Opponents of cannabis legalization like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie often accuse reformers of trying to "poison our kids" by flooding America's streets with marijuana. But an even deadlier substance is being pumped into every home in New Jersey and the rest of America. People grow veggies with it, wash their clothes in it and even feed it to their children.
We're talking about water - that same insidious menace that killed 1,517 passengers and crew in one night when the Titanic sank. And whether you're the sort of person who sees the glass as half empty or half full, we can all agree that it contains a potentially lethal substance.
Although drinking water has medicinal value, and exercisers frequently consume it for recreational purposes, drinking too much too fast can lead to a deadly overdose. Excess water consumption forces your kidneys to work extra hard to flush it all out. Unfortunately, they can only filter out about a quart of water every two hours, so if you start chugging gallons upon gallons of H2O, your kidneys will quickly become swamped.
When that happens, water starts to flood your cells, causing them to expand all over the body - even in your head. And that's a huge problem because unless you're Donald Trump, there isn't much empty space in your skull. The expansion of cells leads to pressure on the brain that can cause headaches, confusion, comas, seizures and even death due a condition called hyponatremia or 'water intoxication.'
Unfortunately, the entire human race is so hooked on H2O that we can't simply quit drinking it to avoid this deadly condition. After 1-2 days of abstaining from water, we experience muscle spasms, deliriousness and reduced brain function. After 3 days, parts of the body begin shutting down, resulting in eventual death.
And yet despite the fact that we are all susceptible to hyponatremia, the government has done little to keep us safe from it - even though the average faucet delivers 1.5 gallons of water every minute, which is enough to kill a 165-pound person. Over a course of a day, your sink can produce enough hydro to kill 1,440 people - only 77 shy of the Titanic.
But nobody is calling for H2O prohibition or even regulations to protect us from the clear killer. It's almost as if the government trusts citizens to consume a hazardous substance responsibly. And if they can do that with water - which rarely causes fatal overdoses, maybe the feds could try it with cannabis - which has never caused a fatal overdose. Ever.
This is part of a satirical series looking at common household things that are more dangerous than cannabis. For more, take a look at our feature on the deadly spice nutmeg.