Kelly Clarkson is the latest musician to speak out in favor of marijuana legalization. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the “Invincible” singer said that while she doesn’t smoke herself, she still finds it perplexing that alcohol and certain pills are legal while marijuana isn’t.
“I’m not even a pothead, I just think it’s funny that we legalize something as destructive as alcohol or pills and not that,” she told Rolling Stone. “Don’t get me wrong, I love me some alcohol, but I don’t know anybody in rehab because of pot. And I know a ton of people that have died either from liver cancer or behind the wheel. We legalize things that are so disturbing for our bodies, but one that’s completely fine, we say, ‘No, that’s bad for you.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, enjoy your scotch. Enjoy your Xanax.'”
Back in February, the former American Idol came out as a marijuana legalization advocate. She told Us Weekly, “I cannot understand the fact that controlled narcotic substances and alcohol are legal and weed isn’t. How many people do you know who have died from weed? My point exactly.”
And Clarkson is right. Exactly zero people have fatally overdosed on marijuana, while 2013 tobacco-related deaths came in at a whopping 480,000 and alcohol contributed to nearly 27,000 deaths. In addition, the health benefits of marijuana are becoming more and more evident as research continues to grow: The drug significantly improves the quality of life for people who suffer from HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer and myriad other ailments.
Marijuana legalization has also been a significant boon to the states where the drug has been legalized. In Colorado, some 16,000 new jobs were created for the marijuana industry. Revenue is surging, and much of that money is going toward great causes. Arrest rates in Colorado have plummeted, drug cartels are going out of business and crime is at an all-time low. Perhaps most telling is the fact that more Americans are in favor of legalization than those who are not.
Common sense suggests that marijuana should be legal. Clarkson’s support is just the latest voice in a rising choir of legalization advocates.