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Mental Health and Substance Abuse Essays

Legalization of Marijuana The use of marijuana is undoubtedly one of the most important and controversial issues confronting society today. For years, various groups and organizations have participated in a widespread debate regarding what should be done with marijuana. Each of these groups have their own opinions and interests regarding this matter. In my personal opinion, marijuana should be legalized and regulated in order to prevent misuse and abuse. A major argument against marijuana is that it is an unhealthy, dangerous drug.
Often it’s referred to as the “gateway” to harder drugs such as cocaine. On the other hand, others contend that the drug can be used effectively used for medicinal purposes. According to the American Association, of Pediatrics, “The significant neuropharmacologic, cognitive, behavioral and somatic consequences of acute and long-term marijuana use are well known. Negative effects include those on short-term memory, concentration, attention span, motivation, and problem solving which clearly interfere with learning, adverse effects on coordination, judgment, reaction time and tracking ability. It is a fact that marijuana, when consumed in excess, can cause mild to harmful to life-threatening effects. This is the basis as to why it should be completely eradicated from being legalized. Although, studies show that marijuana, when used properly may have invaluable effects. In the following discussions, I will provide information to support why marijuana should be legalized. The first reason why marijuana should be legalized is because it may be used for medicinal purposes. Marijuana can be an effective alternative treatment for a range of conditions such as, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, insomnia, and depression.
Not only do medical experts and doctors support the use of marijuana, but many individuals also claim that marijuana has helped them with their illnesses. As Robert Killian, M. D. , M. P. H. , and HIV specialist states, “He has seen the drug help a number of patients with illnesses. ” According to IOM, “Patients such as those with AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapy and who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might offer broad-spectrum relief in any other single medication. Individuals who are sick should be able use marijuana for medicinal purposes instead of a more addicting drug (i. e Oxy, Colonapins, Perks, Vykes, etc… ) if they feel it cures their symptoms. For example, a college student who is preparing for an exam may take an energy pill to remain awake in order to study all night. In the same aspect, cancer and AIDS patients should be able to use marijuana for therapeutic purposes for pain relief, to alleviate symptoms of nausea caused by chemotherapy, and increase appetite.
Furthermore, marijuana should be legalized since it would cause a reduction in crime. Drug dealers harm and may kill for a deal that goes badly. If the government allows marijuana sale similar to that of alcohol and cigarettes then this puts drug dealing of marijuana out of business. In turn, legalizing marijuana would eliminate drug trafficking and the crimes associated with it such as homicide, street violence, and robberies. Also, if marijuana sales are regulated, its revenue can be spent towards education, counseling, and rehabilitation.
Lastly, supporting the legalization of marijuana allows people the freedom of choice. Furthermore, people are using and abusing marijuana for the excitement and thrill in doing an illegal activity. For certain individuals human curiosity causes them to live on the edge and do the impossible, and at times even violate the law. People should have the option of using marijuana legally. The government only has a right to limit those choices if the individual’s actions endanger someone else.
This does not apply to marijuana, since the individual who chooses to use marijuana does so according to his or her own free will. The government also may have a right to limit individual actions if the actions pose a significant threat to the individual. But this argument does not logically apply to marijuana because marijuana is far less dangerous than some drugs which are legal, such as alcohol and tobacco. Individuals deserve the right to decide whether or not they should use marijuana. The government should not tell individuals what to do as long as they do not harm others.

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