Marijuana is the most extensively used illicit drug in the world, which is a controlled substance, and it is illegal to produce, use, and distribute in most countries. Despite this, marijuana has been legalised in some areas of Australia (Joffe & Yancy, 2004). Consequently, the debate about legalising marijuana has been discussed over decades. Legalising marijuana not only has benefits but also drawbacks. Some believe that the drawbacks of marijuana outweigh the benefits, while others oppose this viewpoint. This essay will describe the advantages and disadvantages of the legalisation of marijuana.
It will be divided into two sections: merits, which include medical usage and reducing the crime rate, and demerits, which include the increased number of consumers, and serious physical and psychological consequences to users.
The first advantage of decriminalising marijuana is that it can be used for medical field. Countries such as Canada, United States, and Holland make some laws to decriminalise marijuana for medical use, or personal use. According to Greenwell (2011, pp.
68-69), marijuana can relieve several appointed pain situations, including cancer pain, multiple sclerosis, and generalised nerve pain. Marijuana can be beneficial for the patients who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy, and it also can assist HIV patients to reduce the nerve pain, which other conventional medicine cannot relieve (Arias, 2007). As marijuana would be able to use for medicinal purposes, HIV patients would have profits from legalisation of marijuana.
In addition, legalising marijuana can decrease the rate of crimes. Marijuana is the same as tobacco and alcohol, which cannot cause death and crime directly. However, as marijuana is an illicit drug, people’s selling and purchasing is a kind of criminal behaviour, and the price of marijuana is extremely high, which means traffickers can obtain enormous profits from marijuana trade. Therefore, traffickers may fight or murder others to gain marijuana. Cust (2002) states that if the trade of marijuana cannot be legalised, violent criminals and organization crimes will be more serious. Moreover, the supply of marijuana cannot satisfy the requirement, which makes the price of marijuana artificially high (Cust, 2002). Thus, if marijuana is legalised, the price of marijuana may decline. In Cust’s (2002) opinion, the price of marijuana, after legalisation, will decrease from 250 dollars each ounce to approximately 20 dollars an ounce. As marijuana is illegal, the fact is that the police cannot know the trafficking, which causes more crimes. Hence, if marijuana is legalised, the government can establish a legal system to arbitrate conflicts between sellers and buyers.
In contrast, some think that there are some drawbacks of legalising marijuana. For instance, abusing marijuana can cause a great deal of physical and mental damage to users in long term. Just like other drugs, people can be addicted to marijuana. Marijuana users can gain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) from marijuana, which is the main chemical constituents in marijuana, and it can make consumers feel satisfaction by stimulating the brain and lead to addiction (Khalsa, 2007, pp. 237-252). As a result, the circumstance of marijuana abuse and dependence will be more serious. Khalsa (2007, pp. 237-252) points out that using marijuana over long-term will cause detrimental psychosocial and physical consequences, which include immune system and cardiovascular problems, and it can increase the possibility of having lung cancer. Moreover, marijuana may also impact the memory system and coordination, and heart attacks will be raised three-fold (Effects of Marijuana, n. d.). Furthermore, people will feel angry and anxious if they stop taking marijuana (Lewis, 2010). Therefore, if marijuana is legalised, there will be more people addicted to marijuana, and the number of people who suffer physical harm from marijuana will increase.
Another disadvantage of legalising marijuana is that the number of users may increase, especially, youth users. If marijuana is decriminalised, the price of marijuana will be declined, and people can purchase marijuana easily. Moreover, a survey shows that curiosity is the top reason for people using marijuana, which occupies 29.36% (Lee, Neighbors & woods, 2007). That means the legalisation of marijuana permits more curious patients to take it. In addition, people can be addicted to marijuana. According to Lewis (2010), doing any behaviour over and over again is addiction. Thus, the number of people who have addiction in marijuana will grow, and people around the users may follow them taking marijuana, in particular, teenagers who can be easily influenced by peer. In fact Joffe and Yancy (2004, p. e636) point out that “if marijuana were legalised, restrictions on the sale and advertising of substance to young people would prove daunting”. The third reason for people using marijuana is conformity (16.4%). Therefore, the decriminalisation of marijuana may distribute marijuana more simply and quickly.
To sum up, this essay has outlined the advantages and disadvantages of the legalisation of marijuana. Legalisation of marijuana can improve better for medicinal purposes, and the quantity of crime might be depleted by legalising marijuana. However, it can spread the consumption of marijuana, and have physically and mentally negative effects on users. Although marijuana can be used in medical field, the physical harm on users is serious. Consequently, the legalisation of marijuana is not a rational conception, and governments should handle legalisation of marijuana more charily.
Arias, D. C. (2007). Study shows medical marijuana benefits. The Nation’s Health, 37(3), 16.
Cust, M. (2002). Marijuana legalization is best next step: Final edition. Edmonton Journal, pp. A.11.
Greenwell, G. T. (2012). Medical marijuana use for chronic pain: Risks and benefits. Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, 26(1), 68.
Joffe, A., & Yancy, W. S. (2004). Legalization of marijuana: Potential impact on youth.Pediatrics, 113(6), e632-e638. doi:10.1542/peds.113.6.e632
Khalsa, J. H. (2007). Medical and health Consequences of Marijuana. In M. A. ElSohly (Ed.), Marijuana and the Cannabinoids (pp.237-252). Totowa, N.J: Humana Press.
Lee, C. M., Neighbors, C., & Woods, B. A. (2007). Marijuana motives: Young adults’ reasons for using marijuana. Addictive Behaviors, 32(7), 1384-1394.
Lewis, K. (2010). Marijuana mass. Scholastic Choices, 26(2), 10.
Lifestyle.iloveindia. (n.d.) Health & Fitness: Effects of Marijuana. Retrieved from http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/effects-of-marijuana-4653.html
Cite this What are the benefits and drawbacks of legalising marijuana
What are the benefits and drawbacks of legalising marijuana. (2016, Jul 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/what-are-the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-legalising-marijuana/