The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Purposes

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Marijuana that is legally available for adults has multiple implications for adolescent substance use. One potential effect that legalization may have is an increase in adolescent use to due increased availability, greater social acceptance, and possibly lower prices. Legalization may also introduce new formulations of marijuana (edible or vaporized) that are very influential, especially to the younger generation. It is unknown what adolescent consumption patterns will be if marijuana is widely available and marketed in different forms, or what effects different patterns of adolescent use will have on the mind, the development of marijuana use disorders, school performance, and the development of psychotic illnesses. While previous studies of the effects of adolescent marijuana use provide some guidance for current policy and public health recommendations, many new studies will be needed that answer questions in the context of use within a legal adult environment. Marijuana has both positive and negative attributes. It can be used to help with nausea and vomiting during chemo therapy and it can be used to alleviate chronic pain. But when used for the wrong reasons marijuana can be dangerous. For example, marijuana may cause impaired thinking and ability to learn and perform complex tasks and anxiety.

Researchers have claimed that marijuana has medicinal benefits create additional challenges for adolescent prevention efforts as they contrast with messages of its harmfulness. Prevention and treatment approaches will need to address perceptions of the safety of marijuana, claims of its medicinal use, and consider family-wide effects as older siblings and parents may increasingly openly consume and advocate for marijuana use. Widespread legalization and acceptance of marijuana implies that as law enforcement approaches for marijuana control decline, public health, medical, and scientific efforts to understand and reduce negative consequences of adolescent marijuana use need to be substantially increased to levels commensurate with those efforts for tobacco and alcohol. Yes, marijuana has medical benefits but legalizing the drug can cause more harm than good. Marijuana is known as a hallucinogen, this is a drug that causes hallucinations. Because of the mind altering compounds found in this drug it can be become addictive to the person who is using it, which will later become harmful to the person’s health. Marijuana often can leave you anxious, afraid, or panicked. Using this substance may raise your chances for clinical depression or worsen the symptoms of any mental disorders you already have. Marijuana can also make it harder for you to focus, learn, and remember things. This seems to be a short-term effect that lasts for 24 hours or longer after you stop smoking.

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More and more states are moving to legalize marijuana (whether for medicinal or recreational use, or both), and the impact has already been tremendous. The legal changes have spawned a burgeoning industry of legal cannabis companies, including those which aim to research and develop cannabis-based medical products, those which are working to distribute and grow marijuana, and many others. Approximately 70% of U.S. states have medical marijuana laws on the books, and nine states have legalized certain quantities of marijuana for recreational use as well. According to “The economic benefits of legalizing weed” most states has already moved their votes on legalizing the use of the drug, California being one of those states. Overall, legal marijuana could mean a big push for state economies and big bucks for both the state and the federal governments. Also, because of the health benefits that marijuana possesses it would beneficial for the pubic if more states vote yes to legalize the substance. THC is a substance that can be found in marijuana and it has proven to be very useful to chemo therapy patients. According to (Herbonaut, 2019) a study was done in 2001 which stated that “ chemo therapy patients who smoked cannabis showed a 70 – 100% relief from nausea and vomiting, while those who used a Δ9-THC capsule experienced 76 – 88% relief.” Marijuana is said to be able to alleviate chronic pains. (eMedical Health, 2019) Stated that “Chronic pain is pain that persists over time (6 months or longer) and typically results from long-standing (chronic) medical conditions or damage to the body”. Smoked or vaporized marijuana can lead to a significant decrease in chronic neuropathic pain associated with different diseases. Vaping or smoking cannabis 3 times a day for 5 days can result in a significant decrease (27%) of perceived pain, by chronic pain patients.

Just like any other thing, marijuana also has it disadvantages such as marijuana decreases mental health, second hand smoking could be very problematic especially for persons who have lung problems and last but not least marijuana alters the way how we perceive things. When person smokes marijuana, the substances quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, the blood then carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. The body absorbs those substances more slowly when the person eats or drinks it. In that case, they generally feel the effects after 30 minutes to 1 hour. Those substances acts on specific brain cell receptors that ordinarily react to natural chemicals.

Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers, breathing secondhand smoke interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of having a heart attack and also Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20–30%. Like alcohol, marijuana alters your perception. And like alcohol, this altered perception could lead to problems of impaired driving. Driving under the influence of marijuana could compound the already major problem of driving while under the influence of alcohol.


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  2. Drug Policy Alliance Headquaters. (2020). drug policy alliance. Retrieved january 2, 2020, from
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The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Purposes. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from
“The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Purposes.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
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