Political Debate: Should Marijuana remain illegal?

“Marijuana should not be legal. It is illegal because of its ability to alter the physical and mental sate of anyone who uses it. While many may argue that cigarette smoking is legal and it does the same things, I feel cigarettes should be illegal as well.”

Marijuana should not be legal.

It is illegal because of its ability to alter the physical and mental sate of anyone who uses it. While many may argue that cigarette smoking is legal and it does the same things, I feel cigarettes should be illegal as well. However, that is a larger problem to tackle because of its large infrastructure already employing numerous Americans.

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. It has no accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.

Most are familiar with the short-term effects of marijuana: relaxation, blood-shot eyes and a desire to eat. Yet, marijuana also increases the heart rate 20 to 50 beats per minute. Sometimes, it may even double. The DEA Web site also states marijuana use occasionally produces anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic.

If these factors are no surprise, researchers have also studied the long-term effect of marijuana usage.

The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional and behavioral changes, and, contrary to popular belief, it can be addictive, said Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a 2001 report on marijuana abuse.

It also may weaken the immune system and possibly increase a user’s likelihood of developing cancer. Finally, the increasing use of marijuana by very young teens may have a profoundly negative effect upon their development, she said.

Volkow also said, the marijuana that is available today can be 5 times more potent than the marijuana of the 1970s.

Advocates for marijuana legalization have two strong arguments.

The first is if marijuana were made legal, it would be regulated like cigarettes and alcohol, preventing minors from using it.

Well, according to Volkow, two-thirds of an estimated 2.6 million Americans using marijuana for the first time were under the age of 18.

Similarly, the DEA Web site said that in a 2005 study, 16.5 percent of eighth graders, 34.1 percent of 10th graders, and 44.8 percent of 12th graders reported use of marijuana.

This shows that while it is still illegal to everyone, most of those who use it are already underage.

Marijuana’s defenders also argue it could be heavily taxed to help create government revenue.

The only response to that is this: do American’s really want to fund their way of life through drugs which may hurt our children and dumb down our society?