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Something is missing in the debate over marijuana legalization

Published: Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 4:46 p.m. MST

An American flag flies atop the stage at the first day of Hempfest in Seattle, in this Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, file photo. Thousands packed the Seattle waterfront park for the opening of a three-day marijuana festival — an event that is part party, part protest and part victory celebration after the legalization of pot in Washington and Colorado last fall. Hempfest was expected to draw as many as 85,000 people per day.  (Elaine Thompson, Associated Press) An American flag flies atop the stage at the first day of Hempfest in Seattle, in this Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, file photo. Thousands packed the Seattle waterfront park for the opening of a three-day marijuana festival — an event that is part party, part protest and part victory celebration after the legalization of pot in Washington and Colorado last fall. Hempfest was expected to draw as many as 85,000 people per day. (Elaine Thompson, Associated Press)

In the debate over marijuana legalization, William Bennett, former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, believes something is missing.

According to an article by Bennett and Christopher Beach, published online by Politico Magazine on Jan. 22, the public debate has largely ignored the drug's health risks.

“Liberals, who have fought vociferously for bans on cigarettes, super-sized sodas, trans fats and other unhealthy substances, now either advocate for the legalization of marijuana or stand unopposed to it," they argue in the piece, titled "What are they smoking?"

“This is notable,” the co-authors continue, “because whatever else it is, marijuana is not healthy.”

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