To legalize or not to legalize the use of marijuana has caused a heated debate in the United States of America and some other countries. Particularly, the rate at which alcohol and cigarettes kill people in the world and they are legalized has made the proponents of marijuana come out fiercely in its support arguing that it is less harmful than the two aforementioned. Notably, marijuana has chemicals that are addictive and unhealthy for a normal growth and development of human beings (Caulkins et al., 2012). Therefore, as much as there are no good reasons to ban marijuana, there are several bad reasons to ban it which deal with health and criminal issues it has on people and the environment.
One reason marijuana why should be prohibited due to the fact that it will increase the adverse health effects that have already been caused by cigar and alcohol. According to Denning (2014), two wrongs do not make anything right. Therefore, by arguing that marijuana should be legalized just like alcohol does solve any health issue it has on people. A contemporary Northwestern University study revealed that users of marijuana have uncharacteristic brain structure and meager memory and that chronic marijuana exploitation may lead to brain vicissitudes similar to schizophrenia (Pacula et al., 2014). The study also stated that the younger an individual starts using marijuana, the bad the effects may become. Therefore, legalizing it will mean that the country is not putting any attempt to create an environment that is free of health issues as a result of drugs.
Additionally marijuana, just like any addictive drug, should not be legalized. Under the Controlled Substance Act Of 1970, marijuana was classified under Schedule I drugs due to the fact that it has a high potential for abuse which means that it can dominate peoples lives and direct them to engage in crime (Tate, 2013). As such, for the marijuana to be legalized, the claims that it is not addictive as per the proponents should be ascertained; otherwise, more addictive drugs should not be allowed in the society just because alcohol is not prohibited.
Moreover, the experiment of legalizing marijuana has not gone well with the countries that have tried it. According to the study carried by Weitzer (2014), it is evident that Amsterdam was the first city in Netherlands to prohibit marijuana after the country legalized it. Pacula and Sevigny (2014) note that the principal reason for that action was on the fact that students were coming in class when very high and could not learn or follow class procedures effectively. In this context, there is no reason for legalizing something that will jeopardize the states of the country.
Following the discussion furthered herein, it is evidenced that marijuana has more side effects than benefits; hence, the step to legalize it or not should not be a matter of discussion. Notably, when legalized, marijuana will increase the negative health effects that have already been caused by alcohol and cigar. Additionally, due to the fact that it is an addictive drug, it should be banned just like heroin and nicotine. Lastly, the attempt to legalize marijuana has failed in countries that have tried it such as Netherlands due to the effects it has on the learning children.
Caulkins, J. P., Kilmer, B., MacCoun, R. J., Pacula, R. L., & Reuter, P. (2012). Design considerations for legalizing cannabis: lessons inspired by analysis of California's Proposition 19. Addiction, 107(5), 865-871.
Denning, B. P. (2014). Vertical Federalism, Horizontal Federalism, and Legal Obstacles to State Marijuana Legalization Efforts. Case W. Res. L. Rev., 65, 567.Pacula, R. L., & Sevigny, E. L. (2014). Marijuana liberalization policies: Why we can't learn much from policy still in motion. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(1), 212-221.
Pacula, R. L., Boustead, A. E., & Hunt, P. (2014). Words Can Be Deceiving: A Review of Variation Among Legally Effective Medical Marijuana Laws in the United States. Journal of drug policy analysis, 7(1), 1-19.Tate, K. (2013). Black Opinion on Legalizing Marijuana. Something's in the Air: Race, Crime, and the Legalization of Marijuana, 65.
Weitzer, R. (2014). Legalizing Recreational Marijuana: Comparing Ballot Outcomes in Four States. Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology, 2(2).
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