The Recreational Marijuana Logic Tree:

The Recreational Marijuana Logic Tree:

Graphic obtained with permissions on Googleplus

Even a tiny bush like this has 1024 individual leaves, here is a logic tree which tries to break down some of the most important points on marijuana legalization:

Recreational Marijuana logic tree:

Marijuana and Crime:
   2 million of 4 million parolees have tried marijuana. 200 million of 350 million Americans have tried marijuana. 16% of prisoners are there solely for marijuana charges, which means that marijuana users commit significantly less crimes than those who do not make the life style choice. While data on intoxication from marijuana use and driving is not complete, the Federal Government has found that the likelihood of marijuana users to be involved in traffic fatalities is approximately the same as the non-using and non-drinking populations.
   Legalization of marijuana is estimated in the first year to have cost the South American Cartels nearly 4 billion dollars. Since 1970, when the majority of marijuana users also used other narcotics, the rate of co-dependence has fallen steadily, with the 50-50 point being reached in the 90’s. The vast majority of marijuana users now use marijuana exclusively. The rate of hard drug use in the nation has also dropped in a similar fashion from 10% to as low as .5%.
Marijuana and foreign policy:
Unlike previous attempts to make marijuana illegal, when supporting foreign fighters in marijuana producing countries offered an incentive for the United States to encourage or foster an illegal trade in marijuana, and rigorously enforce prohibition, today foreign policy goals have changed and these rebels, whether in South American countries that during the cold war may have swung to communism, or in Afghanistan and the Middle East, now do not provide the same incentive to prohibit. In fact, as these organizations have struck against the United States in the past militarily or economically, continued prohibition may be a breach in national security by providing necessary means to acquire funding for enemies of the state. This is especially true in cases in which users are dependent on marijuana, either for medical purposes or as maintenance medication for co-occuring addictions.
Marijuana and Education:
   Marijuana has been shown to increase IQ by a significant amount in current and former users with responsible adult use. This is exemplified by a lower crime rate, and after adjustment for marijuana-related legal or social sanctions, higher educational performance. This has also been causally proven with brain imaging work that shows marijuana increases functional connectivity.
Marijuana and public health:
   Marijuana has been shown to have a protective effect on the lungs and bronchial system. THC has been proven to attack cancer cells, and reduce both the prevalence and the exacerbation of cancer-related disease. While it is true that marijuana consumed as a child (the age the state of Vermont looks to set with legalization is 21, though further research here is being done) will negatively affect bone density in a manner similar to alcohol use over time, this effect is also matched by an increase in bone density with responsible adult use.
   Marijuana has medical benefits for those with terminal illness, which may extend lives significantly. Social discrimination or segregation may have a significant impact on these populations.
Marijuana and dependence or potential for abuse
   Research has shown that marijuana releases slightly less dopamine than a good meal, about half that of a sexual encounter or alcohol use and between 3 and 20 times less than other illegal or prescription narcotics available in the USA. Release of certain dopamine receptors initiated by marijuana use have been proven in adults to have a positive effect on various hormones, while not negatively affecting sperm count or other fertility measures, though in pregnant women some negative effects can be determined.
   It has also been proven that marijuana use acts as a result of the same receptors of the brain that coffee blocks, the adenosine receptors. While low doses of caffeine will reduce the amount of THC cravings, high doses will allow someone to take larger amounts of THC, and feel the need to do so. This is yet to be proven as effective treatment, but has the potential to provide a unique advantage to marijuana that drugs or alcohol do not.
The marijuana community and illegal or unconstitutional discrimination or attacks:
   Production of synthetic THC or spice, a schedule 1 substance, occurred in the United States legally for around 3 years. In 2010 alone over 11,000 Americans were hospitalized pursuant to consumption of the drug, which was classified by the White House as three times to 800 times more addictive than marijuana when they were added to the Controlled Substances Act with the Safety and Innovation Act of 2012. Dozens were killed. This is a direct result of job application urine screening and marijuana prohibition which resulted in use of the substance; many people did not even know this was not legitimate marijuana.
   As noted before, marijuana use is not associated with fatal traffic accidents, but there are states such as Vermont, which have significant (a 5X increase from the national average) and consistently deviant marijuana traffic fatalities, suggesting social discrimination or prejudice in these areas. There are not corresponding states with abnormally low marijuana-related traffic fatalities, suggesting this is not the result of random distribution.
   RICO funds intended for legal prosecution of narcotics cases have been diverted to anti-marijuana lobby efforts. Organizations were found to divert money as well from pharmaceutical corporations to anti-marijuana efforts, in a massive breach of scientific ethics. This resulted in some pseudo-science arising in the anti-marijuana field, which was non-reproducible, something extremely rare in the world of academics and indicative of a massive economic investment in preventing the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
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