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Perspectives on Marijuana

Updated on December 2, 2017
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Patrick has been working as a freelance writer for the past 3 years

Perspectives

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Introduction

Marijuana is a mild altering drug (psychoactive) similar to hemp. It is obtained from the cannabis plant and is often consumed by inhaling the vapor or simply ingested in foods of drinks such as tea. Marijuana has continued to be one of the most controversial topics with some people supporting its legalization while others strictly opposing it. Unlike in past decades, more people appear to support the legalization of marijuana, this including politicians. However, those against the legalization have provided many arguments as to why doing so would be bad for the society in general. Such arguments as increased crime rates, addiction and poor health for users are some of the most common arguments given in opposition to the legalization of marijuana. In this paper, I will provide counter-arguments to explain why marijuana should be legalized.

Research findings


According to a survey that was conducted by Pew Research Center, the number of American adults who support the legalization of marijuana has been found to be on the rise. Whereas 37 percent of the adults are against the legalization, 57 percent of American adults feel that marijuana should be legalized. Compared to a decade ago when 32 percent of the adults favored the legalization and 60 percent opposed it, it is evident that attitudes towards the use of this substance have significantly changed and are likely to continue doing so. With increasing support, a good number of states in the United States have also been shown to be relaxing their restrictions on the substance with some legalizing it. According to the survey, support was not only found to come from members of Generation X (57 percent) but also from the Baby Boomer generation (56 percent). Given that there is increasing support for the legalization of marijuana from all the generations, it is evident that people do not feel that the drug is as dangerous as once thought, which should be one of the reasons to legalize it. No other drug has received as much support as marijuana, which is why it should be legalized.

According to a number of comparative studies, marijuana has also been shown to be less harmful when compared to alcohol, tobacco and various other illicit drugs. According to one of the studies conducted in 2015, researchers should marijuana to be the least deadly substance in comparison to other alcohol, heroin and cocaine. Comparing the lethal doses (amount used by a typical person) of these drugs in the study, marijuana was found to be about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. While the results were not meant to suggest that marijuana does not have its own effects when used, they were meant to show that it is not as dangerous as may have been previously described.

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More studies


From the study, researchers suggest that it is better to direct attention towards controlling how these other substances and drugs are used given that they present much worse outcomes when compared to marijuana. With such substances as alcohol and even cigarettes, there are laws that regulate how they are used. For instance, selling of cigarettes and alcohol to those who are underage is not allowed in addition to limits on how much one can drink in the event that they are to drive. Given that studies have shown that marijuana is not as dangerous as previously assumed, then it can simply be legalized and regulated as with other substances.

Marijuana has also been found to present medical benefits. According to one of the most recent analysis of a number of studies, it was concluded that marijuana can effectively treat chronic pains among some groups of patients. Although various government restrictions have made it relatively difficult to conduct extensive studies, the available studies have shown that marijuana does indeed have legitimate medical uses and benefits. According to the report, marijuana was shown to be particularly beneficial to patients with chronic pains such as individuals suffering from multiple-sclerosis. Here, the substance was also found to help cancer patients, treating nausea and vomiting. With such diseases and multiple-sclerosis and cancer, patients tend to experience pains and high discomfort from time to time. By using marijuana, studies have shown that it is possible to ease some of their pain and help them relax (Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana 2016). On the other hand, while the regular use of marijuana has been associated with chronic phlegm, studies have not found any correlation between the use of marijuana and cancers such as lung and neck cancer as previously thought. According to a number of studies, it is a beneficial substance that would greatly help relieve various symptoms of a number of medical conditions. In addition, early research has also shown that cannabidiol and its derivatives actually hold potential promise in such conditions as drug-resistant epilepsy and other psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and psychosis.

Researchers

What are its effects?

Unlike many other substances that are also illegal, marijuana has not only been shown to have much less negative effects, but also as having medicinal benefits. Given that it has indeed been shown to be much less dangerous to users and have medical benefits, there is no reason why it should not be legalized.

Apart from marijuana being legalized for medical purposes in a number of States, a number of States have also passed ballot initiatives to legalize the substance for non-medical use. As of 2017, it is possible to use marijuana in a number of States such as Alaska, California, Colorado and Nevada among others. In these States, the recreational use of marijuana has been allowed with regulations. According to statistics therefore, about 1 in 5 Americans will live in a State where the use of Marijuana has been legalized. In such States as Oregon, it is legal to carry about an ounce of Marijuana and grown four marijuana plants. This shows that also the substance has been legalized, there are regulations. This trend is expected to continue in many other States given that there is growing support for the legalization. With growing acceptance and legalization of marijuana in a number of States, both for medicinal and recreational use, it is evident that a majority of people would like to see marijuana being legalized.

Conclusion

Currently, studies have found that many more Americans (both the older and young adults) are using marijuana. One of the biggest concerns among those opposed to the legalization of marijuana is that it will result in many more people using it. However, given that it is also ready being widely used, with calls from many more people, including politicians to legalize it, then there should be no reason not to do it. Studies have also shown that the effects associated with using marijuana have been excessively exaggerated. Given that it is has been shown to be less harmful than such other substances and alcohol, it may be time to legalize marijuana and allow more research to be conducted to get more conclusive results on its medical benefits. With the right regulations, legalizing marijuana would not have extensive negative impacts on the society.

Should marijuana be legalized?

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© 2017 Patrick

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