line of excess with something, it exacts harsh consequences on your life. Doesn’t matter if it’s alcohol, marijuana, or sugar. Too much is too much, and the ruin for your life can be absolute. (Sometimes I phrase things in a poetic manner and sometimes I use plain English.)
Long before the stage of permanent brain impairment, there comes a prolonged period where marijuana smoking can be seen as just a colossal waste of time and money. Life is about having a sharp mental edge, and grasping the realities of the experience, not to mention actually doing something! A person dissipated on any intoxicant is only half alive. It brings to mind a chilling term used by psychiatrists in the Soviet Union to describe alcoholics. They called them – “partial suicides.”
Sometimes (too often) we come to situations in this life that don’t have neat and tidy answers. If you know that you can’t hold the line at New Year’s Eves and birthdays, and you are becoming a habitual consumer of any intoxicant, the tidiest answer is to cut it out altogether. That also means moving away from the people who cajole you into taking it. The most brilliant experiences can only be had with a clear and unpolluted mind. Ideally, marijuana should be legalized and then largely left alone, the same as for alcohol and tobacco.
Nobody has ever died from an over-dose of marijuana, or from a deficiency of marijuana.