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Should Or Should Not Legalize Marijuana Essay

Why Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized

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...

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As a member of a modern society I have seen that people want to legalize marijuana in order to make it a taxable product and therefore help the economy. Although it can be a good idea to boost up the economy the use of marijuana will be abused and more incidents will occur in our society. There is no sense in having more violent crimes occurring in society. The activists that are in favor of the legalization only see it in the way that will benefit them. They do not see the negative effects that can occur if the plant legalize and is be produced, distribute, and better yet consumed. Although the campaigners who want to legalize marijuana have reasonable arguments (the plant sales contributing to the economy), the legalization of the substance can cause various types of problems within society and therefore the legalization of the substance should never be an option.

The first law dealing with the usage of marijuana dates back 1619 a law led the usage of such plant be gifted to the farmers by making good usage of it by making it into hemp in Virginia. During the 1840s that’s doctors first acquired knowledge regarding medical benefits that marijuana has and it was legal to be sold in accredited pharmacies. Then the prohibition was enacted because the United States was afraid that criminal events would happen due to the sneaking of Mexican immigrants. Mexicans were accused of addiction to the plant because it made them become insane and violent which it was referred as “reefer madness”. Thereafter the plant came to a different chapter in the United States.

Before 1937, the distribution of marijuana was legal, meaning that marijuana was distributed, bought, sold, and consumed legally. On 1970 the controlled substance act entered the categorization of marijuana. Since then everything was made illegal federally and activists have fought to make it legal once again. This drug has been classified as a schedule I drug (the most restrictive schedule) trough out the United States meaning that it cannot be legalized because it has no medical benefits. Also this classification is because marijuana is a strictly controlled substance which meets the three criteria to be schedule like such. The three criteria are that is a highly addictive and very abusive, has no currently accepted medial use and the last one is the lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. These criteria are based on what the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has come up with.

The people that are most affected by the legalization of marijuana include every member of society. For example if a person is driving a motor vehicle while high, their ability to drive safely is no longer safe. "Based on the almost 12 years of medical marijuana experience in the state of California it is our observation that it has been destructive to lives and communities. Passage of any form of medical marijuana anywhere in our nation is bad public policy and will cause crime and public safety problems." (Dyer, MS 2008). Just how this person says that it’s a major problem for the safety of our society for marijuana to be legal others are in the same side he is. Presently we all know that smoking tobacco is bad for ones’ health however, second hand smoke is just as bad or even worse. What difference does it have by smoking marijuana? People that smoke marijuana will develop lung failure and the second hand smoke from this plant will not make any difference. Also by smoking the herb will cause the user to have cognitive impairment.

Marijuana “ is not a medicine. You don't know what's in it. If there were compelling scientific and medical data supporting marijuana's medical benefits that would be one thing. But the data is not there" (Barthwell, MD 2005). According to Barthwell, there is no data on how beneficial marijuana can be so how do people know that it has a benefit to reduce pain in some ill people. The people that smoke it yes they feel relief from pain because the plant makes them relax and forget about things but in the long term they will develop other problems such as lung cancer or brain damage. A research was done with two college students. One of them smoked a small portion of marijuana and showed that the short-term memory was affected afterwards. The second student smoked a big portion (15mg) and showed that it made his emotions change drastically and it made them reach a state of euphoria. Marijuana's damage to short-term memory occurs because THC alters the way in which information is processed by the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation. "One region of the brain that contains a lot of THC receptors is the hippocampus, which processes memory" (Serendip, 2008).
The legalization of marijuana will take a long time for people to accept and the people in our society against the legalization will not give up instead they will fight even stronger. Pretending like marijuana was legal we might see that the economy might get it a little boost on recovering but it also has more negative effects on our society. For example let see what can happen to the young generation (children) the future of America. By making marijuana legal a lot more people will smoke without worries of getting caught and a lot of these people maybe parents. Just how alcohol is accessible to kids because parents often drink we cannot keep them from it so what would the difference with marijuana would be? There is no way of stopping them from consuming the toxic drug. A lot of the children see their parents as a role model so if they see their parents smoking pot they will do it as well just because they will think that is okay to do so. Studies have shown that the use of marijuana in kids have a major effect in the developing of the brain. Dr. Vick Nejtek a research doctor who works on drug abuse at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth said “We know that marijuana use and chronic use, as it is now, in an adolescent population can cause extreme development delay.” Dr Nejtek also stated that “we know the myelin sheath around our brain cells acts like an insulator to an electric cord. When that’s stripped away, it can cause memory loss. It reduces our ability to concentrate and a seduction in brain cell activity.”

Another bad thing that can happen if marijuana is legal is that not only the public is at risk for incidents do to the influence of marijuana but also the law enforcement. The legalization of the plant will bring more crime to the cities of the United States and it will cost more innocent lives as well as peace officers of our communities. If the law will pass according to Senator of California Barbara Boxer crime will increase including car accidents. She stated "Senator Boxer does not support this initiative because she shares the concerns of police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials that this measure could lead to an increase in crime, vehicle accidents and higher costs for local law enforcement agencies." Also, not only would car accidents will occur but maybe property crimes will increase as well. The property crime will perhaps increase because addicts will steal in order to either get money to buy the drug of steal property, sale it and that way they will obtain the problem. There are several oppositions for marijuana being legal or not.
The opposition of Marijuana being legalized believes that by doing so the economy will get better however, it will not do too much help but it will create more chaos in the streets. It is argued that by legalizing marijuana and taxing it, it would help the economy here in California. The taxation will not help at all because it will be just an exchange of money. The people that will buy the marijuana will lose that money and people in the government will get the money but there is not help to California because the exchange of money will keep on going. In addition the government will have to create programs to help those who become addicts and more tax money will go there but where will the money come from. On the incidents created by marijuana use will lead to more waste of tax money because there will be more investigative work and health relative care. Instead of boosting up the economy with the taxes collected from legalized marijuana it will create more waste of tax money. Another argument about marijuana is that it has medical benefits within.

The opposition of the legalization of Marijuana believes that the plant has some type of medical benefits; however a lot of people will smoke it just to get the high from it and not because they need it. Medical marijuana already exists in our society and it is approved and proved that it does what it is suppose to do.

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001325
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1808
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103276152
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/04/boxer-legalizing-pot-increase-crime-car-accidents/
http://www.tcudailyskiff.com/legalizing-marijuana-cannot-save-california-s-economy-with-taxation-1.2309842