Marijuana Legalization Essay Paper


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Marijuana Legalization

Possession, selling and use of marijuana is illegal in many countries because of the adverse effects of the drug on the body. Nevertheless, there has been much debate recently in several countries concerning the legalization of the drug. In the United States, for example, there is division as to whether marijuana should be legalized in all states for both recreational use and medical applications or not. However, in some states like Colorado and California, cannabis is already legal for both recreational and medical use, but in limited amounts. However, cannabis should not be legalized.

Cannabis is a drug that has long-term adverse effects on the health of the abusers. These effects include an increased body mass index, insulin resistance, increased appetite and increased waist circumference (Thomson & Hay, 2015). The results lead to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Phyto-cannabinoids, which are intermediates in reactions involving cannabis activate the receptors of brain cells and inhibit release of neurotransmitters by the brain cells.

This leads to brain dysfunction in the short term; that may develop into long-term dementia. It would, therefore, be absurd to legalize a substance with such effects on the human body. Legalization of the drug would inevitably cause an increase in the use of the drug among the youth, hence increased health hazards (Davis et al., 2015).

Marijuana heightens aggressive and antisocial behavior among the users. Legalization of marijuana would increase its consumption and, therefore, lead to increased occurrence of crime and other social vices (Polini et al., 2009). In Colorado, for example, a case study shows that legalization of the drug has resulted in increased use among teens, educational problems in high schools and middle schools.

There has also been an increase in emergency room visits resulting from consumption and abuse by children and their pets, causing sickness and even death (Hurley, & Mazor, 2013). Cannabis related hospital admissions rose by 32 percent. Cannabis also impairs the judgment of its abusers and users leading to road accidents. Statistics shows that traffic accidents related to marijuana accounted for 20 percent. Marijuana also contributed to 32 percent of road accident fertilities.

It is, therefore, clear that even if marijuana is legalized with restrictions for both medical and recreational use, there will still be increased chances of regulations being disregarded as in the case of alcohol. Therefore, cannabis should remain illegal in the rest of the country and be made illegal in the states in which it has been made legal. This is with regards to the statistics for increased marijuana-related impacts within one year of legalization (Joffe & Yancy, 2004).

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Other people may argue that marijuana legalization is good for the economy, a fact that is evident in Colorado where 6 million dollars were collected from the trade of ‘weed’ with one year of amendment 64, but it would be incorrect to choose money over citizens’ wellbeing. Also, another argument is that cannabis legalization would be good for those who use the drug for cancer treatment. Therefore, it is beyond reasonable doubt that the drug has benefits. However, allowing citizens to vote on whether cannabis should be legal or not, while at the same time campaigning about the benefits rather than the negative side-effects is also incorrect. It is analogous to letting a patient treat themselves (Anderson, & Rees, 2014).

In conclusion, marijuana should remain illegal in states of the USA where it is not yet legal and be illegalized in states like California where money hungry local governments have conspired to brainwash citizens into voting for the legalization of the drug.


Anderson, D. M., & Rees, D. I. (2014). The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: How Likely Is the Worst‐Case Scenario?. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(1), 221-232.

Davis, J. M., Mendelson, B., Berkes, J. J., Suleta, K., Corsi, K. F., & Booth, R. E. (2015). Public health effects of medical marijuana legalization in Colorado. American journal of preventive medicine.

Hurley, W., & Mazor, S. (2013). Anticipated medical effects on children from legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington State: a poison center perspective. JAMA pediatrics, 167(7), 602-603.

Joffe, A., & Yancy, W. S. (2004). Legalization of marijuana: potential impact on youth. Pediatrics, 113(6), e632-e638.

Margaret, K. (2013). Legalization of Marijuana. Publications Oboulo. com.

Pollini, R. A., Romano, E., Johnson, M. B., & Lacey, J. H. (2015). The impact of marijuana decriminalization on California drivers. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 150135-140. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.02.024

Thompson, C. A., & Hay, J. W. (2015). Estimating the association between metabolic risk factors and marijuana use in U.S. adults using data from the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Annals Of Epidemiology, 25(7), 286-291. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2015.01.013

Ours, J. C., & Williams, J. (2015). Cannabis use and its effects on health, education and labor market success. Journal Of Economic Surveys, 29(5), 993-1010. doi:10.1111/joes.12070

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