An Analysis of the Legalization of Marijuana that Reduces Narcotic Drug Use

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Why legalize marijuana? The legalization of marijuana will reduce narcotic drug use and crime and create a better society. Marijuana's effect on people is greatly exaggerated in that marijuana acts as a scapegoat for many of society's problems today. Marijuana is blamed today for leading to the use of narcotic drugs, but this claim has never been proven, and the only grounds for that statement are that marijuana is a more widespread and more sampled drug. There are many reasons presented by both sides for why marijuana should be legalized or not.

Chronic marijuana users may develop a motivational syndrome characterized by decreased motivation, preoccupation with taking drugs, or what is contrived as being generally lazy. The relationship of this syndrome to marijuana use, however, has not been proven. Like alcohol intoxication, marijuana intoxication impairs judgment, comprehension, memory, speech, problem-solving ability, and reaction time. The effect of long-term use on the intellect is unknown. There is no evidence that marijuana induces or causes brain damage ("marijuana," 2; Microsoft). In 1991, almost half the oncologists who answered a Harvard Medical School survey said they would prescribe marijuana for relief of chemotherapy side effects were it legal, and most had already recommended it to their patients (Baum, 132).

Marijuana grows throughout mild to hot regions, with more potent varieties produced in dry, humid climates. Marijuana is defined as a cannabis plant, or a preparation made from the dried flower clusters and leaves of the cannabis plant, smoked or eaten to induce euphoria or a "high.

The Drug Enforcement Agency estimates that we presently have 20 million regular users of marijuana in the United States (Heerema 130). The inclusion of drug users within society is, in turn, based on the premise that the desire to alter consciousness is a normal human trait, a drive as deep as the need for food, shelter, and love (Siegel 1989). Prohibition creates crime; it does not solve the crime. It creates tension within society that it cannot bear. However, because some members of society are more tolerant of drug use than others, the attempt at prohibition tears society apart. It seems to work for a while, but sooner or later, the prohibition approach becomes weak if society is to grow rather than stay at a standstill.

In the long run, society gradually adapts to the changes made necessary by the failure of the War on Drugs, and new drugs appear, and then the cycle starts over. Therefore, if society wants to grow, we must allow its people to alter their state of consciousness by using marijuana and other legal substances. A legal, regulated drug supply (such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and prescription drugs) encourages people to socially and personally use the smallest dosage and the lowest potency that will be effective. It encourages control of drug use and discourages abuse. It accepts a certain social cost in that the use of these drugs will cause problems for some members of society, but it does not deny that drug use is human and instead works through the problems presented by drug use. With education and regulations, such as those used with tobacco and alcohol, marijuana can provide many benefits.

The criminal approach to drug use encourages drug abuse by cutting off the supply. This policy restriction makes marijuana scarce and hard to get. In turn, people want as much as possible, in the highest possible potency, so they do not have to repeat the illegal act of obtaining marijuana. This policy ignores the basic human urge to get high or release tension, discourages the controlled use of substances, and offers no possibility of harm reduction. It puts even the casual or experimental user into the illicit drug-using culture where abuse is more likely, and any attempt to encourage self-control, that is, showing people how to use drugs intelligently and in the least harmful way, is seen as condoning abuse.

Therefore, the illicit drug scene, created by drug prohibition laws, encourages high-dose, high-potency drug seeking and discourages moderation and self-regulation. The process of dilution is possible when drugs are legally regulated but not when they are criminally distributed. In fact, dilution of strength is the basis for the mass marketing of legal drugs, and it could be the basis for the regulation of marijuana. Control means using drugs moderately, intelligently, and safely rather than in the addictive fashion promoted by keeping marijuana illegal. By replacing the War on Drugs with a policy of normalization and social acceptance, including the legalization of marijuana. The Dutch have made credible drug education possible. Instead of kicking kids who use drugs out of school, they have instituted a "healthy living" curriculum starting in the elementary grades that outlines the pleasures as well as the dangers of drug use. Here again, the results have been positive. The average age of addicts has risen from twenty-six in 1984 to thirty-one in 1989, indicating that very few users are being added to society (Tempest, 1989). This example of what has been going on in Amsterdam is a clear example of what can happen in the United States by legalizing marijuana.

The legalization of marijuana will be good, provided that proper education is provided. In the name of sustaining the drug war, we are taught that marijuana is lethal and addictive. While marijuana has its risks, especially for young children, none of this is true. Neither is it true that marijuana has no accepted medical use. Soon the United States will change; instead of condemning all the drugs that are now defined as illicit, distinctions will be made between those drugs that present a social problem and those determined to be victimless, such as marijuana. Legalizing marijuana will also create tax revenue, as has been done with alcohol and tobacco.

While they will probably never be totally acceptable, drugs like marijuana will be seen as less threatening, less destructive, and less evil. Marijuana use will come to be seen as a victimless activity with minor drawbacks. This change in attitude will lead to more pressure to legalize the use of marijuana. The reasoning would be: If our citizens want to consume it and it only harms them marginally, why deny their right to do so when all we are doing is creating a huge illicit industry and a large new criminal population?

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An Analysis of the Legalization of Marijuana That Reduces Narcotic Drug Use. (2023, Mar 06). Retrieved May 22, 2024 , from
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