For so long, we've held the stigma that smoking marijuana equals a downward spiral towards disaster. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I drug — i.e. substances that are the "most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence."
But the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that only about 9% of users become addicted to marijuana. Cocaine, on the other hand, is far more addictive, but is listed as a Schedule II drug.
While it's true that marijuana use can lead to increased anxiety, impaired judgment, and heart palpitations, there's no definitive research that shows a high risk for abuse or addiction. Many of those symptoms wear off after several hours. No one has died from a marijuana overdose. You would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to be at risk of dying. So why is there still a taboo?
For a better perspective on this nonsense, here's a list of five things that are statistically more dangerous (and more legal) than smoking weed.
One hundred people die from drug overdoses everyday in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And drug overdose death rates have more than tripled since 1990.
According to the CDC, more than one-third of American adults are obese. It can lead to a host of health risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and cancer — many of the leading causes of death.
The FBI estimated 8,855 deaths were caused by firearms in 2012, which included 6,371 murders caused specifically by handguns. Studies have also shown that keeping firearms in the home increases the risk of suicide and violent deaths in the home.