Should Recreational Use of Marijuana Be Legalized in All 50 States?
Passing from various phases of its use in hem, ropes, and medicines, marijuana now has reached the point of discussions where its legality and illegality have stirred debates across the country. In America, the use of recreational use of marijuana is legal now in many states and in others, there are efforts to obtain its recreational legal status. The debate itself appears intriguing and leads to the question of the efficacy of the phenomenon. We wonder why so many people support legality and if it is really useful to the extent that others do not appreciate it.
The supporters of the legality related to recreational use of marijuana deem that the legality related to drugs is inconsistent. According to them if alcohol and cigarettes are legal across the country why marijuana cannot be legalized especially if assessed in the context of the harmful effects exerted by alcohol and cigarettes upon human health. They also claim mighty promising medicinal features of marijuana stressing its great potential in relieving pain along with other numerous beneficial medical advantages. The financial benefit remains another attraction for those who support its legalization as a recreational instrument. The examples of the states which legalized it can be quoted as evidence to prove the financial benefits it bestowed upon them after its legal status. Much tax amounts can be gathered from those involved in the business of marijuana. The advocates of the legality of marijuana for recreational purposes regard the ban on marijuana as a restriction upon human freedom and human rights.
On the other hand, opponents of the legal status of marijuana keep definite and solid reasons to bring into light its poisonous and detrimental effects. They argue that marijuana is less curative than addictive. The adversaries also deny its medicinal power on the ground of its being toxic for certain patients. Moreover, they think that it mars the ability to think clearly and positively. Its long-term use may be liable to chronic diseases like hepatitis. The association attributed to marijuana with narcotics renders its status a drug that must be banned is the point of view of its critics.
Marijuana exerts good and bad effects. Good effects include “subjective pain relief, mood regulation, relaxation, suppresses nausea” and many others. On the other hand, a recognized problem of marijuana is damage to the lungs. Most scholars have concluded from their respective researches that five cigarettes are equal to one joint of marijuana. Therefore, it can cause severe health issues like lung cancer. It can cause severe immune system problems. It also creates lassitude and laziness among its users (Steve Sussman).
Both men and women experience sexual and physical assault in their lives with respective varying percentages. The physical assault appears more common in men and sexual attack is relatively more common among women. Such experiences produce negative effects on the personalities of the sufferers. Violent victimization becomes more probable if alcohol and drugs like marijuana are used frequently. “For example, substance use is thought to be a key cause of victimization by intimate partner violence” (Martino 522).
The study held by Martino and his companions in 2004 relates to the topic of drug use and subsequent violent victimization among men and women. Data from 2170 participants were collected to assess the hypothesis. The aim of the study was to estimate the effects of the use of alcohol and marijuana among youth with a special focus on the subsequent violent tendencies in the users. The study also aimed to bring into light the gender difference related to the outcome of the use of alcohol and marijuana. The samples were collected from a variety of schools. Some of the participants had intact families and some belonged to broken ones. Another point while selecting the participants was the inclusion of the students who left school or who joined other schools. The researchers took the saliva samples of the participants and a survey was conducted related to tobacco use among the students. The participants were asked to answer questions like someone had sexually assaulted them or they attacked others sexually. The other question was about the physical assault and the participants had to answer in terms of the subject or object of the physical assault. The participants had also to expose to information about their drinking alcohol and using marijuana in the past month. The results of physical assault were higher in men than in women while in sexual assault the women were victimized more than men. The use of alcohol and marijuana was more common among men than in women.
Another research was conducted to examine the trend of using edibles containing marijuana. The focus groups were divided into four categories. They were of 15-17 years of age and resided in the San Francisco bay area. The females preferred using marijuana-infused edibles over their male counterparts. For some of the young girls, it was safer to use marijuana in edible form as it could save them from being publically caught smoking marijuana. Youth can purchase these edibles from many centers including medical dispensaries. The youth also expressed the view that edible marijuana is less risky and its use does not draw public attention. This research is potent enough to initiate new research to delve into the reasons for exceeding the fashion of using marijuana among youth (Bettina Fries).
