Marijuana is an illegal drug in the United States that is a grown substance that damages the brain and had negative impacts on the body. Many states in the United States have relaxed their laws and some have even legalized marijuana. Since Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, this then brings up the question on how states should address this issue and measures should be taken when the federal government is involved. As of now, according to the National Congress of States Legislatures, ten states and the District of Columbia now have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use. While I believe marijuana should not be legalize for medical or recreational uses, states should decriminalize it and the penalty for possession of marijuana should be reduced to a fine rather than jail time. Legalizing marijuana would only result in many negative consequences creating more accidents, harming the country’s health, and would be detrimental to our economy.
The country does not have enough resources to regulate and punish use of marijuana. Holding someone in prison for one day in the state of Texas costs around forty-seven dollars and fifty cents (Death Penalty Information Center). The government cannot afford to keep so many inmates in prison for minor crimes such as possessing or dealing marijuana. Our country’s debt is already so high, and this country needs to cut down their budget where they can. This means the United States shouldn’t be putting people in jail for carrying small amounts of marijuana when they could be using that money to imprison terrorists and murderers. America could lower their incarceration rate and work towards limiting the national debt rather than chasing drug dealers and spend tax dollars on keeping them in jail.
If the United States legalizes marijuana, there would be a drastic increase in accidents. Marijuana is made from cannabis plant and “contains the mind-altering chemical THC and other similar compounds,” (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Since marijuana alters one’s mind, allowing access to this drug will cause a spike in DUIs and accidents. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when a person smokes marijuana, the substance THC quickly gets into the bloodstream and carries the chemical to vital organs such as the brain and other organs. Once this chemical reaches the brain, it over activates many parts causing the “high” people feel. Some short-term effects of marijuana include problems with attention, memory, and learning (CDC). They may also experience altered senses, changes in mood, delusions and hallucinations (NIH). If marijuana becomes legalized recreationally, people will then start to smoke and drive with could result in lethal outcomes. If someone has a hallucination that there is a person in the middle of the road while driving and swerve out of the way, they could hit another car or possibly run over another pedestrian. Because the drug impairs the sense of time, a driver may not brake in time or go too fast and think they are going the speed limit. Overall, allowing people to smoke will cause a spike in deaths and accidents on the road and will endanger everyone, even innocent bystanders.
Smoking any substance leads to unhealthy consequences to someone’s body. Marijuana had both physical and mental effects on people when they decide to smoke this substance. Smoking marijuana can cause breathing problems, increased heart rate, problems during pregnancy, and intense nausea (NIH). Having these types of problems will shorten one’s life expectancy and cause America as a whole to have more health issues. If someone is born with issues such as asthma and is exposed to this kind of substance, they could very easily die and would most likely have long-term health issues. If marijuana is legalized, that means teenagers will also have access to the drug just as they have access to alcohol today. If teens and young adults get a hold of marijuana at a young age, their brains could be permanently damaged. Because marijuana contains a substance that can access and alter one’s brain very quickly, heavy use of the drug starting at adolescence could permanently impair the brains ability to make necessary connections for a teen to be able to think and learn. Giving society access to such a harmful and powerful drug will only harm their health and damage their bodies.
If marijuana was on the market for consumers, those who bought the drug would be spending lots of money they would have otherwise used for other things such as groceries or mortgage. As shown through history, when people invest their money into things such as, alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs, they usually become poverty stricken and sometimes even homeless. If people decide to spend their rent money on marijuana, they could very easily be kicked out and become poor and homeless. Also, if their job finds out they have been smoking marijuana that could possibly be impairing their judgement, their boss could fire them and leave them without a job. The introduction will totally alter our economy and could cause rates of poverty and homelessness to increase dramatically.
In conclusion, legalizing marijuana will only bring about negative outcomes. Allowing the public access to this dangerous drug will not just cause societal changes but economic change as well. The public health of our country will begin to decline and, with teenagers having access to marijuana they are susceptible to more health risks and the life span of Americans will ultimately lower. Not only does marijuana impair people’s health and brain, but it will also cause many more fatalities in the US. The economic factor of legalizing marijuana is just as bad. With the presence of such an addictive and costly drug, many families could go into poverty or become homeless. The money that would have been spent on other markets would then shift into the marijuana market. The best way to deal with the issue of marijuana is to decriminalize it so that the country no longer needs to pay to keep those inmates in prison while at the same time keeping it illegal so that the citizens of the United States stay safe. All in all, America should not legalize marijuana because of its lethal effects on society and the dark possible future it holds. Doing so would only result in negative consequences and would change our society for the worse.
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