WhyShould We Legalize Marijuana
Thethird most commonly used recreational drug in the United States ofAmerica is marijuana. Sometimes people refer to marijuana asweed, bhang, grass, dope, Texas tea, dagga, herb, bud, pot,Mary Jane, ganja and many more other slang names. It is a gray -green mixture of some dried shredded seed, flowers, stem, and leavesof the famous hemp plant of India – cannabis sativa. The psychoactivechemical in the plant that is used to make Marijuana iscalled “THC” (tetrahydrocannabinol). It is the oneresponsible for the hallucinogen. This chemical substance interfereswith how the mind sees the world. Marijuana is smoked indifferent forms hand rolled cigarettes, water pipes, or marijuanacigar. Some people use Marijuana in brewed tea and used indifferent foods for medicinal purposes. People have also used it foryears as fiber, seed, and seed oils.   Research shows thataround twenty million people use this illicit drug monthly. The useof marijuana is widely spread among the young adults andadolescents. The perception of the teenagers about the riskof using marijuana has reduced during the past years.  This ismainly because of the debate to legalize or loosen therestriction of the drug for recreational and medicinal value. However, marijuana should not be legalized in thecountry because of the negative effects it has on the society.
Theside effects of marijuana may be short-term or long-term.First, when people use marijuana, the chemical substance in the drug(THC) interferes with normal functioning of the orbitofrontal cortexand hippocampus. These areas of the brain are responsible for helpinga person generate new memories and change their attention focalpoint. Therefore, the use of marijuana causes impairment of aperson’s thinking and interferes with a person’s ability to dodifficult tasks. Second effect is THC in marijuana interferes withthe normal performance of the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Theseareas of the brain are involved in the regulationof balance, reaction time, posture, and coordination. Thisleads to the person using it to have impairment when making decisionabout something they are supposed to do. For example, thisis the main reason people who use marijuana may not be capable ofdriving a car safely (Volkow2223).In addition, the ratio of a person who has used marijuana to cause orbe involved in an accident doubles compared with a person who doesnot use the alcohol or other drugs.  To add-on, marijuana maycause a person not to make right judgment about a physical activitythey are doing such as playing a sport game that a person likes.
Thethird effect of a person who has taken marijuana in large doses mayend up experiencing severe acute psychosis. This involves the personhallucinating, losing the sense of personal character and delusion.The Fourth effect is the reaction of THC through thecannabinoid receptors may also activate the reward system of thebrain, which involves the regions that oversee the reaction topleasurable behaviors that are healthy, such as, eating and sex. TheTHC in the marijuana stimulates neurons found inside the rewardsystem releasing the signaling chemical called dopamine at very highlevels than as usually observed to a natural stimuli response. Thishigh level of dopamine in the brain is what is responsible for thehigh feeling that people who use this drug seek for as a recreationalsubstance. However, the results may not be good, becausewhen a person’s appetite increases due to the drug, they will overeat, which may lead to obesity or even to other forms of addictionproblems.
Thefifth effect is when the drug is smoked, the concentrationof other chemicals and THC found in the marijuana plant is veryhigh. Therefore, when passed from the lungs to the person’sblood stream, they will be transported them quickly throughout theindividuals body and finally to the brain, the user immediatelyfeels the effects of the drug.  This leads to the userexperiencing a sense of pleasant euphoria and relaxation (Volkow2223).In addition, there are other effects that may vary depending on theuser such as sensory perception that is heightened such asthe person seeing brighter colors, they tend to laugh a lot, andchanged perception about time. Sixth effect, it is important to notethat not always will the consumption of marijuana lead topositive pleasurable feelings sometime instead of the person feelingrelaxed they may experience fear, anxiety, panic or distrust of theirfamily members or friends. In addition, it may lead to a personhaving permanent mental disorders such as schizophrenia. This isbecause the THC in the marijuana drug alters the way information isprocessed in the brain. Evidence that supports this point wasderived from studies carried out on animals. A good example israts that were exposed to THC in the uterus or immediatelyafter birth or during puberty.  Research shows that the rats hadproblems with their memory after several years. The cognitiveimpairment that is evident in the adult rats was as aresult of changes in the functions and structure of the hippocampusfound in the brains when exposed to THC in their adolescence.  Itis important to note that as a person grows older, they lose theneurons found in the hippocampus. Therefore, with the exposure ofadult to the THC, it will quicken age related loss of the neuronshence affecting their thinking and memory ability.
Seventh,marijuana can lead to addiction. This is brought about bychanges in a person’s brain due to over stimulation of themarijuana drug.  Addiction is a condition whereby despite thefact that the drug is interfering with different aspects of aperson’s life, they are unable to stop using the drug. Researchshows that around 20 percent of the people who use the drug whilethey are young become addicted to it. The side effects of theaddiction include the person feeling withdrawal syndrome, easilyirritated and have difficulties in sleeping. In addition, they becomemoody, they have an increase in cravings for particular items, theexperience lack of appetite for foods, and they become restless and /or may have some form of pain the first few weeks when they try toquit from using the drug.
