Legalization Of Marijuana Position Paper – Personal Statement Example

LEGITIMIZATION OF MARIJUANA If marijuana impedes kid’s biological and emotional development, why should it be made legal, especially when there is evidence the legalization may increase the number of kids who try pot in the first place? This is the obvious question that everyone has been asking, however, we must treat drug use for what it is; a health, not a criminal, issue. Yes it is harmful, and yes, it should be legalized (Morgan, 2011). First, the assumption of an uptick in use does not take into account countermeasures that can and should be put into place. Science-based regulations must be put in place and enforced effectively. Sensitization, education and other prevention strategies must accompany legalization, and they should be paid for by the savings and revenue that would come with legalization.
We must all agree that, with the illegal status of marijuana among many nations across the globe; it has not stopped millions of kids from smoking it every day, and it may stop many from seeking help. No one should be arrested from smoking pot (Morgan, 2011). Children should be educated and, if problems develop, immediately treaded so they do not escalate. Most people who are arrested for drug use and are not given proper guidance are likely to descend into more use. Those punished for using drugs are under great stress, which increases their risk. For instance, if they are expelled from school or lose a job, their prospects are fewer. This recipe creates not only more drug use, but more dangerous use.
If the governments are completely fine with alcohol and cigarettes, then there is no single reason why they should not legalize marijuana as well. A team of drug experts have in the recent times assessed the combined harms to others and the user of marijuana as less than harms posed by alcohol or tobacco use. The negative stigma of pot use has certainly made it seem like it is worse off, and since the drug is till illegal, the fact that only people who are willing to break the law will smoke has inevitably made it associated with a pothead culture (Selverstone, 2007). These are just the preconceived notions we have been brought up in though. Contrary to the popular belief, marijuana is not as addicting compared to other drugs. Dr. Sanjay reports “…marijuana leads to dependence in around 9-10 percent of adult users. Cocaine hooks about 20 percent of its users, and heroin gets 25 percent of its users addicted. The worst is tobacco, with 30 percent of its users becoming addicted.”
One of the biggest and most widespread arguments from marijuana detractors is that smoking marijuana will lead to using other drugs. As scientists’ points out, the studies that show people who use marijuana first before trying other drugs is correlation and not causation. People who go on to use harder drugs also tend to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol before trying the other substances plus with our current stigma on pot only people who are predisposed to being “outlaw drug users” are going to smoke pot.( Rosenthal, et –al. 2003) So it is ironical that those drugs that are legalized are the ones that positively correlate the use of other drugs that are perceived to be more dangerous such as marijuana; then it should be the vice versa further more research shows they are the most worst.
Truth on the negative side of marijuana should be told so that users should take precautions before they engage in the use like other legalized drugs; Research shows that marijuana causes structural and functional changes in the developing brains of adolescents. By stunting communication between brain regions, it impairs high-level thinking (Ruschmann, 2003). There is evidence that marijuana impacts memory, too, and, for a small minority of kids, can trigger latent mental illness like schizophrenia. Moreover, there are more reasons to worry about; the drug may cause something called amotivational syndrome, and adolescents who regular smoke are less likely to have learned to deal with their emotions, to weather disappointments and to work through difficult times in relationships. Long-term marijuana users reported poorer outcomes on a variety of life satisfaction and achievement measures, including educational attainment, than nonusers.
Until adults as well as the government become more effective in our prevention efforts, many kids are going to try pot. Consequently, some will smoke a lot, and some will become addicted. We must have a new conversion with them, treating drug use for what it is: a health, not a criminal, issue. We must legalize marijuana and take the decision to use or not out of the realm of morality and judgment. We must not stigmatize the victims; instead we must educate and nurture them, and build their resilience so they grow up healthy and safe (Selverstone, 2007).
Reference
Morgan, K. (2011). Legalizing marijuana. Edina, MN: ABDO Pub. Co.
Rosenthal, E., Kubby, S., & Newhart, S. (2003). Why marijuana should be legal. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Rosenthal, E., Kubby, S., & Newhart, S. (2003). Why marijuana should be legal. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Ruschmann, P. (2003). Legalizing Marijuana. New York: Infobase Pub.
Selverstone, H. S. (2007). Encouraging and supporting student inquiry: Researching controversial issues. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.