In a recent segment about marijuana policy on ABC News talk show ‘This Week’, the station’s chief medical correspondent voiced his arguments for legalizing marijuana.
Dr. Richard Besser, a pediatrician and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explained how it is irrational for marijuana to be illegal, since it is a safer substance than alcohol.
“It’s just not rational that adults don’t have the choice of using marijuana, but they do for alcohol. Marijuana is less likely to be addictive, it’s less likely to cause car accidents and birth defects, it’s less likely to cause domestic violence.”
What’s more, Dr. Besser believes legalizing and regulating marijuana would likely be more effective at keeping the substance out of the hands of minors.
“It’s not a signal saying it’s okay for kids to smoke pot. But I know the community we live in, kids are smoking pot without this.”
The discussion also included Pierre Thomas, ABC News’ Senior Justice Correspondent, Alison Holcomb, ACLU Criminal Justice Director and Ricardo Bacca, The Denver Post’s Marijuana Editor.
Like CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Besser says he was initially against the idea of marijuana legalization. However, Dr. Besser says a closer evaluation of the evidence led him to change his mind.