Marijuana, scientifically identified as Cannabis Sativa, denotes an addictive drug that, over the years, has emerged as a contentious topic that has segregated individuals in the context of legalization (Svrakic et al., Pg. 90). Prior to the bone of contention, Marijuana served as a drug with a potential of abuse. Therefore, most states across the US and nations globally have banned the use, sale, and trafficking of marijuana. However, this trend gradually changed with countries such as Canada, South Africa, Thailand, and some US states such as Georgia decriminalizing the use of marijuana. Cannabis legalization denotes the process of withdrawing the legal prohibitions that ban the usage, sale, and trafficking of marijuana. Consequently, marijuana legalization culminates in the availing of marijuana to the overall adult population for use at will, similarly to alcohol and tobacco products. This move has had contentious debates across the globe, with critics citing the ethical aspect, health factors, and the overall well-being of marijuana decriminalization. Proponents argue based on restrictive usage, medical privileges, economic value, and the potential of creating a sustainable flow of innovative applications of marijuana in arising various products. However, proponents’ argument is short-sighted as the overall effects of marijuana legalization outweigh the benefits, and this assignment reiterates the essence of banning marijuana legalization and its usage in all its forms despite the associated benefits.
It is essential to note that marijuana, despite the legalization argument, remains to be a drug with an addictive potential that turns smokers into degenerates with reduced societal values. Decriminalization of marijuana means that the general public will readily access and use marijuana, a move that encourages addiction (Svrakic et al., Pg. 90). The usage of marijuana promotes the development of a problem usage referred to as marijuana use disorder, which is expressed as an addiction form under challenging situations. Research indicates that 30% of individuals that utilize marijuana suffer some extent of marijuana use disorder (NIDA, Par. 1). Furthermore, individuals who initiate marijuana abuse below the age of 18 depict a between the four-and seven-times likelihood of developing a marijuana dependence disorder (NIDA, Par. 1). The direct consequence of this disorder is the dependence association, whereby an individual expresses withdrawal symptoms when they fail to smoke. Addicted individuals resonate with theft, alongside other social vices, to fund their desires. This aspect leads to increased dependence that consequently degenerates the smokers and, in extreme situations, may lead to insanity or death. Family members are tasked with new responsibilities of taking care of these addicted individuals meaning that addicted individuals are a burden to other family members as they cannot be left in their care. Dependence on marijuana often results in situations whereby the brain adapts to the large amounts of the drug, which reduces sensitivity and the production of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. The addiction factor is a crucial point that negates the need for marijuana legalization.
Moreover, the legalization of marijuana will advance recreational use that, despite age restriction, will affect all population brackets leading to increased chronic health conditions such as lung cancers, heart diseases, and hypertension. The smoke from marijuana is undoubtedly harmful to the human body as the smoke contains ashy particles that settle on the surfaces of the respiratory system leading to breathing difficulties over time. The spillover effect is the reduction in the quality of life, as funds are channeled to medical costs, rehabilitative costs, and, generally, attempts to reverse the usage (Wilkinson, Pg. 524). In addition, individuals who fail to smoke depict sleep and mood difficulties, a decreased appetite, cravings, increased irritability levels, restlessness, and increasing discomfort levels, particularly between the first one to two weeks of trying to quit. Marijuana legalization has profound health effects that will burden the already struggling health systems by introducing new cannabis-related diseases and furthering contemporary illness. This aspect will advance the mortality rate.
Furthermore, the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal values has a profound social effect that cuts across all age brackets and various social institutions. Social institutions, including the families, will suffer the dependence burden from degenerates and insanity cases as a result of continuous marijuana smoking. Secondly, schools will record increasing truancy cases due to dodging students smoking marijuana (Hajizadeh, Pg. 453). Crime rates and anti-social behaviors will increase to fund this behavior. Legalizing marijuana naturally makes it acceptable for consumption, a factor associated with growing social pressures.
The counterarguments provided by the advocacy groups claim that marijuana has health benefits and that marijuana serves as a safe and effective treatment for a range of medical and psychological conditions incorporating the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s dementia, stress, and a range of anxiety. This notion has not been entirely proven, and thus the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved marijuana usage in health institutions (Svrakic et al., Pg. 90). Regardless of this argument, marijuana’s effects outweigh the benefits massively. Therefore, marijuana usage should remain banned.
In conclusion, marijuana legalization encourages the accessibility of the drug to all population brackets despite the counterarguments offered of restrictive usage. This factor ultimately leads to numerous spillover effects from addiction, increased dependence, health complications, and increasing social problems. Marijuana should remain criminalized, banned usage, sale, and trafficking for the greater good of the current and future generations.
Svrakic, Dragan M., et al. “Legalization, decriminalization & medicinal use of cannabis: a scientific and public health perspective.” Missouri medicine 109.2 (2012): 90.
Wilkinson, Samuel T. “More Reasons States Should Not Legalize Marijuana: Medical and Recreational Marijuana: Commentary and Review of the Literature.” Missouri medicine 110.6 (2013): 524.
NIDA. “Is marijuana addictive?.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 13 Apr. 2021, https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive Accessed 12 Sep. 2022.
Hajizadeh, Mohammad. “Legalizing and regulating marijuana in Canada: a review of potential economic, social, and health impacts.” International journal of health policy and management 5.8 (2016): 453.