Position Essay on Marijuana

The word Marijuana narrates dried flowers, seeds, grass, and is a common name used for a drag made from Cannabis sativa- a plant. Other names to describe marijuana are; bhang, ganja, hemp, and dope. Marijuana is a drug that changes mindset and the perception of everything perceived by brain. The primary ingredient used in marijuana for distracting mind is THC; however, there are hundreds of other chemicals found in the plant. It is, in fact the quantity of THC in marijuana that determines how much it will influence human mind. It is pertinent to mention that drug war is costly and expensive being fought in the society requiring huge amount of resources. The main stakeholders in this war includes; government, black marketers, users buying illegal drugs, those involved in courts, and housed in jails because of selling or using marijuana. One of the surveys suggests that marijuana users in the United States are more than half of the population between ages of eighteen to fifty years. (http://www.alcohol-and-drug-guide.com/marijuana-use-usa.html)

Proponents of Legalizing Marijuana

The intensive debate about marijuana focuses on the subject whether marijuana should be legally allowed in the society or not? Proponents of the issue favoring legalization of marijuana assert that making it legal will, in fact, not increase its consumption and people may themselves make a choice of using it or not. They claim legalization of marijuana will divert demand from other dangerous drugs like heroine and use of marijuana will eventually rise. It is pertinent to mention that marijuana users, similar to other Americans, are not law-breakers rather pay taxes, maintain families, and love their children. Since most of the marijuana using people act like other responsible citizens, the advocates of legalizing marijuana supports they should not be treated like criminals just because they use marijuana and, therefore, ban should be lifted on using marijuana. Moreover, legalizing this substance and imposing tax on marijuana cigarettes will transfer the revenue from the producers and black marketers of marijuana to the government and will increase government income significantly. (Earleywine 118)

Arguments against Legalizing Marijuana

Opponents of legalizing marijuana are of the view that it is a mind-altering drug and as such should not be allowed to become a legal drug. Today, many Americans are using marijuana illegally, although most of the citizens have not even heard the word marijuana. It is used even in low-grades in schools increasing drop out rate. Marijuana users are present in all twelfth grades with twelfth grade students reporting that amphetamines are the easiest drugs that could be obtained by them. (http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/53)

Using marijuana causes cancers. Moreover, users are more exposed to the risk of accidents. Besides cancers in lung, neck, and head, marijuana causes anxiety, depression, and loss of appetite, diaphoresis, along with restlessness. It is regarded as a drug for losers and has grave impact on peoples' lives changing their normal life style. It is pertinent to highlight that nature has gifted humans with an immune system that is responsible for protecting human body from many diseases. Usage of marijuana damages working of T-cells in the lungs. Resultantly, a user of marijuana is more exposed to diseases. Research conducted on the effects of marijuana shows that continuous using of marijuana leads to injury in lunges destroying them completely. This could ultimately result in breathing problems as users become addictive to the drug. These serious threats caused to human health suggest that marijuana should not be legalized as it would place the drug equivalent to different other drugs including alcohol and tobacco. Besides serious direct risks, there are also grave side-effects of the drug. Using marijuana continuously leads to risky sexual behavior and increases chances of accidents. (Zimmer 202)

Other side effects of marijuana are different psychological problems like depression, anxiety, and anger. Users of marijuana suffer acute feelings of nervousness with obsessed feelings. The users of marijuana have more chances to use other lethal drugs like LSD and heroin. Marijuana legalization is not only supported by the pharmaceutical firms but also different health as well as medical associations comprising medical experts. The Federal Food and Drug Administration is also an opponent to the legalization of marijuana. (Castle 118)

Proponents assert that marijuana legalization will increase revenue of government by levying taxes and there will be a dramatic reduction in the rates of crime and theft. However, studies supported by strong medical evidence highlights that collection of taxes and increasing revenue will be at the cost of human health. The consequences and effects of marijuana, mainly discussed above, create serious health problems and most of them eventually result in death. This main argument in favor of legalizing marijuana of collecting tax is also portraying incorrect picture. Although, selling marijuana legally will be taxed and bring revenue but it will fail to cover the social costs that marijuana places on the nation. For instance, increased chances of accidents, lower level of productivity, and augmented probabilities of anxiety as well as distress conditions among people are the social costs to be paid by the society that are significantly excess of financial revenues earned by the government. (Rosenthal 87)

Conclusion

The paper has focused on presenting arguments for and against on legalizing marijuana. Although, there are some advantages of legalizing marijuana in the country, but the harms and dangers of legalization, supported by medical evidence affecting health as well as social problems, are significant and, therefore it is recommended that marijuana should not be legalized in the nation.

Works Cited

Castle, David Marijuana and Madness: Psychiatry and Neurobiology Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 118

Earleywine, Mitch Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 118

Rosenthal, Ed Why Marijuana Should be Legal Running Press, 2003, p. 87

Zimmer, Lynn. Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts: A Review Of the Scientific Evidence. Lindersmith Center, 1997, p. 202

Alcohol- and - Drug- Guide.com. "Marijuana Use USA" Retrieved October 5, 2009 from http://www.alcohol-and-drug-guide.com/marijuana-use-usa.html

Get The Facts Drug WarFacts.org, "Marijuana: Retrieved October 5, 2009 from http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/53

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