Reasons Marijuana Should Be Illegal
The discussion about marijuana legalization is very controversial. There is an idea that legalization of this drug may help to resolve the problem with drug dealers and criminals. However, the number of negative consequences caused by this substance is much higher than the number of advantages. This paper will discuss the reasons why marijuana should not be legal.
Marijuana is the third most widely used recreational drug in the world after alcohol and cigarettes. It is also the first step towards the use of more serious drugs (New Health Advisor, n.d.). Young people usually continue injecting heroin and cocaine after trying marijuana. The estimation of the risk from drug usage proves that cocaine is a hundred times more dangerous for people who have tried marijuana before. It should be mentioned that marijuana affects serotonin, the hormone of happiness. Thus, the continuous usage of this drug will lead to addiction. Hence, legalization of marijuana will rapidly increase the consumption of this drug. It is a well-known fact that it is extremely hard to quit smoking marijuana. It gives a person cravings for the next dose, makes him or her irritated, disrupts sleep, and causes problems with appetite. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2016), there is no medical treatment to overcome the habit of smoking marijuana. Only behavioral support like therapy and motivational incentives are effective in treating marijuana addiction nowadays (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016).
Marijuana should be illegal from the moral perspective. It would be wrong if children perceived the drug as something helpful and usual since a very young age. It is very dangerous for the younger generation to be acquainted with this substance because they will be likely to have problems in school, social life, and future job. If the drug was widely available, parents would lose control over their children. Marijuana affects short-term memory and causes the loss of concentration. People who use drugs are unable to properly perform their parental responsibilities. As for teenagers who smoke marijuana, they lose an average of eight IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38 (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016). Moreover, it is impossible to fully return the lost mental abilities even after quitting marijuana as an adult.
Obviously, marijuana has many harmful effects on human health. They include rapid heartbeat, disorientation, and lack of physical coordination (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d.). In addition, marijuana smoke damages the lungs. It contains 50-70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d.). People who use this drug are likely to have chest colds and lung infections (Robinson, 2016). They may also suffer from bronchitis and inflammation of the respiratory tract. Australian studies show that the continuous usage of marijuana leads to brain abnormalities (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d.). These changes are similar to those caused by a long-term abuse of other hard drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2016), marijuana causes temporary paranoia – extreme and unreasonable distrust of others. This substance also affects the reproductive system of both men and women. Studies show that the prenatal use of it may result in birth defects, mental abnormalities, and increased risk of leukemia in children (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d.). Therefore, it is possible to say that marijuana is hazardous not only to the younger generation but also to the future of the world in general.
Marijuana impairs driving ability. Its side effects include retardation, bad coordination and long reaction time (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d.). Drug users are 3 to 7 times more likely to get into a car accident (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d.). Driving under the influence of the drug is a serious problem for public safety because the drug abuser endangers not only himself/herself but also other pedestrians or road users (New Health Advisor, n.d.). Marijuana is the most frequently found illegal drug in the blood of drivers who were involved in accidents, including fatal ones (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016).
There is a belief that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes, mainly to relieve pain. Many years of research prove that the side effects of this drug outweigh the advantages. Marijuana adversely affects the immune system because it reduces the ability of T-cells to fight infections. There is not enough evidence to support the usage of marijuana for medical purposes (New Health Advisor, n.d.). Moreover, researchers have proved that the drug can be addictive. Ten percent of drug users become dependent on it (Robinson, 2016). The amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) found in marijuana leaves has increased in recent years. They contain up to 7% of it, and such big amount makes it easier to become addicted to this drug (Robinson, 2016). Even if a person orders the drug in the dispensary, it is impossible to know the exact amount of THC ingested. Therefore, a drug user cannot predict the possible harmful effects on his/her body and brain (Robinson, 2016).
After reading and analyzing much information about marijuana, it is clear that negative effects of marijuana considerably outweigh positive ones. The drug adversely affects the human brain, lungs, reproductive system, and mental condition. Marijuana should not be allowed because it is harmful not only to present inhabitants of the world but also to future generations.