People's behavior tends to contradict the myth of marijuana not being addictive.
Anything in the world can be addictive. There are people addicted to sex, some of which could very well be on this website. This website is available on any major search engine. There are people addicted to exercise, addicted to eating, addicted to TV, and if you think those things haven't destroyed lives, you're dangerously short-sighted.
Marijuana is not inherently physically addicting the same way nicotine or heroin is -- but has addiction to marijuana been destructive to someone's lives and loved ones? I'm positive it has. But so has gambling. And sex. And food. People are addicted to caffeine; do you know someone who can't get up in the morning without a cup of coffee? People who obsessively check Facebook? E-mail? Addiction is everywhere. It's time to start grounding the notion that addiction only happens to strung-out junkies on their last thread.
Equating it to handing a gun to a toddler is overblown and completely unrealistic and completely blown out of proportion. How do I know? Take a good look at Holland. Last time I walked through Amsterdam or Leiden, everything seemed pretty normal to me. Nobody was running around shooting each other or smoking a fat roach in the street and spouting inane banter. There were no wives and mothers bawling in the street because legalized marijuana ruined their family. I'm positive there are still cases of addiction where it's illegal (as is the case for alcohol and nicotine), but there are cases of addiction to everything
. There will always be an exception -- just how large or significant that exception is is highly subjective. You hear about one horrific plane crash and forget about the thousands that take off and land safely every single day. For every case of addiction and destruction you hear, remember that you're missing out on stories of people who manage just fine, people who are under control and responsible users.
If anything, legalizing it would provide a wealth of knowledge and begin to promote a culture of conscious, responsible use -- as it is, we have a scare culture giving out the wrong information. In this thread alone, it was claimed that marijuana makes you hallucinate, which is...blatantly wrong. Nobody tells you alcohol or nicotine makes you see things and try to jump off a building and fly, why do you think that is? For one, we have enough personal experience available to draw from, but there is also ample information about both substances. Anybody who doesn't know in this day and age that nicotine isn't addictive or that driving drunk is incredibly dangerous has been living under a rock. People who are well-informed can make the best decision for themselves, that fact can hardly be disputed and sweeping things under the rug or distorting them for your own agenda is not good for the population.
By the way, look around you. I bet you you have encountered at least one person in your daily life who has been a marijuana user and you haven't had the slightest clue. I'm about to be a college graduate with two majors and a pretty promising future. I've seen both sides of the coin, I've seen people who are irresponsible as well as those who promote safe, conscious use. What have your interactions with actual drug users been like? I understand you don't have to be a murderer to know it's bad to kill people, but there is a whole world I have an inkling that you have no idea about.