For many years, the United States government has prohibited marijuana from being sold. Marijuana’s illegality has made marijuana notorious for its bad aspects to the public and continues to be a very controversial topic. This subject has been debated numerous times over the past few year and the issues surrounding it are both varied and complex. Many people in the world have their own personal views and beliefs on this topic. There are people believe that the legalization of marijuana is only acceptable for medical purposes. Supporters argue that it will greatly benefit our economy and that it is no more harmful than cigarettes or alcohol. The anti-marijuana view suggests that there are more negative effects that will come from the legalization than keeping it banned. Others feel that marijuana is a gateway drug and it can only lead to more serious problems. We must value both sides of the argument. However, there are many positive aspects of marijuana legalization benefiting individuals, as well as increasing the nation’s resources and economy.
“It is estimated that the United States government spends ten billion dollars a year in its attempt to keep marijuana, while the state of California has revenue of fourteen billion annually for the product of its legalized medical marijuana.” (“Pros of Marijuana Legalization”) Even though marijuana is not legalized all over the United States today, teens and adults still find an easy access to marijuana whenever they want it. It’s just as easy to get marijuana as it is to get alcohol or cigarettes. Smoking marijuana is a means of socializing within groups that share the same hobby or habit of doing so. Some turn to marijuana because of depression or other problems that they face in life. However, according to a drug-abuse research and associate professor at U.S.C. Steve Sussman, people who smoke to deal with such problems don’t learn how to cope with real life and emotions (Morrow). When people are high on marijuana, they tend to focus on one thing at a time such as the music or food. Time tends to slow down, making minutes seem like hours.
Since marijuana is commonly labeled the gateway drug, many researchers feel that using marijuana leads to the usage of more dangerous drugs. People may become chemically dependent on marijuana. This is a problem because they crave the drug and need more to get the same effect. According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, the side effects of marijuana can cause problems as well. After using marijuana you might experience anxiety, paranoia, altered time perception, sleepiness, and trouble remembering things. There are also many common physical effects including tremors, nausea, headache, breathing problems, reduced blood flow to the brain, and changes in the reproductive organs (“Marijuana – Info- Facts- NIDA”). Marijuana also contains numerous harmful chemicals that can damage the lungs and cause cancer.
There is always more than one side to an issue though. Many throughout the country feel marijuana should be legal. They also have strong and powerful points for their reasoning. Supporters feel that legalizing marijuana will bring enormous economic wealth to our country. They believe the crop will be just as successful as tobacco and gross billions of dollars. It will also benefit by saving millions in drug enforcement. With marijuana legal, it would greatly reduce the amount of illegal drugs entering our country. Therefore, the police and coast guard would not need as much in funding. Also, we would obtain money from the taxation of the drug. Many believe that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol or tobacco. In fact, some people feel that alcohol can be more toxic to the body and impair the brain more. Most people agree that if marijuana becomes legal, laws similar to those regarding alcohol will need to be created. Therefore, the safety of the public would be insured and marijuana will be regulated....
References: Bloom, Steve. “Steve Bloom: Legalization or Bust: A Brief History of Marijuana Prohibtion.” Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. 28 Oct. 2010. Web 28 Sept 2011.
“Marijuana as a Medicine.” Cannabis Evaluation | Legal Marijuana | Cannabis Healing, 2010. Web. 28 Sept 2011.
“Marijuana – InfoFacts – NIDA.” NIDA. National Institutes of Health, Nov. 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011.
Messerli, Joe. “Balanced Politics.org – Legalization of Marijuana (Pros and Cons, Arguments For and Against).” Balanced Politics.org – Free Balamced, Non-Partisan Discussion of Politcal & Social Issues for Debate (Pros and Cons – Decisions Making Politics). 18 Apr. 2011. Web. 28 Sept. 2011.
Morrow, Lance, James L. Graff, Elaine Rivera, Ann M. Simmons, and James Willwerth. KIDS & POT – TIME.” Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews – TIME.com. Times Inc, 9 Dec. 1996. Web 21 Sept. 2011.
“Pro’s of Marijuana Legalization – MarijuanaToday.com” Marijuana Today – Pros and Cons of Marijuana Legalization. 2011. Eeb. 28 Sept.2001.
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