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Legalize marijuana…so people won’t smoke it?

Updated on November 10, 2008

Why legal marijuana might mean less addiction

Marijuana remains a very controversial drug, and those that argue for its legalization make several valid points.

The enforcement of the drug arguably does create more harm than it spares, and since enforcement has not been effective in reducing the supply, the demand, or the rates of use; perhaps it should be re evaluated at the policy level.

The risks of marijuana use

But because marijuana enforcement is fruitless, and those that argue for legalization make some pertinent arguments, marijuana is a harmful substance, and those that argue otherwise do a disservice to at risk youth.

Firstly, marijuana has changed dramatically over the last decades, and the THC content has increased exponentially from decades past, and with increased potency comes increased intoxication, increased social problems, and increased addiction. Yes marijuana is addictive, heavy use does create a tolerance and there is a withdrawal syndrome associated with a cessation of use.

Although many people who experimented with the drug in the 60's and 70's may regard marijuana as relatively benign, today's marijuana is a dramatically different drug, and causes many more problems than earlier generations of pot ever did.

Youth who smoke marijuana are at a greatly increased risk for serious psychiatric illness later in life, the use of marijuana is associated with cancer, marijuana does impair abilities to consolidate new memories, and users of marijuana perform significantly worse on measures of cognitive and memory performance.

More teens require drug treatment for addictions to marijuana than any other drug, marijuana is still significantly linked with experimentation with other drugs, and a greatly increased risk for substance abuse problems across the board.

We should legalize it, to help people that use it?

So although we should possibly legalize or decriminalize the use of marijuana, this should not indicate a tacit approval for the use of the drug.

Enforcement has never shown much promise in the ability to control people's personal use of intoxicants, and this seems unlikely to change in the near future. So instead of wasting precious resources on enforcement, we should be shifting those resources to programs that would have a benefit to the community and to drug users in particular.

People do smoke marijuana, there seems to be little governments can do about it, and instead of wasting dollars chasing down low level marijuana dealers, let's help those that need it. Let's close some jails and open some treatment centers.

We can’t make people not use drugs, but maybe we can educate them as to the risks, and maybe a greater percentage will decide not to gamble with addiction if they truly know all the facts.

We can't close our borders to the flow of drugs (we keep trying, and we fail miserably), so lets divert hundreds of millions of dollars a year in international drug suppression, and put that money into research towards better treatments and medications against addictions of all drugs.

We should legalize marijuana, but that doesn’t mean that people should use it. We should legalize it and use our resources fighting some battles that we have a chance of winning; and since enforcement doesn’t work, let's try something that might


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      Jorden 5 years ago

      You might want to consider checking your facts on the effects marijuana my friend, because this might be the most ill informed article i've ever read.

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      veron 7 years ago

      Don't be taken by smoking marijuana and the lies! look what it did to this guy here:

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      Comingo Ver 8 years ago

      I am in the same situation as No Importance and I completely 100% agree.

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      No Importance 9 years ago

      I randomly stumbled upon this article in searching the google query "Why Marijuana Won't Be Legalized" and this is one of the few pages that I stumbled upon. First off I'd like to say I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass or insulting in any way, but are you fucking DELUSIONAL? Before I'd start I'd like to recognize that I am a long time advocate of decriminilizing marijuana and I would love to see a politicians argument against legalize and regulating it. It does nothing but HELP the economy. The government CAN tax marijuana, they just have to prohibit you from growing it. See, it's the trade off we face; Considered in the same class as Cocaine and you run the risk of prosecution or consider marijuana legal and you're forced to purchase from marijuana suppliers being taxed every penny.

      I'd just like to say that I am 20 years old, I have been smoking weed religiously, if you will since I was 14 years old. I have never committed a crime, I graduated from high school like everyone else and am seeking a career as we speak. Don't give me that bullshit; it's the exact "stoner burn outs" that give us a bad reputation. Many prominent and "straight forward" thinkers were the greatest of tokers. Alcohol is and always will be more harmful than Marijuana. Tobacco is and always will be more harmful than Marijuana. I don't know about you retard, but when I get drunk I get hostile at the best of times; nevermind operating a motor vehicle. Which is why I for one choose to GET FUCKING HIGH over damaging my liver. If you'd just GET HIGH maybe you'd wake up and smell the coffee. I don't even know where to start on how delusional you are. All I can say is turn off the television, you sheep.

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      Butchie 9 years ago

      The goverment can't tax marijuana because anybody can grow it. You can't stop the hustle.