Marijuana refers to a particular herb whose female plant’s flowers, leaves and mature pistillate stalks are consumed in various forms to give psychoactive and physiological effects.
Cannabis has a noticeable psychoactive effect of 10 micrograms per kilogram of the body weight. Marijuana has some short term effects when consumed; these include amplified heart rate, lower blood pressure, impairment of the working memory and the individual’s concentration (Iversen 117).
The analysis of marijuana as a drug consumed in America has revealed that consumption of marijuana has both positive and negative effects. The findings of marijuana analysis influence the stand of many Americans leaving them with the question of whether to support legalization or illegalization of marijuana in America.
Why marijuana should not be legalized
Marijuana as a drug poses major problems to its consumers. These problems resulting from excessive consumption, poor processing methods and secondary smoke to non-consumers are numerous. These problems include;
a) Medical complications. Marijuana is known to contain toxins and other cancer-inducing chemicals stored in the fat cells of the human body for long periods of time. Scientific research has related the use of marijuana to damaged brain cells, malfunctioning respiratory systems and a decrease hormone production in both sexes. These effects result to the general reduction of the productivity of the human being. Therefore the legalization of marijuana might result to wide spread abuse and hence reduction in the productivity of many individual. This would waste the labor resource of the American economy (Boire 104).
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and secondary marijuana smoke are linked to the occurrence of miscarriages, fetal death and infant death. This effect of marijuana poses the health of the parents and siblings to the medical problem. Marijuana is also known to cause offspring biological abnormalities such as deformities in the sibling’s brain. Therefore the legalization of marijuana puts the American society at medical risk of having a generation affected by direct or indirect consumption of marijuana (Gerber 124).
b) Consequential complications. Marijuana has regularly been linked to narcotics such as heroin. Therefore, legalization of marijuana, which serves as a stepping stone towards hard drugs, would be promoting consumption of narcotics such as heroin and their resulting side effects (Kubby 88)
Marijuana has also been associated with crime. Many culprits in criminal activities are under the influence of marijuana. The effect resulting from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives a psychoactive effect, causes the individual to feel free and not restricted by any law. This results to breaking of the law. Therefore the legalization of marijuana would be indirectly promoting crime (Earleywine 118).
Marijuana has also been known to contribute to domestic violence since prolonged use of marijuana impairs reasoning thus affecting the problem resolving capabilities within the marriage. This causes couples to resort to violence. The legalization of marijuana puts the American society at the risk of seeing an increase in domestic violence and the related consequences (Ruschmann 67).
Why marijuana should be legalized
Marijuana as a drug poses positive effects, which can be exploited to improve the well being of the American society. There are various reasons supporting the legalization of marijuana. These include;
- Limiting marijuana use interferes with personal freedom. The choice of consumption or non-consumption of marijuana should be a right of every person. Since marijuana use is a "victimless crime", that is only the user who is harmed for consuming. Therefore, legislating morality would be interfering with one’s rights, which are unethical and unacceptable in the American society (Iverse 166).
- Legalization would lower drug related crime. Legalization of marijuana would help to lower the high prices resulting from the risks involved in drug production, transportation, and sale. Due to addictions, many consumers must raise money to sustain their craving, which may often lead to robbery and other crimes, to raise money required to acquire the drugs. Legalization would reduce risks involved in producing marijuana thus reduce the prices. These would result in a decline in secondary crimes carried out to raise money. This would to some extent improve the American society welfare (Ruschmann 82).
- Important medical benefits of marijuana. Marijuana has some medical benefits particularly in dealing with patients who undergo chemotherapy. Marijuana also helps in dealing with depression. Therefore, legalization of marijuana would allow exploitation of these medical benefits (Boire 140).
- It could be a source of additional tax revenues. A vast amount of cash is raised through government fiscal measures such as taxation on products such as alcohol and cigarettes. Legalization of marijuana will increase the tax sources for the American economy. The additional tax would help to provide the welfare needs of society. Legalization of marijuana will also provide employment to a large group of people thus improving the economic conditions of various homes (Ruschmann 94).
- Freeing of Police and court resources. The war on marijuana presents an expensive failure in resource utilization. Resources meant for the DEA, the FBI, and the border security together with other civil servants such as judges are wasted in the process of dealing with petty drug consumers. Legalizing marijuana would free these resources to focus on more key crimes like terrorism, rape and murder (Tvert, & Armentano 56).
- Destruction of the criminal sources of funds. The sale of marijuana provides many criminal groups with money to drive their activities. Legalization of marijuana would lower prices due to less risks and open competition; reducing profit for drug cartels who may include terrorists (Mathre 92).
- Marijuana has various other commercial uses such as construction & thermal insulation materials, the geo textiles industry and insect repellents. Unfortunately, due to the lack of legitimacy in the U.S., the growth and development of products coming from marijuana have been squashed. Legalization of marijuana would enable the exploitation of such uses allowing development of new industries and hence creation of labor (Ruschmann 105).
- Religious uses. Some religions in the world use marijuana in some of their religious festivals. Therefore, like Christianity and Judaism members drink wine on particular occasions, some Hindus and Rastafarians religions should have the freedom to practice what they believe draws them close to their creator. These people ought to have free will to follow their religion as they view it right. According to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution the government is not allowed to 'prohibit the free exercise' of any religion. Therefore marijuana should be legalized (Earleywine 45).
Legalization of marijuana poses a major opportunity to diversify the country’s economy further. This will allow the creation of jobs, reduction of crime and the increase in taxes to the government. The benefits of legalizing marijuana will promote a better society by impacting various sectors of society for example finance, manufacturing industry and the medical field. Therefore, marijuana should not be illegalized since marijuana only affects victims when abused.