The next research being used for reference took the study of the driving problem under the influence of marijuana. The detrimental effects of the use of marijuana have been researched in many different aspects. The present study focuses on the problem of driving after the use of marijuana and that is no less risky and hazardous than other problems of the use of it. The consequence of driving under the influence of marijuana has multiplied the fatality rate among the youth who drive after they have used marijuana (Berg).
The association between marijuana use and religion could become a fine study that was undertaken in 2016. The aim of the study was to assess the point of religious involvement and its impact on marijuana users. The data was obtained from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Another point of the study was to investigate the matter of health. The supposition was the phenomenon of marijuana use and religious involvement variation according to personal health status. The results of the investigation revealed that people with more inclination towards religion use less marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes (Amy M. Burdette).
The use of marijuana can also vary from location and city. An interesting study of how colleges have been places for open marijuana use and how the students of colleges are more vulnerable to marijuana use was conducted to bring into light the bad policy of colleges in this regard. College enrolment appears to be a high factor for marijuana use. The data was selected from 1977 to 2015 from 130 public schools to investigate the issue. The hypothesis was to check the probability that those who attend colleges fall prey to the habit of using marijuana and their age fellows who do not attend colleges are less likely to develop the habit of using marijuana (Richard A. Miech).
At present, the use of marijuana among youth and teens has increased in America which stands quite opposite to the previous statistics when certain efforts to check the use of marijuana were initiated and followed(Steve Sussman). This trend of using marijuana has caused many problems as various researchers have shown results after their detailed and thorough research in different fields. The first problem that we come across is the problem of health which is a core human issue and without which we cannot enjoy life fully. Different researches conducted in this regard certainly show that the use of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes does exert negative effects in one or the other way. Counting the negative effects of marijuana writes about the heavy dose of marijuana as follows
“…very high dose produces a toxic delirium (especially if eaten), the symptoms of which include confusion, agitation, disorientation, loss of coordination, and hallucination” (Steve Sussman 701).
The consistent use of marijuana makes a person exposed to many difficulties. Its use does not remain medicinal rather it becomes a habit and addiction and the patient faces it as an integral part of his life when he wants to get rid of it. Its use leads to the use of other strong drugs as investigated a research
“…marijuana use has also been investigated as a stepping-stone drug. A number of studies indicate that marijuana users are at relatively high risk for use of other hard drugs and their related negative consequences” (Steve Sussman 702).
Marijuana users adopt certain resentments in their attitudes and show hypertension in their behaviors. Their self-control relatively becomes tarnished and they succumb to anger and aggression quickly. They show physical and sexual aggression irrespective of gender discrimination.
“Substance users are at increased risk for being victimized as a result of their own violent behavior. Research has consistently demonstrated a link between drug use and various types of aggressive and violent behavior, and these relationships hold among women as well as men” (Martino 523).
The recreational use of marijuana has diversity and variety. Some people use it in cigarettes and some prefer it in different edibles. The use of marijuana in the form of edibles is more fashionable among women. They want to get pleasure but they do not want to appear as drug users in the community. A student of a school revealed the reason for consuming marijuana in an edible form saying
“So you can eat your brownie in class and the teachers don’t even know. You are just eating a brownie. They are not gonna snatch it out of your hand and smell it” (Bettina Fries 305).
Such slack attitude of students has created difficulties for teachers as well. The youth does not care whether they die or fall ill after its use; they just wish to keep their pleasure intact.
The difficulties spread around marijuana use are not only of personal nature. They are capable to distort the smooth running of society by causing problems for others as well. It becomes clear beyond doubt when one sees youth driving carelessly and recklessly under the influence of marijuana. Driving after having used marijuana proves fatal. Such drivers are not only a great threat to others but to their own lives also. Many people avoid driving when they are drunk but they do not hesitate to drive under the influence of marijuana which is no less risky and fatal(Berg).
