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The Marijuana Controversy

            With the recent increase in marijuana smokers there are questions of when one of the most common recreational activities will be legalized. Studies show that those who smoke marijuana are less likely to develop precancerous cells, compared to those who smoke cigarettes, are less likely to die due to overdose, compared to an overconsumption of prescription drugs, and there are less marijuana related deaths compared to alcohol. Even with these known facts marijuana is illegal and cigarettes and alcohol aren't. Isn't that backwards? Marijuana should be legalized because there are no known detrimental side effects, there is likely that one would overdose, and there are no reported marijuana related deaths. .
             Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. Cigarettes are made of nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, DDT and many other unlisted drugs and toxins. Notice the differences between the two commonly used products, not only is the list of marijuana ingredients much shorter, it is all natural. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 man-made chemicals, 43 of which are known to cause cancer. Marijuana smoke contains THC and CDC, which are not linked to any kind of precancerous changes in the human body. With this being said, it is safer to smoke marijuana than cigarettes because you are at a much lower risk of developing precancerous cells or any other smoke related disease. There are approximately 7.5 million cancer related deaths each year. The government should be attempting to lower this number by making cigarettes illegal, or by making marijuana legal so those that feel the need to smoke can smoke something much less harmful.
             Each year approximately 20,000 people die from prescription drug overdose and this number is growing steadily. The number of painkiller overdoses has now surpassed the combined total of heroin and cocaine deaths.

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