Should Marijuana Be Legalized? Marijuana is a topic discussed upon many individuals. Should it be legalized throughout the United States? What will be the outcome of this and who will it affect? "The controversial topic of "medical marijuana" is surrounded with confusing and contradicting information." (Benavie 1) Many say that it has medical benefits and should be made legal. While many say that it can be abusive and addicting and for that reason it should remain illegal.
The main concerns of legalizing marijuana in the U.S. are prohibition, decriminalization, and legalization. Prohibition focuses on the federal policy toward marijuana. Decriminalization is referring to elimination and to reduce marijuana. Lastly, legalization is a big step and everyone thinks that would change the status in our society. (Joffe 632) There are three main reasons why marijuana should remain illegal. The first reason is the harm that it would cause to others and the individual themselves. The second reason is that it would be very unprofessional if it was legal. Lastly, another reason why it should not be legalized is because it can be so addicting and is capable in doing the same damage that any other illegal drug can perform.
Marijuana shouldn’t be legal is because it destroys people’s lives and is the #1 drug being used by teenagers. Legalizing marijuana would have a potential impact on youth. "Pediatricians, too, are not of one mind in their views regarding the legal status of marijuana." ( Joffe 632) Many people want marijuana legalized and most of these people are adults. But no one is thinking about the adolescents and what effects it can have on them. Alcohol is legal for people 21 or older and tobacco products are legal for those that are 18 or older but adolescents even younger than this are abusing these substances and the legalization of marijuana could result in many advertisements targeting these adolescents. Why would we want to legalize and advertise something that can cause so much harm to these individuals. Legalizing marijuana would mean putting many lives at risk. " A recent study noted that cigarette advertising in youth-oriented magazines increased by $54 million after the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Another study showed that advertising of youth brands of cigarettes (smoked by less than 5% of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in 1998) in youth-oriented magazines increased from 1995 to 2000". (Joffe 635) Legalizing marijuana would just cause more harm to everyone. The same way that cigarettes are legal and they cause cancer. Everyone that is smoking them is just giving other people health risks. We are constantly being exposed to second hand smoke and we notice but choose to do nothing about it. If marijuana was legal everyone would be doing it which means more people would be exposed to it. Marijuana has short term risks like loss of coordination, sight, sounds, touch, and an increased heart rate. People might think it is not bad at the time but it has long term risks like lung cancer, impaired memory, and disorientation. Legalizing marijuana would have these effects on people and possibly make our society dangerous.
The legalization of marijuana would be unprofessional and is why it is a reason why it should remain illegal. For example, if marijuana was legal it would be available to everyone including teachers, doctors, business workers, or any type of person with a job. When you have a job you are supposed to be trying your best to achieve. Would you want your children going to school and being in a class room with a teacher that had been doing marijuana? Or if you are having surgery and the doctor is high, would you even trust him in performing the procedure? These are questions that individuals need to ask themselves before they are in favor of legalizing marijuana. If there was a business meeting about companies or the stock market which are things that effect our world and living, as a boss would you want your employees not paying attention to you or sleeping. Marijuana is unprofessional for anyone and that is why it should not be considered to be legalized.
Legalizing marijuana would just make the world a bigger place for crime to take place. Everyone would get the idea that marijuana is okay to do and sell. Just by everyone doing it, it would make everyone have crazy side effects. Legalizing marijuana would only increase its use especially for teenagers. Marijuana causes harm to the body and the mind. It contains more cancer-causing ingredients than tobacco and is even more harmful to the respiratory system. Marijuana makes the heart beat faster, and it is found that marijuana users risk for a heart attack is four times higher within the first hour after smoking marijuana. The drug compromises the immune system and lowers the level of white blood cells that fight infection. Marijuana can cause acute toxic psychosis, panic attacks, flashbacks, paranoia, and depression. It can even trigger attacks of schizophrenia and bi-polar psychosis. Legalizing this drug would mean that people would be able to drive while they were on it which would cause harm to the person driving and risks others lives on the road, making the world dangerous.
Marijuana is a gateway drug that has high potential for abuse, it cannot be prescribed by a doctor, and is in the same category as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Many individuals depend on these drugs and don't even know it. Just because marijuana does not have nicotine in it, it does not mean that it is not addictive. Legalizing this drug would have an effect on our society and the individuals in it. There are certain thinks we need to think about before we would legalize marijuana.