Medical Marijuana Policy Paper

Topics: Drug addiction, Gateway drug theory, Heroin Pages: 6 (1079 words) Published: November 26, 2014


Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is one of the most controversial topics in the U.S today. Many associate the substance with some of the most highly addictive and dangerous drugs used in our society. While others claim marijuana to be the safest substance to use to date. One of the biggest debatable topics amongst marijuana use is the legalization of the substance medically. Many people believe marijuana should be accessible to those with terminally ill diseases. While others believe the drug should be illegal at all cost. Medical marijuana presents many negative issues in our society emotionally, medically and socially. Due to the negative effects from the substance, the use of marijuana should remain illegal in the United States. One of the main societal issues revolved around medical marijuana is the effect it has on individuals emotionally. Using marijuana is like putting a wet blanket over human emotions, it separates a person’s conscious thoughts from their feelings, dissociating one’s thinking from the realistic world. This temporary sign effect can be quite dangerous to those unaware of their emotional makeup. For some the drug can relieve stress, relax the body and mask depression by providing feelings of euphoric happiness. While for others it can leave a feeling of anxiousness, fear and paranoia.
Another main societal issue associated with medical marijuana is the effect the substance has on individuals medically. Marijuana contains a chemical called THC that is known to affect the brain and human growth development. However, these medical issues do not begin to acknowledge the major health-related issues associated with the substance. Some of the most common issues related to marijuana use are excessive respiratory damage, increased risk of cancer and a weakened immune system. Studies have shown that 1 joint is just as damaging as 5 cigarettes to the lungs, due to the carcinogens present in the tobacco wrap used for blunts (). Regular smoking takes a toll on the body as the overall functioning of the system begins to decelerate and disintegrate. The third main societal issue related to medical marijuana is the effect it has on individuals socially. Marijuana is often associated with the adolescence because the majority of marijuana smokers started engaging in the use of the substance at a young age. Children often decide to try marijuana based on several social factors including peer pressure, societal norms and personal curiosity (Hoder, 2014). Children are like sponges they absorb their environment and what they see is often what they repeat. People often say if a child is willing to try anything once they are more than likely willing to try it again, which is why marijuana is arguably considered to be a gateway drug. The use of gateway drugs can open the door of curiosity to other drugs like cocaine, heroin and meth (DeSimone, 1998). Just like many controversial topics in the world there is an opposing side that feels completely different. Many individuals who believe medical marijuana should be legalized have expressed several biased points about the topic. Many users say marijuana is the least dangerous, non-addictive drug in America. Believe it or not marijuana can be addictive to users who engage in the use long-term. The addiction factor does not come from the substance itself, but more so the high feeling people get accustomed to. Marijuana is also linked to a withdraw syndrome much like that of nicotine. People trying to quit reported extreme irritability, major sleep issues, and intense anxiety (Filbey, Dunlop & Myers, 2013). Marijuana users also claim that the substance can make you smarter, and enhance certain mental abilities. Marijuana certainly has a definite effect on the brain, but not in a positive way short- term memory and hallucinations are a factor involving mental abilities, as well as rational...
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