Why Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized Essay
Legalization or decriminalization of marijuana is opposed by a vast majority of American’s and people around the world. Leaders in Marijuana prevention, education, treatment, and law enforcement adamantly oppose the substance, as do many political leaders. However, pro-drug advocacy groups, who support the use of illegal drugs, are making headlines. They are influencing decision making thru legislation and having a significant impact on the national policy debate here in the United States and in other countries.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is the oldest drug user lobby in the U. S. It has strong ties to the Libertarian party, the Drug Policy Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union. These groups use a variety of strategies, which range from outright legalization to de facto legalization under the guise of medicalization, control legalization through taxation. However, drugs like marijuana are addicting and should not be legalized. Marijuana should not be legalized because it can cause overwhelming damage to the society as a whole.
As Bennett says, “Drug use- especially heavy drug use- destroys human character. It destroys dignity and autonomy, it burns away the sense of responsibility, it subverts productivity, it makes a mockery of virtue” (Husak 663). People throughout the nation have witnessed law changes regarding the possession of marijuana to its physical and social effects on society. Marijuana should not be legalized for the following reasons namely for the legal, physical, and social aspects of its use. Since the late 1970s different states have been changing laws of decriminalization of marijuana.
Many states did not decriminalize and often dropped charges for possessing small amounts of marijuana. President Carter even recommended decriminalization of possessing marijuana in an attempt to spread his thoughts on how laws provide the worse consequences than the effects of the drug itself. However, in the early 1980s various states outlawed decriminalization despite marijuana activists having tired to not criminalize the use and possession of marijuana. Research has shown various physical effects of marijuana on the body. Marijuana is considered to relieve pain, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
But, its use does impair memory and cause depression. There are also many social effects of marijuana on society. Some of the social problems of not prohibiting the drug are that its use decreases productivity and cause uncontrollable aggression. Most importantly, marijuana has a large impact on motivation and is easily attainable. People can easily cross-state borders and manage to bring marijuana back to state of residence. All of the legal, physical and social aspects of not legalization marijuana can affect the society in a big manner based on moral grounds.
The legal aspects or laws associated with the use and possession of marijuana is very controversial but not legalizing this drug holds good position on moral grounds. Some people view punishments as inappropriate and legalizing marijuana would send the wrong message to the public. On the other hand, many people prefer to maintain the status of decreasing the harm in society in an attempt to create a drug free America. Before the 1900s, marijuana was legal in the United States. In the early 1900s, city and state regulations developed far before federal laws developed against this drug.
Texas was one of the first states to prohibit the drug by 1919 and about thirty other states outlawed the use of marijuana by 1939. By 1940, every state had outlawed the drug and its possession would prove to have identical penalties to the of heroin possession. By 1978 at least ten states decriminalized possession of marijuana and this sent a wrong message to the public. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the early 1980’s developed marijuana eradication programs. However, there was still a lot of exposure of marijuana to minors.
The argument is that the majority of the harm done to society by the consumption of currently illegal drugs is caused not by their properties and its effect on someone’s body, but by their prohibition and thus resulting to criminal activity. Our economic statue tells us that a supply rapidly grows up to meet a demand. But if the demand is widespread then suppression is useless. It is harmful to society because since by raising the price of the drug in question, it raises the profits of middlemen, which gives them an even more powerful drug to stimulate demand further.
The vast profits to be made from cocaine and heroin, which would be cheap and easily affordable, even by the poorest in affluent societies if they were legal. Besides, it is well known the illegality in itself has attraction for youth already inclined to disaffection. According to some legal moralist, marijuana should be outlawed because it is wrong. Barry McCaffery, a former drug czar, argues that drugs are wrong because they are destructive of a person’s physical, emotional, and moral strength. Legal moralists even say that a change in drug policies because it sends a wrong message to people.
Marijuana had been banned throughout the country of the U. S. in the year of 1937. Then it was decriminalized in the year of 1972 as it became popular among young adults. And later, its possession meant imprisonment, penalties, and eventually its users committed felonies. The social aspects of not legalizing marijuana are mostly associated with the behavioral changes in a person. Consumption of marijuana has the effect of decreasing men’s freedom by circumscribing the range of their interests. It refers to their ability to pursue more important human goals, such as raising a family and fulfilling civic obligations.
Very often it impairs their ability to pursue gainful employment and promotes parasitism. Furthermore, far from being expanders of consciousness, most drugs severely limit it. One of the most striking characteristics of drug takers is their intense and tedious self-absorption; and their journeys into inner space are generally forays into inner vacuums. We lose remarkably little by not being permitted to take drugs. So there are reasons to doubt whether the crime rate would fall quite as dramatically as suggested due to its legalization. Legalizing pot would lead to increase in consumption.
According the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), long-term marijuana use can be addicting to people. Research shows that marijuana smokers had problems regarding their studies in school, which affected their skills of memory and concentration. Institute cited research show that marijuana is less addicting but the use of this drug makes people try more addicting drugs like cocaine and alcohol. If laws were softened on marijuana use people will start consuming more thinking that it is legal and lots of people already think that pot is harmless so they would frequently smoke it.
On the other hand many people argue that legalizing marijuana will not only benefit people in need for medical recovery but also boost up the economy from downfall. Many people oppose not legalization of marijuana because they believe that it is their constitutional right to do so. They argue if alcohol can be made legal in the United States then, marijuana should also be legalized. They are both harmful substance that can lead to death or problems in coping with life. United States was discovered and is known for freedom people escaped from various countries to U. S. to obtain their freedom.
And thus, people should be free to smoke marijuana if want to. Drug legalization will not only lead to a bad and immoral society, but it will also lead to a society of people who are addicted to drugs and therefore will be responsible for the downfall of society. The present situation is bad, undoubtedly; but few are the situations so bad that they cannot be made worse by a wrong policy decision. Therefore, we must acknowledge the fact that drugs are not legalized or else we would create an environment. Legalization of marijuana may seem to be harmless but it has many more negative effects on people and society.
There are already treatment for diseases like cancer and epilepsy so why do we have to use marijuana to treat these diseases? Marijuana is already harmful and it just eases pain it does not cure it. There is also another reason of not legalizing marijuana, the fact that if legalized this drug then strong law enforcement agencies have to be in place and more tax payer’s money would be spent, thus eventually leading to increase in taxes, which everyone hates. There are so many alternative drugs like painkillers that can ease up pain too such as the gateway drugs known as benzodiazepines and barbiturate.
So there should be no reason for marijuana to be legalized. More people are affected by consuming pot than they are benefited. This drug is not that addicting but it sure does lead to using stronger drugs that eventually kill someone. There are so many different ways that patients can be treated without using marijuana so marijuana should not be legalized for medical use. Legalizing this drug for medical use will lead to increase in consumption throughout the country even when it is not needed for recreational use. This would worsen the country’s situation even more. We will be safer without the legalization of marijuana.