Legalized Marijuana: Pros and Cons While the public opinion of marijuana has steadily gained more approval throughout the years, the government opinion has increasingly become stricter, especially with regards to drug laws. The United States of America has recently had to reanalyze its stance on the matter due to many new medical studies, approval of marijuana in some states, such as California, and the repercussions given to the people convicted from the use of it. Marijuana continues to be illegal to United States citizens based on the health effects of marijuana use whether harmful or beneficial.
Thus, being the main argument about marijuana usage in this country and can this problem be that difficult to solve. With marijuana’s wide ranging side effects the government views it as not a probable drug to use in the medical world. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) more people are becoming abusers and addicted to marijuana use, “In 2008, nearly 26 million Americans (10%) aged 12 or older reported abusing marijuana within the past year and more than 4 million met DSM-IV criteria for abuse or dependence. (“Dangers”) These strong dependency issues make the medicinal use of marijuana an extremely sensitive and controversial subject. Since, marijuana is a plant that contains more than 400 chemicals constituents it has been said to cause many different side effects in each individual person such as altered judgment and decision making, increased heart rate by 20-100%, risk of psychosis, and cognitive impairment beyond the time of intoxication (“Dangers”). The US government does not want to take these risks and face them head on.
Medical marijuana has been seen to be given to any person who shows a slight problem and no further testing is needed to get approved. This is a major problem with the people of the United States because with such a strong drug being issued it should not be that easy to obtain. According to the Great Falls, Montana, Tribune, at an October 2009 medical marijuana health screening it was seen that people were going in and out of the screenings with a medical marijuana card in hand, “these aren’t conducted in hospitals or clinic settings.
They can be set up in a conference room in a local hotel for a fee of $100-$150 depending on income. ” (Croke) With these places not taking the screening process seriously they are extremely jeopardizing the likelihood that people who need it will be able to obtain it. These medical marijuana cards have also caused the crimes to occur more frequently, such as, murders for theft of the marijuana, robberies for the dope, and many more. Bill Croke states, “Small municipalities lack the law enforcement capability to deal with criminality related to the dispensing of medical marijuana. Simply stating it is not probably for small communities to have enough legal enforcement to carry on the load of crimes that will occur due to the dispensing of medical marijuana (Croke). While the government has a lot of issues with the legalization of marijuana there have been some studies that also show the positives of marijuana use. Studies have shown that marijuana use has not been proven to be addictive like other kinds of drugs. According to Professor Mitch Earleywine, “Overdose appears impossible, making marijuana not a drug comparable to alcohol, heroin, or cocaine.
Links to mental disorders can be linked to the user’s environment since research has not shown that use changes brain structures. ”(Wagner) With these studies showing that legal marijuana does not allow an addictive drug into communities’ shows that it may actually be a drug to consider. Another example of marijuana being used for good medical purposes is the studies of use that have shown improvement in the individual that has medical issues. There has been some use of marijuana on young children that show the positives in the drug.
A young, seven year old boy (JJ) was diagnosed with hyperactivity and aggressiveness and was placed on nineteen different medications his mother has now sought out the use of medical marijuana for help. According to JJ’s mother , “The most noticeable change is JJ’s ability to use words: now, when he becomes frustrated in class, he explains what the problem is and he is no longer afraid to get help from the staff. ”(“Mother”) As the use of marijuana has helped this young boy to achieve the goal of being a more “normal” child in the world it also raises questions of legality.
Finally, the world is in an uproar trying to figure out what the solution to legalizing marijuana should be. Legalized marijuana shows to be more beneficial than not. When the world has taken into consideration the pros of the drug they can see that they out way the cons. Medical marijuana should be legalized in the United States. The side effects of marijuana has yet to be fully researched and observed fully which shows “more about the culture and values of a given clinician than the actual negative consequences that annabis creates” (Wagner). Works Cited Wagner, Doug. “Drawing upon Science for Resolving Controversies Surrounding Marijuana. ” Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education 47. 3 (2004): 76+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 6 July 2012. Croke, Bill. “Legal Medical Marijuana Has Caused Problems for Local Communities. ” Medical Marijuana. Ed. Noel Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “High Under the Big Sky. ” American Spectator (2 June 2010).
Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 6 July 2012. “Marijuana’s Dangers Make It a Poor Candidate for Medicine. ” Medical Marijuana. Ed. Noel Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Marijuana. ” Topics in Brief. National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010. 1-2. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 6 July 2012. “Mother and son: the case of medical marijuana. (case study). ” The Hastings Center Report Sept. -Oct. 2002: 11+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 6 July 2012.