If you go out to celebrate Independence Day tonight, you're bound to see bright lights exploding in the sky, hear children squealing at the pyrotechnic ballet, and smell the occasional whiff of marijuana being smoked by fellow sky-gazers. But while getting a nose-full of someone else's spliff might be a nuisance, keep in mind that cannabis is actually much safer than fireworks, which have proven to be quite deadly over the years.
In fact, an average of seven fireworks-related deaths happen in America every year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. And the bulk of those incidents occur on or around Independence Day.
And the injuries are particularly grim for mannequins.
On top of those fatalities, there were more than 12,500 fireworks-related injuries in America last year. Those accidents can range from severe burns to the loss of appendages. Like on Independence Day 2015, when Jason Pierre-Paul of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost a couple of fingers after trying to light a firework and throw it away before it exploded.
You definitely won't see anyone getting that kind of injury from lighting a joint, which is much, much safer than fireworks since nobody has ever died from using cannabis - ever. Yet somehow, fireworks are legal in almost every country in the world whereas a comparatively benign plant has been demonized and prohibited for decades.
Of course, we're not calling on the feds to stop going after cannabis and start cracking down on pyrotechnics. But if watching rockets explode in the night sky is about celebrating liberty, then sparking a spliff should be too.