Harmful Effects of Marijuana

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Jon Stewart once said “Here's the point - you're looking at affirmative action, and you're looking at marijuana. You legalize marijuana, no need for quotas, because really, who's gonna wanna work?” Although Stewart’s intent is to shed some laughter on this controversial subject, he brings up a valid point; if marijuana is legalized, how will the behavior of the population be altered? The mental health and social risks we take in regards to legalizing marijuana are much too large for our country to take at the point in time. Marijuana usage is known to impair the brain with the many chemicals it contains, and the psychological and social effects that develop over time could hinder the well being of a person who chooses to use it regularly, or there could even be a change in the nation’s behavior as a whole. One’s psychological health is very vital to a great quality of life; marijuana legalization could lead to an array of mental mishaps due to the initial rise in marijuana usage. The psychological effects that cannabis induces on a body would include cognitive impairment along with a decrease in psychomotor skills (Hall, Solowij, and Lemon 1). While these side effects might only be temporary, a prolonged use of marijuana could make these effects more chronic. This continual usage can even lead to a large range of psychotic disorders. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that, “A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia” (NIDA 2). If legalized, more people who originally would not have used marijuana in the first place might start using it, not knowing that their genetic makeup is more susceptible to developing a disorder such as the ones listed above. As a result, there would most likely be a sudden increase in psychological problems in people across the nation, as well as an increase in addictions. One might argue that marijuana is a less addictive drug than...
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