Is Marijuana A Drug? Does This Question Matter?

Is it really this simple?
Is it really this simple?

Like just about everyone else, we are Willie Nelson fans, but not sure the above oft-quoted line is worth all that much. What exactly constitutes a drug anyway? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as follows:

1. a substance that is used as a medicine

2. an illegal and often harmful substance (such as heroin, cocaine, LSD, or marijuana) that people take for pleasure

Based on the above very reasonable definitions, marijuana is certainly a drug per paragraph one and is not a drug per paragraph two.

But why do we care so much whether it is a drug or not? We get how it should not be grouped in with heroin and how it is not true that it is an “often harmful substance,” but it is used for medicine and it does alter how people feel and people do take it for pleasure. Is it not more important that we deal with the science and how it is not harmful than that we get bogged down in whether it is a drug or not. And even if it is a flower (isn’t it a plant and not a flower?), does that mean it cannot also be a drug?

Your thoughts please….