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Why the Age Limit for Buying Marijuana Isn’t Eighteen

Dear Stoner: Why doesn’t any state set the legal age to use marijuana at eighteen? I can die for the army but not smoke weed?
M Kat

Dear M-Kat: It’s a common argument about age limits that’s been used against everything from smoking restrictions to professional sports, but get mad at the military draft instead of cannabis laws. While I don’t agree with all age limits (or fighting in wars right out of high school), limits have to be drawn somewhere for substance use. These lines are generally based on science and politics rather than freedom of choice, but not completely.

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Established science shows that the human brain continues to develop well into their mid to late twenties, and cannabis use can impact this development. Even most pro-cannabis people won’t fight this information. You might say the age restrictions should be even higher, but pot politics is a mixture of politics and science – and corruption, but that’s harder to identify – with a pinch of freedom, so Cannabis age limits generally follow those established by alcohol. (Medical marijuana use is permitted for patients under 21, but is intended for the sick and suffering.) To die in a war before smoking your first joint is indeed a shitty hand, but this hypothetical tragedy is not enough to change either age limit.

Hey, at least you’re old enough to vote.

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