Marijuana should not be Legalized
Most of us have either seen or smoked marijuana, either in a recreational or medical setting. What is common about the drug, locally and internationally, is its illegal status. But this has not discouraged some people from partaking of the drug and the consequences for this legal disregard is socially and economically catastrophic. There exists a divide on opinion regarding the legal status of the drug with some loudly calling for its legalization especially in major powers like the US. The debate on the legalization of marijuana is not new and has raged for several decades with both the proponents and opponents of this motion using emotional appeal and factual evidence to back their claims. Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs across the world and the call for its legalization has a significant impact on governments and individuals. This has informed my opinion that marijuana should not be legalized since doing so will lead to increased addiction, social evils like crime and additional burdens to the world’s health care system through treatment of this addiction and drug induced accidents.
Marijuana is addictive and one of the most abused illegal substances in major cities across the world. Legalizing the drug will just increase addiction by making it readily available to the users and tempting non users to engage in its consumption. This will in turn lead to reduced productivity and increased social evils in form of crime since drugs reduce inhibitions. Education might also be affected either through teens dropping out of school or their performance being greatly affected by marijuana use. Those who have had the privilege to study in public universities here in Kenya will attest to the extent which student’s abuse the drug which they have ascribed nicknames like weed, bush, kush and “ndome.”This abuse leads to risky behaviors like experimentation with alcohol, other drugs and reckless engagement in dangerous sexual activities. Needles to say sustaining this addiction requires money and student’s who have no ready source of income result to dangerous behavior like robbery or prostitution to get cash for basic needs and marijuana. The side effects include increased AIDs prevalence, unwanted pregnancies and an increase in the rate of abortions.
Those calling for marijuana legalizations have citied taxation of the drug as a way for government to control its use and increase its revenue. However, statistics have shown that legalization of drugs does not increase its effective control or add revenue in relation to social cost as demonstrated by the two legal drugs; alcohol and tobacco. For instance, in the United States, the federal cost of attending to alcohol related conditions amounted to $185 Billion as compared to alcohol related revenue totaling $14.5 billion. Medical data collected in trauma wards have shown that most deaths and major injuries on our roads are caused by marijuana smoking drivers. Marijuana, like alcohol, impairs the judgment of the driver and the resultant effect is unnecessary carnage. Innocent lives are lost simply because a few people chose to engage in illegal fetish. What would happen then if the drug was made legal, how many innocent lives would the world lose under the hands of a few hedonistic individuals. How many more resources would we need to assign to treatment rather than focus on other welfare programs meant to make this world a better place? No, legalizing marijuana is not just impractical; it’s downright immoral.
In the United States today, 2.7 million people are abusing drugs. One of the most popular drugs among those abused is marijuana, which is technically known as cannabis, but commonly referred to as pot, weed, and hash, among other names.
Many people, especially teens, experience peer pressure causing them to make bad choices. One of these decisions includes the use of marijuana. People will smoke to ease up pain or stress in their lives or to simply feel the sensation of being high.
What many people fail to realize though, is that like other recreational drugs, smoking marijuana is illegal and should not be used just because it’s easily accessible.
Although many people in the US want Marijuana to be legal, it should not be. Marijuana should stay illegal because it has been proven by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that it is useful for medical purposes and should be kept that way. Some of the medicinal uses are: AIDs, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, HIV, Migraine, Spasticity, etc.
The legalization of marijuana use will restrict access to minors similar to age restrictions on alcohol. Putting an age limit to the legalization however, is not enough to prevent the consequences that could occur from the use of marijuana. Age restrictions on alcohol does not prevent all teenagers from drinking, so restrictions on marijuana will likely have the same effect.
Although it is not necessarily addictive on its own, marijuana is referred to as the gateway drug. It is known to lead to the use of more dangerous and addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that the younger a person is when he or she begins using marijuana, the more likely it is that he or she will abuse other drugs as she gets older. If true, once legalized, more teenagers will use marijuana and possibly abuse other drugs.
Marijuana will not only cause more people to become drug addicts, but it will harm their brains, lungs, and hearts. The cannabinoids in marijuana cause parts of the brain to function wrong. After smoking, a person will have trouble remembering what he or she was doing before he or she began. Smoking will also cause a 20-100 percent increase in their heart rate and an increased risk of a heart attack. Smokers will also be more inclined to have respiratory problems due to the amount of smoke that enters their lungs.
While the debate over legalizing marijuana has been on going for a few years, it is clear that keeping marijuana illegal is the best solution for everyone. Legalizing the drug would do nothing but harm our country. More people could become addicts and more people could die. There is no reason for the death toll to rise over the legalization of a drug. So in the end, don’t be under the influence, stay above it.