Marijuana: Should it be Legalized?

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Many people say that marijuana is harmful in many ways, including damage to the reproductive system, brain damage, and weakening of the immune system. I believe that research to support anything can be found if one is looking hard enough, but that the fallacy is due to others research seeking facts to support an assumed conclusion. Based on my research and my own personal knowledge, I have found that some points such as the physical harms of marijuana, marijuana gives users a 'gateway' to harder or more illicit drug use, and properties of marijuana have shown not to be physically addictive do not reach the same conclusion.

One of the strongest supporting claims is of the physical harms of marijuana. It is argued that through an example, Heath's tests of the monkey's brain seemed to show conclusive evidence of brain damage; however, it fails to mention that the tests were later invalid and the monkeys were given super high doses. These doses were incredibly higher than that of the average recreational or medical marijuana user, plus the test’s group was too small. More current studies of people who are heavy marijuana smokers show no evidence of brain damage. The American Medical Association has officially endorsed the decriminalization of marijuana. I find this to be quite a bit more important than an old executed test. Claims of damage to both the reproductive system and the immune system are again based on poor experiments of close to lethal doses given to other smaller animals, not humans. Overall, several studies of the effects of marijuana on the human reproductive and immune systems have failed to demonstrate poor effects on humans.

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One of the longest standing arguments against the use of marijuana is that it gives users a 'gateway' to harder or more illicit drug use. It is stated that 'Marijuana is the seed from which the scourge of drug abuse grows. If we stop the marijuana, we will stop the rest of drug abuse.” Off the jump, the simple fact that many heroin and cocaine users used marijuana first does not say this is the result of the first. Correlation does not necessarily mean causality. The argument against marijuana alone became peculiar as most of these heroin and cocaine abusers had also previously used alcohol and tobacco. According to government surveys, an estimate of eighty million American have tried marijuana in their life, and twenty million admit to using it recently. If marijuana was actually a gateway drug, we would see a higher percentage of regular users. Instead we are seeing a much lower percentage of abusers of cocaine and/or heroin. It is seen that most people who use marijuana most often quit on their own before the age of thirty-four. Marijuana has been partially decriminalized since the 1970's in Holland. Reports show that the use of cocaine and heroin has significantly decreased, thus contradicting the hypothesis of marijuana as a gateway drug. Instead, these statistics appear to point to the conclusion that marijuana is more likely a substitute for harder drugs rather than a launching pad.

While I do feel that others have failed to present conclusive evidence of the harmfulness of marijuana through the points made, it is not proper to make a statement and claim that marijuana is 'harmless' either. The properties of marijuana have shown not to be physically addictive as one can become psychologically addicted. However, this is true of just about anything that can give one pleasure, such as chocolate, sex, or shopping. No substance will be safe for everybody when used in extreme amounts. For example, certain medications you can go out and buy can be deadly for those who are allergic or who overdose. On the flip side, marijuana overdose has never been the main reported cause of death. It is stated that amount of cannabinoids required to have a lethal effect are more than 40,000 times the necessary dosage for intoxication, making it highly unlikely that a person would be able to or could be able to achieve such a concentrated amount in their bloodstream. This is a severe difference to alcohol, where one can very easily bring about one's demise, and at only four to five times the legal limit.

Marijuana continues to be a huge controversial issue in society today, as many specific states included decriminalization and legalization proposals on their ballots recently. It can be very difficult to know which side to support, partially due to the media, some of which even contradicts itself through all the bias. This is likely the result of many big, rich organizations that have a financial interest in this issue. It stems from the pharmaceutical companies who stand to lose profits from legalization to the governments who stands to gain from taxation. All in all, it seems that those with an interest in the legalization or continued criminalization of marijuana will pull whatever strings necessary to sway public opinion to their side. This may result in an all out battle in Congress one day, unfortunately causing them to miss out on dealing with more important issues.

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Marijuana: Should it be Legalized? (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/marijuana-should-it-be-legalized/
“Marijuana: Should it be Legalized?” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/marijuana-should-it-be-legalized/
Marijuana: Should it be Legalized? [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/marijuana-should-it-be-legalized/> [Accessed 21 May 2024].
Marijuana: Should it be Legalized? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2024 May 21]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/marijuana-should-it-be-legalized/
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