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Marijuana use compared to alcohol

Recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Illinois, even though it has spread to states like Colorado and Washington. Voters in nearby Michigan will soon get to decide if they want to approve the same type of use.

Proponents of legalizing marijuana have been comparing it to alcohol. After all, Prohibition made alcohol briefly illegal in the United States, though it was later overturned after leading to a lot of issues with illegal brewing and selling of alcohol. Is the same thing now happening with marijuana? A look at the arrest records suggests it does lead to similar issues.

On top of that, many have pointed out that responsible, moderate use of marijuana can actually offer health benefits for those who use it. This is why many states have legalized medical marijuana, even if they have not yet approved it for recreational use.

The same is true for alcohol. Studies have found that moderate, safe use can have health benefits. This is often noted for those who have minor heart attacks, as having a glass of red wine every day may reduce the odds of a second event. Some studies have also found that moderate use -- not heavy use -- can lead to a positive immune response and greater success with vaccination.

As the public attitude regarding marijuana use continues to shift, it is important to make sure you keep an eye on the local laws and their impact on your legal rights. If you have already been arrested for marijuana-related crimes, make sure you also know what legal options you have.

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