Why Is Marijuana Still Illegal? - Part 1

Here on the True Blue Terpenes blog, we are dedicated to not only educating our readers about marijuana terpenes and weed flavor drops, but also about marijuana in general. As the laws surrounding the use, distribution, and growing of cannabis change, we are able to do more with and learn more about this plant and its effects. While some states have moved to legalize recreational or medical marijuana use, the substance is still illegal at the federal level. Over the next few weeks, we want to take an in-depth look at the laws surrounding marijuana starting from one simple question: why is marijuana illegal? A big reason stems from misconceptions about the substance. Throughout this series, we will address these misconceptions, as well as discuss the history of the laws that keep marijuana a federally regulated drug.

Marijuana is classified as a drug, and a lot of drugs are illegal. However, alcohol and cigarettes are also technically drugs, yet you can walk into any grocery store and buy them. What makes marijuana different? Many illegal drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, pose certain dangers. Does marijuana fall into this same category of “dangerous drugs?” Continue reading to find out.

How Dangerous Is Marijuana?

When you look at statistics and studies, marijuana is a relatively safe drug to use. In fact, one peer-reviewed medical journal took at look at some statistics regarding the danger levels of different drugs, including how dangerous the drug is to the user and to others around the user. You can read an in-depth analysis of that study here, but the results are pretty clear.

Of 20 drugs that were studied, the one that had the biggest danger factor was alcohol. While some people don’t consider alcohol a drug - mainly because you can simply walk into a store and buy it - it meets the parameters that define a drug. A drug is defined as “a medicine or substance which has a physiological effect when introduced to the body.” Alcohol, in particular, has been shown to be highly addictive, and in large quantities incredibly dangerous. What separates alcohol from the other drugs on the list, though, was that it was the only drug that presented a higher danger level to others than to the user. It’s no surprise that most of the danger to others comes in the form of physical violence or drunk driving auto accidents. The World Health Organization estimated that over 3 million deaths every year are the result of harmful alcohol consumption. That number breaks down to nearly 6% of all deaths annually.

Directly following alcohol on the list of dangerous drugs was heroin, crack, meth, cocaine, and - still more dangerous than cannabis - tobacco. On the safer end of the spectrum are drugs like mushrooms, LSD, and ecstasy which showed almost zero risks to people other than the user. It is important to remember that inhaling smoke of any kind can be dangerous and have long-lasting health effects, but thankfully today there are almost countless ways to consume marijuana, from vaping to edibles.

Overdosing And Death From Marijuana

You may have heard something along the lines of “no one has ever died from marijuana.” That is not 100 percent true. To clear things up, it is believed to be impossible to overdose on marijuana - one Drug Enforcement Agency judge even estimated it would take 20,000 times the amount of THC contained in a single joint to cause a lethal overdose. To compare to other drugs, last year there were over 60,000 fatal drug overdoses in America. The drug that causes the most overdoses are opioids including oxycodone and methadone.

While there has never been a reported fatal overdose of marijuana it has been the indirect cause of fatalities, mainly due to risky behavior that users engage in while high. For example, after alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the bloodstream of those involved in car accidents. This isn’t a perfect measurement though, as THC can stay in your system for weeks after using. Several more studies articulated that drivers who showed detectable amounts of THC in their blood were twice as likely to be responsible for a fatal car crash than those who had no evidence of THC or alcohol in their blood. Again, these studies are inconclusive because there is not currently a proper roadside test that can prove a person is currently under the influence of marijuana. But because cannabis slows reaction time and impairs judgment of time and distance, driving while high can definitely be dangerous and can warrant a DUI arrest.

Ending Misconceptions About Marijuana

So, we’ve learned that marijuana is significantly less dangerous than alcohol - and you probably already knew that it’s not nearly as dangerous as heroin or meth. Despite all of this, it is still illegal at a national level. While eight states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the best way to convince the remaining 42 is through education. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about cannabis usage, including ideas that it is an addictive “gateway drug,” which we will discuss in-depth in our next blog in this series.

In the meantime, it is important to remember that True Blue terps contain no THC or CBD, and therefore have no psychoactive effects. Our pure terpenes are natural, food-grade extracts that are designed to enhance and mimic the flavor profile of your favorite marijuana strains. Shop our weed flavor drops and natural terps today.