Another amazing fact associated with the use of marijuana links it with educational institutes. Colleges and universities are thought to be a place for inheriting the legacy of knowledge and refinement but sadly they have become places where students can enjoy themselves the things which they at home may shun to do. One of such things is the use of marijuana to which they have easy access at colleges. These educational institutes have become easy rooms as for as the recreational use of marijuana is concerned. Research conducted in this regard brings out the results which need to be thought of seriously. The research shows that the persons who went to college were easy prey to marijuana use and those who did not mostly remain un-addicted to its use (Richard A. Miech).
Martino has also brought this point to his research. The research exposes that most of the youth get edible marijuana from school or from other fellows at schools. Some of the students were discovered who bought edible marijuana from dispensaries and sold it to their friends at school. Some girls in schools sold marijuana-infused cupcakes to their friends at the price of five dollars each. The teens also reported that they could make butter at home or they bought it from dispensaries(Bettina Fries).
Religion is a heavenly guideline to live life on earth. It teaches us certainly do’s and don’ts. One of the essential parts of its teachings is the avoidance of all addictions in any form. Interesting research to examine the effect of religious teachings upon the practitioners was conducted to get the knowledge that whether they refrain from using marijuana or not. The research proved that the people with religious inclination were less convinced to use medicinal marijuana and they certainly had no disposition to accept its use for recreational purposes. “Consistent with our first hypothesis, religious involvement is associated with reduced recreational and medicinal marijuana use. Our findings suggest that multiple measures of religiosity are important predictors of substance use” (Amy M. Burdette).
This brings us to look at the fragile and frail ethical conditions prevailing in society. The American states, one after the other, want to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the face of its adverse physical and moral repercussions. The situation becomes deplorable when observed in the overall deteriorating religious conditions pervasive across the country. Religious reinvigoration can alleviate the traumatic conditions of marijuana use.
It is the efficacy of a product that promotes or rejects a particular drug. If the usefulness of one medicine outnumbers its harms, it should remain in use and if the case is vice versa its use must be abandoned. The detailed discussion in the light of six articles convinces us that the use of marijuana for recreational ambitions should be banned. Its harm to the human physique, psyche, and mind causes various diversions which are potential enough to undermine the genuine grace of life. Keeping in view all the pros and cons of the issues, I would suggest its legal prohibition across the country.
- Amy M. Burdette, Noah S. Webb, Terrence D.Hill, Stacy Hoskins Haynes, and Jason A. Ford. ‘Religious Involvement and Marijuana Use for Medical and Recreational Purposes.’ Journal of Drug Issues (2018): 421-434.
- Berg, Calra J. ‘A Socioecological perspective Regarding Risk Factors for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Among Young Adults.’ Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment (2018): 1-4.
- Bettina Fries, Michael D. Slater, Rachelle Annechino, Robynn S. Battle. Teen Use of Marijuana Edibles: A Foxus Group Study of Emerging Issue. New York: Springer Science + Business Media New York 2016, 2016.
- Martino, Steven C., Rebecca L. Collins, Phyllis L. Ellickson. ‘Substance Use and Vulnerability to Sexual and Physical Aggression: A Longitudinal Study of Young Adults.’ Violence and Victims (2004): 521- 540.
- Richard A. Miech, Megan E. Patrick, Patrick M. O’ Malley, and Lloyd D. Johnston. ‘The Influence of College Attendance on Risk for Marijuana Initiation in the United States: 1977-2015.’ AJPH (2017): 996-1001.
- Steve Sussman, Alan W.Stacy, Clyde W.Dent, Thomas R.Simon C.Anderson Jhonson. ‘Marijuana Use: Current Issues and New Research Directions.’ Journal of Drug Issues (1996): 695-733.