"GENEVA — Alcohol causes nearly 4 percent of deaths worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis or violence, the World Health Organization warned [in early February].
"Yet alcohol control policies are weak and remain a low priority for most governments despite drinking's heavy toll on society from road accidents, violence, disease, child neglect and job absenteeism, it said.
"Approximately 2.5 million people die each year from alcohol-related causes, the WHO said in its "Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health."
But you can buy it everywhere in the country, and the deaths march on. On the other hand, you can be sent to jail for marijuana possession, despite it being a harmless drug. What's wrong with this picture?
No one has ever been killed by marijuana. As we all know, people smoke marijuana and become, if anything, more peaceful. Drink alcohol and go out and stab people or hit them with your car; smoke a joint and listen to music. That's pretty much the spectrum, yet the first is legal and the second is not. Again, isn't something obviously wrong with this picture? Our country has a totally incoherent posture on drugs, particularly marijuana.
Am I just going to complain about this? Certainly not. I've taken pro-active steps to change public opinion. In each of my three books, marijuana is presented in a positive light. One of my goals for my books is to repair marijuana's reputation.
Mind you, I still caution that young people should avoid it. I've told my nephews this. Let your brain mature fully (which doesn't happen until your 25th year; sorry guys) and then you can smoke dope as an adult, if you choose to. It does not have a good effect on the adolescent brain.
But overall, in terms of common sense, marijuana should be available to the public. And we need to rethink our cheery view of drinking alcoholic beverages. Just saying.