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Even with recently discovered marijuana enthusiast William Shakespeare on the right side of the argument, pro-legalization advocates continue to face baffling levels of outmoded propaganda from opponents. Though the case could be made that the most detrimental factor in this battle is a simple generational difference, a closer look reveals there's sadly something a bit more sinister going on. In short, though marijuana's use has been proven practically harmless time and time again (and states in which its recreationally legal are showing huge returns on their progressive investment), a debate still surrounds the Cannabis plant and its place in modern society.
Thankfully, scientists continue to frequently publish new studies debunking as many of these Reefer Madness-era myths as possible, the most recent of which comes to us from the Toronto-based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. "More and more jurisdictions are reconsidering their policies on cannabis," says the Centre's director Dr. Dan Werb, "yet the public discourse around cannabis is filled with frequently repeated claims that are simply not supported by the scientific evidence.”
Chief among the claims completely busted in this new study is the anti-pot assertion that marijuana is as addictive as heroin which, in addition to sounding downright ludicrous on paper, is simply not true. According to the study, 1 in 4 heroin users become addicted, while just 1 in 10 marijuana users report addiction-like behavior. Citing a profoundly anti-science (and intentionally so?) confusion of "correlation and causation," the popular anti-pot sentiment that marijuana is some sort of "gateway drug" was also shown (once again) to be patently false. Additionally, the claim that "cannabis regulation leads to increased traffic fatalities" is simply unfounded, as displayed by the drop in traffic fatalities in Colorado following their landmark legalization of marijuana in 2012.
Peruse the full report here, and be prepared to confidently refer to its science-supported facts whenever someone tells you that smoking weed will do this: