… About Marijuana Essay, Research Paper
Weed, pot, reefer, grass, dope, hash, herb, Mary Jane, ganja, skunk, boom, kif, gangster; these are all common names for the drug marijuana. Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States, which makes it a problem. Certain officials believe that legalizing this potentially harmful drug will solve the problems that are associated with it. But that is not true. In fact, legalizing marijuana would only make the situation much worse. Although many people argue both sides, it seems to come down to the question of “what will the people actually use this substance for?” Some say medical purposes, others say just for a quick high, but, no matter what way you look at it, marijuana is dangerous and it is not something Americans should have freely being distributed on their streets.
Arguments have been made that if marijuana is legalized then the gang wars and drug money killings that go on will stop, along with the black market and criminal activities that are related to drug sales and use. In actuality, most cases of drug related violence and crime are “committed not only because people want to buy drugs, but more often because people use drugs” (Claim I 1). Drugs alter a person’s behaviors, which initiates criminal activity. Police officers can attest to the fact that the use of drugs is often associated with violent crime behavior, not necessarily selling or buying them. In the long run, legalization will lead to increased availability, which will lead to increased use. I Increased drug use will make the statistics regarding drug related crimes increase; even if the drugs were bought legally. The Black market wouldn’t go away either. If the United States legalizes marijuana, they are, going to have to establish a set age for buying marijuana, and a certain potency that it can have. If marijuana were legal for persons over the age of 18, for example, then the drug traffickers would go after those individuals 17 and under. As for potency, drug traffickers would find ways to make their dope better than that legally allowed (Claim I 1-2). No matter what the government does to either help or appease the problem, it’s not going to go away. And other people would find ways to get their buck out of it too.
Legalization of marijuana would also lead to increased use and addiction. When the United States legalized alcohol and tobacco use it sent out a message to the people that it is something that is okay. Now, after long hours of research, the population knows that they aren’t okay and they aren’t good for you. “There are over 50 million nicotine addicts, 18 million alcoholics or problem drinkers, and fewer than 2 million cocaine addicts in the United States. Cocaine is a much more addictive drug than alcohol. If cocaine were legally available, as alcohol and nicotine are now, the number of cocaine abusers would probably rise to … perhaps 20 to 25 million” (Claim III 1). Alaska tried to legalize marijuana, saying that the state could not interfere with a person’s possession of marijuana in his home for personal use. Because of this ruling, many Alaskans took it as a signal to “light up”, especially the younger ones even though the ruling was for those persona over nineteen years of age. The University of Alaska did a study on it and concluded that the state’s 12 to 17-year-olds used marijuana at more than twice the national average for their age group. As a result, the residents of Alaska voted to recriminalize the possession of marijuana. For them, they believed that increased use was too high a price to pay for increased personal liberties. One of the United States’ 50 states has already tried to legalize it, and it turned out to be a failure. The people said it was a failure. With this knowledge the United States shouldn’t try to impose failure on the rest of the 49 states (Claim III 2).
The biggest and most argued reason for legalization of marijuana is that it supposedly helps people that have cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, or glaucoma. The truth is that as of 1991, over 12,000 scientific studies have been published on marijuana, and it has never once been shown to be safe or affective for the treatment of any condition. The National Institute of Health issued a report in March of 1992 stating that scientific studies never showed marijuana to be safe or affective as medicine and that there are much better and safer drugs available for all conditions considered. The National Eye Institute rejected marijuana, stating that there was no scientific evidence that it was safe or affective in the treatment of glaucoma. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders rejected marijuana, stating that no studies proved it to have beneficial effects on patients with multiple sclerosis. The National Institute of Dental Research rejected marijuana, stating that no studies substantiate the claims that it can work as a painkiller. Finally, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease rejected marijuana, stating that many of the carcinogens in its smoke would be a health hazard for patients with compromised immune systems and people with AIDS. Just what’s in that smoke? Over 2,000 chemicals such as hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, acetone, phenol, cresol, naphthalene, and benzene. Most of these chemicals are toxic, and yet the United States wants to make them available for everyday use. Marijuana is addictive, it affects the immune system, is known as a gateway drug to very harmful drugs such as cocaine, it can cause cancer of the lungs, mouth, lip, or tongue, Marijuana causes respiratory diseases, mental disorders like schizophrenia, and is a major cause in accidents due to it’s ability to impede coordination and judgment. Furthermore babies of a mother who smoke Marijuana can be born with leukemia, low birth weight, and other abnormalities. With all the negative effects marijuana has on the human body, why would the government want to legalize it? (Lapey M.D. 1-2) (Claim V 1-3)
Marijuana is illegal as of today and should stay that way. Legalizing it would only lead to greater health problems in today’s population. Also, legalization of marijuana, like the legalization of cigarettes and alcohol, only tells the people that it is okay for them to do it. Thousands of medical studies have shown that it does not do any good for anyone’s body and it should stay illegal to prevent it from doing mass destruction on the population. The world has enough problems that it is facing; let’s not make marijuana another one.
Claim I. 15 April 2001 http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/legaliz/claim01.htm.
Claim III. 15 April 2001 http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/legaliz/claim03.htm.
Claim V. 15 April 2001 http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/legaliz/claim05.htm.
Lapey M.D., Janet D. “Marijuana is NOT medicine”. 15 April 2001 http://www.fmr.no/eng/ecad-medicine.html.