Essay

Topics: Cannabis, Hemp, Cannabis sativa Pages: 9 (2433 words) Published: September 21, 2014
Keeping Non-Medical Use Marijuana Illegal with Penalties and Fines

Non-medical use Marijuana should not be legalized. The penalties should not be lessened and any fines required should remain the same. Marijuana, for description purposes in this essay will also be described as the drug, cannabis, pot or weed. I have only smoked the drug once. I did not feel high, and there was definitely no euphoria. It made me nauseous and gave me a terrible headache. Admittedly, my personal experience is lacking. However, I have seen the effects on my nephews. Let’s assume these boys have a tremendous amount of potential to be successful productive adults – because they do. As soon as they started smoking, the effect was immediate. There was no urgency to get to school or go to work. They seem to forget all of the important items that need to be taken care of, and they lacked all motivation and drive they used to have. It became more important to smoke weed than to do anything productive. Subsequently, they both lost their jobs. One to a random drug check and one for not showing up (choosing smoking over working). It’s just tragic because it’s so easy to access and right now it’s illegal. Imagine what will happen if it were made legal. Marijuana causes distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving and problems with learning and memory.

The current penalties for possessing marijuana range from $2,000 to $10,000 fines with no jail time having less than one kilogram, all the way up to 10-years to life in prison with millions of dollars in fines for possessing 100 to 1,000 plants (with intent to distribute). This leads to one of largest arguments to legalizing the drug. Some argue it would allow police and court resources to be freed up for more serious crimes. And that it would also allow the FDA to regulate the quality and safety of the drug. And also argue that legalization would add tax revenue. Later in the paper, I will discuss the need for continued penalties, and discuss why the FDA should not regulate it and discuss how tax revenue could potentially be less than the costs associated with it.

Marijuana is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds and leaves derived from the hemp plant Cannibis sativa. The main active chemical is delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short (1). The THC moves quickly from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain and other organs in the body. This leads to the second largest argument for legalizing the drug, although there is clearly an impairment chemical in the drug, many believe the drug is not any more harmful than alcohol or tobacco use, if used in moderation. Later in the paper, I will discuss the studies that show marijuana use can lead to addiction and produce long term symptoms including: increased rates of anxiety, depression and if pre-disposed can bring on schizophrenia. I will also discuss the effects on the heart, lungs and daily life.

Admittedly, there are some valid medical, industrial and commercial uses, as over 25,000 products can be made from the crop. Later in the paper, I will discuss the value of these uses but also analyze how to utilize the plant without making it legal to smoke and inhale and impair people’s judgment. Finally there is the moral issue. Will legalizing the drug make it more likely to end up in the hands of children? Could legalization eventually lead to legalizing other “harder” drugs or legalizing all drugs and does that violate your personal freedom? I will look at society’s increasing tolerance for immoral events and how it leads to us tolerating more and more bad behavior. Generally, the government does not have the authority to interfere with the rights of the private lives of U.S. citizens. It will interfere, however, when such intersession is necessary to promote public welfare and prevent harm. In 1970, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Drug...
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