Legalization of Marijuana
One of the biggest issues argued about all over congress, the media, and in public resides in our country’s War on Drugs. One of the primary focuses of the War on Drugs targets the controversial drug marijuana. Marijuana remains the most widely used illegal drug and stirs up constant debate everywhere. The . Starting in the early 1900’s, marijuana was labeled the drug that transformed people into criminals while causing women to lose all control of themselves in a state of ecstasy. People now see these reports were obviously wrong, but marijuana is still viewed as the drug that turns people into idiots. Growing up today, I see people smoking marijuana on an everyday basis, while still getting good grades in higher level education. This contradicts what is told to us in programs like DARE and of the brain dead potheads depicted on TV. This contradiction compels me to figure out the truth about the issue of marijuana. My own observations of people high show nothing of what’s told by our country. How are chronic marijuana smokers still succeeding in life? What physiological and psychological effects does marijuana have on us? Should criminals convicted of possession of marijuana get the harsh life ruining punishments they receive? With these thoughts in mind, I wonder if marijuana should be legalized.
I searched the Internet for an article on the neurological effects of marijuana, because I think a person’s brain is the most important part of the body. I found a real good article of a study on the long-term effects of chronic marijuana smokers. The study examined people who had smoked marijuana almost everyday for 30 years in Costa Rica. They tested each individual on numerous mental tasks like memory and abstract thinking. The results were astonishing. They scored a very small amount lower then non-pot smokers after being intoxicated for 30 years. The difference in scores was so small that they are undetectable in performing everyday tasks. The significance of this study is huge, because finding a person smoking that much in the US might be almost impossible to find. The study proved marijuana does almost no harm to the neurological system of the body. This article shocked me because I had heard my whole life that marijuana killed tons of brain cells. This shows how people smoke marijuana everyday and still make good grades. Looking at this, I see no reason for marijuana being illegal. There must be some other reason for marijuana being illegal.
Marijuana must hurt our physical health in some way. I searched the Internet for an article on marijuana’s effects on our physical body and here was some down falls. First, Marijuana causes a slight loss of motor control and coordination. Marijuana burns at higher temperatures compared to tobacco producing hotter smoke with more chemicals. This exposes the lining of our lungs to more damage and carcinogens then tobacco, which has already been linked to the cause of millions of cases of lung cancer. In addition, Marijuana causes great loss of motivation and energy that causes users to become sluggish and slow. These effects last as long as the user is high and then demoniac. I thought about this and realized the problem here lies in the chronic users who are intoxicated all the time. The harmful effects are not on the body, but in the person’s life. Our society demands lots of energy and motivation when working for a successful life that people will lack if smoking on an everyday basis. Users will end up having all their responsibilities pile up leaving inadequate time for carrying out the responsibilities. The result would be poor work. I guess this compares to China when Britain shipped tons of opium to them. Everyone started smoking opium, which made the whole country come to a halt. Eventually China collapsed and still has not recovered to this day. This article made me think the position I held for the legalization of marijuana was wrong and that it’s illegal for a good reason. However, smoking marijuana occasionally would make these harmful effects obsolete. These effects arise in heavy smokers only. This poses the question of how likely people would become heavy smokers.
From my own knowledge, I know marijuana has no addictive properties. If legalized, only a very small amount of people would become heavy smokers. This brings to mind two drugs sold in the US that are huge parts of our economy, tobacco and alcohol. Both are physically addictive and kill hundreds of thousands of people every year. The greatest known fact about marijuana is in its 10,000 years of use not one single person has ever died from its effects. Alcohol is abused more than any other drug and produces violent behavior in intoxicated people. Alcohol causes neurological damage as well as damage to our organs. Thinking about these aspects of alcohol makes it look worse then marijuana, yet it is legal.
I have come to the conclusion that marijuana should be legalized for a brief trial period to see its effects on our society. Marijuana use causes harmful effects, but so does alcohol. Both drugs are used for their mind-altering effects to get away for a while and relax. People are going to prison and jail for possessing a substance safer then alcohol. This is ridiculous. Our government needs to realize they are ruining people’s lives. Marijuana is never going away. The Netherlands legalized marijuana which reduced crime rate, the overall attitude of the country is better then ever, and it’s the most prosperous it has ever been.