Effects of Marijuana on Society

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Legalization of Marijuana

Should marijuana be legal? This question has been discussed, reviewed, and studied by millions of people around the United States and yet a definitive answer still remains to be found. I, myself have used marijuana before, but do not anymore and will never again. I have studied this topic in depth and will present to you scientific evidence that shows the effects this drug will have on society if legalized. There are many pros and cons that stem from this controversial drug so we must find a way to regulate it properly.

Marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the United States next to LSD, Cocaine, and many other lethal substances; yet, recent studies indicate that marijuana is chemically different from these other drugs in terms of addictive properties. Another principal argument is that alcohol is far more damaging to its users then marijuana. Researchers at the Imperial College of London looked at the physical, psychological, and social harms of both cannabis and alcohol when compared. A comprehensive paper was put together from these stunning results. The study determined that marijuana can have some negative long term effects on the lungs and circulatory systems, but in contrast, alcohol was described as “a toxic substance responsible for almost five percent of the total global disease burden” (Weissenborn and Nutt). It has been scientifically proven that you cannot overdose on cannabis, whereas the abuse of alcohol can be fatal and detrimental to a user. In the United States, an estimated “81,000 lives are lost annually to excessive drinking and this heavy alcohol

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consumption then leads to an increased lung cancer risk by 30 percent in the user” (Weissenborn and Nutt). Another irrefutable fact is that “alcohol use causes an incredible four percent of all deaths worldwide, which is more than AIDS, tuberculosis, and violent crimes, according to a February 2011 report...
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