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Legalizing Marijuana

Essay by   •  August 7, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,429 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,847 Views

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Legalizing Marijuana

There are several issues; we as society are facing daily. Marijuana is one. I don't advocate using it as it basically makes you lose most aspiration what I have seen and I would still consider it an intoxicant so far as driving and operating machinery but as to Medical Marijuana, I have used marijuana before for that purpose and it was the only thing that would help my pain at the time. Regulating it would make it safer, cheaper, would provide revenue to the states and would severely decrease criminal activity. There wouldn't be more on the street as many fear. Actually there would be less as it would be sold like alcohol and as difficult as alcohol for minors to purchase. This would mean that some would still get it but probably no more then already do.

Marijuana is what the federal government call a gateway drug in that users often advance to more dangerous drugs. Part of the reason for that is the supplier sells the more dangerous drugs and the legal risk of purchase is roughly the same. If you're already breaking the law by purchasing marijuana from a pusher then it's a small step to purchase something stronger form the same person. If marijuana was legal then its effect as a gateway to worse drugs would also be reduced. In the legal case you're not breaking a law so going to the harder substance is a bigger step, the supplier is an honest merchant and they presumably are not selling harder substances nor encouraging you to buy them. So another benefit of legalizing marijuana is that it will significantly reduce more dangerous drug usage as well.

The idea of controlled legalization of narcotics is an issue that many people in the United States have been thinking about recently. Enormous amount of important people in this country have been formulating their opinions about this topic. One might wonder why important figures are occupying their time with such a proposal. The answer is that since it is becoming an important matter to a growing number of Americans every day, they have no choice but to express their ideas on the subject. Now that everyone is talking about the possibility of legalizing marijuana and other drugs, two opposing groups have sprung up, the group that want it legalized and the group that do not want it legalized. Of course neither group feels that the government should completely abandon the idea of drug regulation, but that is where the similarities in the opinions end. The two factions each have their reasons as to why they feel the way they do and it is difficult to say that either one is completely wrong. I personally, wanted marijuana legalized to help people in need for medical purposes.

Since the beginning of time, people have been afraid of things they don't understand. Marijuana is an example. Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate hemp plant that yield THC and are smoked in cigarettes for their intoxicating effect. Why must such a harmless plant be prohibited?" What I have said here reflects the opinion of a great many people across the country, especially young, sick and those who suffer from chronic pain. It is true that marijuana has not yet been proven to be as harmful as many of the other narcotics on the streets today. Heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, and steroids all have many known negative effects that are worse than the common known negative effects of marijuana. On the other hand there are others, some extremely bad uncommon negative effects of marijuana as well as the possibility that there are negative effects that have not been discovered yet. These negative effects are or could be worse than the ones of the aforementioned drugs. The negative effect of Marijuana consists of:

* Where there is smoke, there is harm. Scientists have studied both, marijuana and cigarette smoke and cannot determine which one is worse; on the other hand, marijuana joints deliver at least four times the tar to the lungs than conventional cigarettes. The joint of marijuana would contain more tar because it has no filter as cigarettes do. When people smoke marijuana, they tend to hold the smoke in longer before exhaling, for a longer period of time than when smoking cigarettes.

* Recommended by clinical studies that people who smoke marijuana are most likely to develop some type of respiratory failure.

* Marijuana smoker performed worse on lung functional test.

* Habitual smoking will damage the lining of the bronchial airways and cause bronchitis.

* Study shows, people who use marijuana are most likely to engage in unprotected sex, which is causing a higher number of HIV among marijuana users.

* Change of eye color, physical signs of a person who is high includes change in eye color, dilated pupils, rapid beating heart, dry mouth and coughing. Their vision is impaired from driving or operating machinery or heavy tools for up to 10 hours, depending on the amount of marijuana consumed (Frances & Franklin, 1994).

For the most part, however, scientists believe that the casual user of marijuana is at less risk than the users of heroin, cocaine and other drugs of that nature (Mack & Joy, p. 38-43).

Marijuana in particular is associated with a significant number of deaths from suicide, vehicular accidents, other accidents, and homicide. Unfortunately, the extent to which marijuana is involved is not well documented because autopsy reports typically do not identify marijuana as a contributor in cases of violent or uncertain deaths, any more than they would mention traces of nicotine in such cases (Westermeyer, 1992, p. 59).

Furthermore, the people that feel that marijuana should remain illegal also have a strong argument. There is a substantial list of reasons why they feel this way: 1) marijuana smoke has been proven to be as much as five times more toxic to the lungs as cigarette smoke; 2) marijuana smoking can result in damage to chromosomes in male sperm cells which may lead to birth defects; 3) marijuana causes changes in the user's perception of their surroundings, thereby making activities such as driving an automobile quite dangerous; 4) Tetra hydro cannabinol (THC) is the most active chemical in marijuana but as many as 400 other chemicals can be produced while or immediately after smoking marijuana, and scientists haven't even begun to study the reactions of the body to these substances. As can be seen, there are many dangers to smoking marijuana.

The isolated legalization of marijuana has different consequences than the controlled legalization of all drugs. If marijuana were to be governmentally regulated, then quite a few beneficial situations could possibly come into being.

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