Marijuana Is An Illicit Psychoactive Drug


Marijuana is an illicit psychoactive drug that can be used either medically or recreationally. It’s made of Cannabis sativa, and people normally smoke it in either blunts, joints, or bongs. Typically, it is used to feel some type of high, relaxation, and/or happiness; There is also a possibility that one may experience anxiety or panic when high- but that is only if they are inexperienced or have taken too much.

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In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act declared marijuana illegal in the U.S; Ever since, controversy as to who should get a hold of marijuana has been going on, as well as, if marijuana should be available to the people.

Pro-Con 1:

Marijuana legalization will bring forth more money, however having so much access to it can cause impairment of cognitive ability, as there is more opportunity of use. To begin, a state that has legalized marijuana, medically and recreationally, is Colorado. According to Forbes, Colorado made about $1.56 billion in recreational marijuana this year (DePietro, 2018). According to MarketWatch, Colorado pulled in nearly $200 million in tax revenue [in 2016] thanks to its $1.3 billion in marijuana revenue(Williams, 2017). By including these numbers, it demonstrates how well Colorado is doing because of the amount of money being made from marijuana purchases. It is almost a win-win situation, where both the people are happy with their drug, and the government is happy with the amount of money they are receiving.

Now, although a lot of money can be made if more states legalized marijuana, government officials are deciding to put the health of their people first. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, marijuana can cause problems with memory in young adults (Shrivastava, Johnston, & Tsuang, 2011). This would be a worry for the government because they want to be sure that people are mentally stable, and that they can be aware of their surroundings at all times.

To add on, the same source revealed that there is a chance, if marijuana is used chronically, it will interfere with educational and vocational learning (Shrivastava, Johnston, & Tsuang, 2011). Due to this, researchers are concerned for the health of the people, and they don’t want to promote any type of drug that may affect one negatively. The government doesn’t want to be at fault for causing people harm, thus, they rely on scientists to study the long term effects of marijuana, and the way people will be affected by the drug. Overall, because the government doesn’t want to harm their people, as they rather not allow marijuana be available to anyone.

Pro-Con 2:

Marijuana can help with pain relief, but although it may not be considered as addictive, certain people may become dependent on it. Unfortunately, everyone goes through some type of pain, either physically or emotionally. Similarly, there are certain illnesses that cause so much pain, no medication can help ease it. For example, many people who suffer from cancer may get some type of help from the use of marijuana. According to BusinessInsider, there is a chemical within marijuana that helps stop cancer from spreading. The article also mentioned that THC can help slow or shrink tumors-with the right dosage- however, researchers are hoping to continue their investigation about this (Loria, 2018).

This relates with the need of marijuana legalization because, if marijuana can help save someone from a deadly disease, it can help save the lives of loved ones and many others. This is something good, as it can help bring more support to those in power, as they will be cherished for being able to keep someone important in one’s life. To contradict, although marijuana can help one feel better from pain, there is a possibility they may become over-dependent on it. According to healthline, two factors within addiction are: mental illness and responsibilities (“Marijuana Can Be Addictive: Who Gets Hooked and Why”, 2018). From what the source said, those who have a lot more responsibilities are less probable of becoming addicted to marijuana, as they are busy with their jobs or family.

As far as, those who don’t have as many responsibilities, are more likely to become addicted to marijuana as they don’t have the same opportunities or relationships as those who grew up with better lives. Thus, the government doesn’t want to release the opportunity to get a hold of marijuana because it doesn’t want its people to become reliant on a drug. If people begin to become dependent on marijuana, it may cause personality problems, as, in the end, marijuana messes with the amount of dopamine within the brain, as well as, other chemicals (“Marijuana Can Be Addictive: Who Gets Hooked and Why”, 2018).

Pro-Con 3:

Marijuana will not kill you, but there is a possibility that it may lead to other drug abuse, as some may consider it as a gateway drug. There are so many drugs that can lead to death due to overdose. On the other hand, not one person has died from a marijuana overdose- yet. According to healthline, smoking cannabis can evoke cardiovascular complications, [but] one is unable to attribute ?Cause of Death’ [to smoking cannabis] (“Marijuana: Can it Kill You?”, 2018).

By the article including this, it demonstrates how, although people may believe that marijuana may kill someone, there is a higher chance of something else within the body causing the death. Marijuana, according to researchers, cannot be considered as a death inducing drug. To add on, due to the fact that marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug- the same as heroin- many believe that, smoking marijuana will lead to abuse of different harder drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are findings that correlate to the idea that marijuana is a gateway drug; For example, the finding that marijuana leads to vulnerability of addiction (National Institute on Drug Abuse). However, people tend to forget that many factors play into one’s decision when it comes to taking drugs, for example, one’s environment, social interaction, relationships, etc.

Thus, although marijuana may be considered as a gateway drug by many, trying harder drugs depends on the person and the way they let themselves be influenced to take other drugs. My opinion: I believe marijuana should be legalized because, as previously said, both the government and the people will be benefiting from it. Also, if marijuana were to become legalized, there will be less people in jail, as those who were convicted of carrying marijuana will be let out, and jails won’t be so full. Similarly, marijuana seems to help people a lot more than harm them.

If researchers are able to get a hold of marijuana, and continue to study it, they will be able to find tremendous things about marijuana that we do not know now; There may be a chance that marijuana can save lives- but we won’t know until we actually begin to work with it. Of course, when marijuana becomes legalized, there can be rules put in place that can help keep certain age groups away from the drug- but, in reality, there can only be so much done to prevent adolescents from getting a hold of it. To summarize, I believe marijuana has its good and bad, but the good outweighs it all.

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