literature review- should marijuana be legalised?

Topics: Cannabis, Legality of cannabis by country, Hashish Pages: 7 (1448 words) Published: June 14, 2014
Literature review
The legalisation of marijuana has long been a debated subject, and not only in Australia But all around the world. People’s views in this area vary greatly, with many reasonable arguments for and against the issue. In this report, past studies and literature will be reviewed providing an understanding into the possible consequences of legalising marijuana as well as the views and debates regarded to the issue. The organisation, Gallup has been examining America’s attitude towards the legalisation of marijuana since the late 1960’s. Their studies show that in the past Americans have been opposed to the issue, with just twelve percent supporting the drug’s legalisation in 1969. However, in 1977 this number increased to 25 percent, and in 2000 rose again to 31 percent (Carroll, 2005). According to a new study by Gallop, the amount of Americans in favour of marijuana’s legalisation today has now soared to a riveting fifty percent. Including people between the ages of eighteen and twenty nine most in favour of its legalisation, and people sixty five and older proved to be most opposed to it (daily mail reporter, 2011) A predominant question in the debate relating to the legalization of marijuana is whether consumption would rise and by how much. Many people are concerned that if the drug became legal it would become more accessible, affordable, and acceptable in society, making an increase in consumption a big possibility. Rand, a drug policy research centre, conducted a study that supports this argument. “Results from these studies suggest that regular use of marijuana will Increase both in prevalence and in terms of average level of use with a fall in the monetary price of marijuana and a reduction in the enforcement risk of using marijuana. The precise increase in use, particularly in terms of average quantities consumed among users, remains unclear because of inadequate analyses of conditional demand. However, it is clear that the number (prevalence) of regular users will rise in response to both (Pacula, 2010).” According to Rand there is still an uncertainty towards how much marijuana consumption will increase post-legalisation, however, their models suggest that numbers could increase by fifty to one hundred percent or more. This would depend on the retail price, availability, advertisement and the federal response (Kilmer, 2010). If more people are using the drug, more people will be open to the health disadvantages marijuana has on the human body. The primary reason why marijuana has been illegal in the past is because the drug does have many adverse health effects. In the same way the government protects people on the road by making them wear seatbelts; they also want to protect members of society from falling to the consequences involved with consuming marijuana. The government does have a certain level of responsibility over the safety of society, which is why many people believe that marijuana should remain illegal. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has surveyed and conducted many scientific research projects, all showing that excessive marijuana use has a serious effect on a user’s memory, social skills and capability to be educated (buddy, 2006). Intensive use can also lead to many long term effects such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders as well as an increased risk of getting bronchitis, lung cancer and other diseases of the respiratory system (NSW Government, 2011).

Despite these effects of marijuana usage, it has proved that marijuana is no more harmful than legal substances like alcohol and tobacco. Which brings into question, why should marijuana be illegal when alcohol and tobacco consumption is allowed? An investigation by the British Medical Association actually went on to prove that alcohol and tobacco are far more addictive than marijuana. In fact, the drinking of alcohol and the use of cigarettes result in more deaths per year than does the use of...

Bibliography: Cannabis is The Answer To Booze Problems. (2011, October 16). Retrieved 2012, from
Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths, Preliminary Research Suggests
Carroll, J. (2005, November 1). Who Supports Marijuana Legalization? Retrieved 2012, from GALLUP:
Debate on legalising marijuana
Gallagher, P. (2012, April 30). Are the benifits of medical marijuana being completely overlooked. Retrieved 2012, from Activist Post:
Kilmer, B
T, B. (2006, September 20). Heavy Marijuana Use Affects Learning, Social Skills. Retrieved 2012, from
This house believes that cannabis should be legalised
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