If the question of legalizing marijuana were based solely on how dangerous it was, it would have been legalized long ago. Marijuana is illegal, not because of medicinal risks or mental hazards; it is an economic, political and religious issue.
First, all references to death by marijuana are bogus. Here are the most recent statistics on deaths by drugs, each year in America. (The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA)
Secondhand smoke from tobacco: 50,000
Sure, marijuana has its dangers; you could choke on the baggie. You could smoke so much that you might fall asleep at the wheel of your car. That is, if you could find your car.
Bottom line, many indulgences can kill you or make you stupid. People eat themselves to death, starve themselves to death, drink to death, or jump out of airplanes with scraps of cloth on their backs.
All of the arguments for or against legalizing marijuana can be reduced to a battle of conservative versus liberal ideology. Add the economic factor, and it becomes a conflict between businessmen and the working class. Introduce religion, and it deteriorates into a debate over what morality is.
Most of the objections that I hear come from people who just want to control other people. It is often just a “family values” issue. I have no argument with family values; I just want to know whose family values we’re talking about.