Eighthpoint is that marijuana can affect a student attention and learningability negatively in school. This happens for several days or weeksafter the person’s withdrawal from the drug. The effect of the drugon the students depends on the victim’s history on the usageof the drug . In addition, people who use the drug perform less thanexpected in their education studies. Research shows that students whouse marijuana have poor educational performance compared to studentswho never smoke of the same age group (Bray9-18). Research has proven that from all the students who go to highschool and smoke marijuana, most of them never finish school,therefore never graduate, and will never join college. There is alsoproof that the students who use marijuana have high chances ofbeing dependable to the use of other drugs such as cocaine inthe future. These students are also vulnerable to attempting tocommit suicide (Bray9 -18).Studies on this topic have shown that people who use this drug someof them are not employed and for those employed they earn low-income,employers fear to use such people who are using marijuana becausethey are prone to causing accidents at work, they often are absentfrom work with no good reason. It is been noted that people who usemarijuana depend on welfare greatly, they tend to develop criminalbehaviors this is because they need money to buy the drug or may doit out of the influence of the drug and the wish to feel belonging toa particular group. These people are not satisfied in life.
Ninth,marijuana has physical effects on a person’s health. This isbecause few minutes after a person smokes the drug, there is anincrease in the speed of the person’s heart rate. Thepassage for breathing relaxes, enlarging it and in addition, thisexpands the blood vessels found in the eyes.  This makes theeyes to appear red. Taking marijuana increases the chance for aperson to get heart attack five times that the normal risk if notusing the drug. This is due to the effect of the marijuana drugthat raises the person heart rate and blood pressure whilereducing the capacity of the blood to transport oxygen. This may make the person to feel dizziness while standing or havehead rush causing them to fall or faint. Research show that the useof marijuana, just like when smoking tobacco irritates the lungs andthe throat, causing the victim to cough a lot as they smoking (Volkow2223).Marijuana has toxic particles and gases that can harm the lungs. Smoking marijuana can cause inflammation of the airway, amplifiedairway resistance, and hyperinflation of the lungs. It finally canlead to the victim having cancer.
Anotherhealth problem that the use of marijuana can have on human beings isthat it makes men not be able to hold an erection for a long time. Inaddition, research shows that marijuana can make men tobe impotent. This is because it reduces the number of spermcount by a third compared to someone who does not use it. This is dueto the THC that is contained in the marijuana interactingwith receptors found inside the testes. Research shows that women whouse marijuana have side effects such as during their premenstrualcycles and ovulation, libido decreases, causes fatigue, and impairedfertility. In addition, a child born from a mother who has usedmarijuana may have some side effects of the drug such asbehavioral problems, physical abnormalities, poor growth, low IQ,delays in understanding, the child’s birth weight would be low, andit increases the chances of the child getting leukemia (Zuckerman762-768).
Tenth,marijuana should not be legalized this is because whenit is legalized it is going to increase its usage in thesociety. Research shows that any drug that becomes legal, theirpeople do not view it as wrong to use it therefore increasing itsusage. For example, alcohol is the number one misused drug, thesecond one is cigarettes, which unfortunately due to theirlegalization, many people are suffering from their side effects.Therefore, to legalize marijuana will only make the market readilyavailable to the people. In addition, if it becomes legal, there willbe high competition of the drug causing its costs to be low,and increase the consumption this should not happen because of theside effects of the drug. It will also increase the drug cartels inthe market that would have gotten freedom to supply the drug to evenchildren without fearing the law.
Lastly,most people who are campaigning for marijuana to be madelegal are saying it is because of the medicinal value that it has.Research shows that the use of marijuana could help reduce symptomsof some medical conditions. For example, marijuana is a good medicinefor cancer, glaucoma, and patients with multiple sclerosis.  Inaddition studies show that it reduces vomiting and nausea ofchemotherapy patients. Seriously, should people smoke marijuana toget its medicinal benefits? Opium is not smoked for its morphinebenefit.  It is important to note that research has proventhat the drug is harmful for human being. In addition, the small partof marijuana that people are saying is good for medicine shouldnot be a satisfactory reason for it to become legal.Alternatively, the medical staffs are the ones who should getthe permission to extract the drug and make it just like any otherform of medicine such as package it as pill or solution withprescription on how to use it. Therefore, this is not enough reasonto make the drug be legal.
Inconclusion, the government of any country should not allowthe use of marijuana to be legal. This is because it has somany side effects despite the broad and wide debates to legalize itbecause of the medicinal value. It is not worth losing the younggeneration to marijuana. This will lead to a country having shortageof labor force in the near future, as the young people will notacquire the need skills or will not use their knowledge to thefullness because they were involved in marijuana. It willlead to prevention of sicknesses that people get from the usageof the drug, if it does not become legal. In addition, people to stopcampaign about the goodness of marijuana it is just misleading manyto become victims of the drug. There is enough proof that marijuanaaffects children in school in so many ways such as low IQ, poorperformance, and most of them fail to complete their studies.  Thereare places like Holland and Portugal where the drug has becomelegal. However, there are many regrets because it has just increasedthe negative effects of the drug. For example, increase in criminalactivities, growth of drug cartels and research shows that the usageof marijuana among young people in Holland has increased by threehundred percent.  It is important to learn from Holland andPortugal instead of being an example to other countries about itsnegative effect. Therefore, it is not good for marijuana to belegalized because of the harm it will bring to the society.
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