I do not think that marijuana is as harmful as some of the stronger drugs. Since it has so many health benefits, why not legalize it? Does tobacco have any health benefits? Certainly marijuana has some value.
Currently, the U.S. federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance—identifying it as having “a high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use,” and placing it in the same league as opium and LSD. (enotes, see first link)
Yet there have been proven benefits of marijuana for medical uses, especially for pain sufferers and cancer. Some states, such as California, have legalized it for medical use. According to Grinspoon, “Cannabis has long been recognized as an effective medicinal” (see link 3).
The benefits of marijuana seem to outweigh the costs. According to the International Business News, about “200 different medical conditions respond favorably to cannabis” including Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, arthritis, morning sickness, and cancer (see second link). There are also financial benefits, since the drug would be profitable as taxes.
Marijuana may be a “gateway drug,” but it does not have to be, and tobacco and alcohol are as well. In a case where the benefits so far outweigh the costs, it seems unreasonable to block marijuana use.