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Why Medical Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized - Essay

Marijuana should not be Legalized

Most of us have either seen or smoked marijuana, either in a recreational or medical setting. What is common about the drug, locally and internationally, is its illegal status. But this has not discouraged some people from partaking of the drug and the consequences for this legal disregard is socially and economically catastrophic. There exists a divide on opinion regarding the legal status of the drug with some loudly calling for its legalization especially in major powers like the US. The debate on the legalization of marijuana is not new and has raged for several decades with both the proponents and opponents of this motion using emotional appeal and factual evidence to back their claims. Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs across the world and the call for its legalization has a significant impact on governments and individuals. This has informed my opinion that marijuana should not be legalized since doing so will lead to increased addiction, social evils like crime and additional burdens to the world’s health care system through treatment of this addiction and drug induced accidents.

Marijuana is addictive and one of the most abused illegal substances in major cities across the world. Legalizing the drug will just increase addiction by making it readily available to the users and tempting non users to engage in its consumption. This will in turn lead to reduced productivity and increased social evils in form of crime since drugs reduce inhibitions. Education might also be affected either through teens dropping out of school or their performance being greatly affected by marijuana use.  Those who have had the privilege to study in public universities here in Kenya will attest to the extent which student’s abuse the drug which they have ascribed nicknames like weed, bush, kush and “ndome.”This abuse leads to risky behaviors like experimentation with alcohol, other drugs and reckless engagement in dangerous sexual activities. Needles to say sustaining this addiction requires money and student’s who have no ready source of income result to dangerous behavior like robbery or prostitution to get cash for basic needs and marijuana. The side effects include increased AIDs prevalence, unwanted pregnancies and an increase in the rate of abortions.

Those calling for marijuana legalizations have citied taxation of the drug as a way for government to control its use and increase its revenue. However, statistics have shown that legalization of drugs does not increase its effective control or add revenue in relation to social cost as demonstrated by the two legal drugs; alcohol and tobacco. For instance, in the United States, the federal cost of attending to alcohol related conditions amounted to $185 Billion as compared to alcohol related revenue totaling $14.5 billion. Medical data collected in trauma wards have shown that most deaths and major injuries on our roads are caused by marijuana smoking drivers. Marijuana, like alcohol, impairs the judgment of the driver and the resultant effect is unnecessary carnage. Innocent lives are lost simply because a few people chose to engage in illegal fetish. What would happen then if the drug was made legal, how many innocent lives would the world lose under the hands of a few hedonistic individuals. How many more resources would we need to assign to treatment rather than focus on other welfare programs meant to make this world a better place? No, legalizing marijuana is not just impractical; it’s downright immoral.

 

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Marijuana Should Not Be Legal Essay

The legalization of marijuana has been a debated subject in America since the 1970's. The pro-marijuana society in America has made claims as to how marijuana can help cure or lessen the effect of some diseases and that by legalizing the drug; the use of pot will actually decline. The fact of the matter is that marijuana is a drug that can be placed into a similar category as cocaine or heroine. Like these other drugs, pot (marijuana) smoking carries with it serious side effects that can effect the user forever, and sometimes-even cause death. Marijuana was first cultivated in America during the colonial time period and was used as a fiber for rope and even clothing. The plant was not used for its psychoactive properties until 1910, when Mexican farmers began smuggling it across the boarder for poor black and Mexican workers in the Southern states (Abood Me 202). By the 1930's marijuana was widespread throughout the U.S., before the Federal Government in 1937 outlawed the use of it. However, marijuana use continued to spread, even with these restrictions and in 1970 the Controlled Substance Act was passed. This act basically categorized marijuana as being a harmful and addictive drug. Presently, marijuana use, especially among teenagers is on the rise once again. Pro-marijuana advocates must ask themselves the question that if marijuana is so great, why is it causing so much damage to the body?

Marijuana is comprised of cured leaves and flower clusters from the hemp plant called Cannabis sativa. Cannabis sativa is known as a psychedelic drug because it creates a break from reality. The chemicals found in marijuana are actually much more harmful than chemicals found in other addicting drugs, such as those found in tobacco. The inhalation of any kind of smoke is unhealthy, whether it is in cigarettes or joints (marijuana). The particles found in the smoke of joints and cigarettes collect in the lungs and over time can cause damage. The marijuana plant has over 400 known chemicals that break down into some 4,000 when smoked (Solowij, 31). Only a few of these chemicals, such as THC, create the actual "high" that pot smokers look to for their enjoyment, but the many of the others are toxins, or poisons that have been proven to cause cancer. One such cancer-causing chemical is called a carcinogen. An average joint contains 30 monograms of carcinogen in comparison with an average cigarette, which contains only 21 monograms (Joy, 4). Carcinogen has been proven to break down a gene that controls the growth of cells and over time makes the lungs 70% more susceptible to lung cancer. The way that marijuana cigarettes are smoked- by inhaling and holding the smoke in the lungs creates an even greater risk for exposure to these poisonous chemicals. Other cases are quickly developing that show chronic marijuana users also develop mouth or larynx cancer. If such a drug can cause such devastating health problems, then why legalize it?

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