U.S.A.: Legalizing of Marijuana Raises Health Concerns / Roni Caryn Rabin

In the ’60s, marijuana was a hallmark of the counterculture, along with free love, bell bottoms, long hair and bandannas. But marijuana has had the most staying power.

This month, in a remarkable first, the recreational use of marijuana became legal (depending on your definition) in Colorado and Washington. Over a dozen other states have decriminalized possession of small amounts, and Massachusetts recently became the 18th state to allow its use for medicinal purposes.

Though federal law still bans both the sale and possession of marijuana, President Obama has said the federal government has “bigger fish to fry” and won’t aggressively prosecute tokers in states where its use is legal.

The rise of marijuana as an adult pastime is a victory for those who’ve always felt that its hazards were overblown. Proponents of legalization argue that marijuana is much safer to use than alcohol, pointing out that it is virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana. SEE MORE…

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