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Legalization of Marijuana: Arguments For and Against Essay

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Updated: Aug 20th, 2019

There have been arguments about marijuana for a very long time now with some people supporting it while others opposing its use in the society. People have proposed that marijuana is very addictive and can cause dire health effects to people who use it. On the other hand, marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes since historical times. Nevertheless, marijuana has destroyed people’s lives and made them totally irresponsible.

It has also helped reduce the excruciating pain that other patients undergo in various health facilities. The crux of the matter is whether marijuana should be made legal and its use accepted in the society or not. If marijuana is made legal, people will not be restricted on how to use it because getting it will be easy. On the contrary, illegalizing it ensures that its use is at least put under control and many of its effects are not large scale.

The medical use of marijuana goes back to ancient periods when it was smoked by people to reduce pain. Additionally, recent studies in the medical field have also depicted the importance of marijuana patients especially cancer patients. There are several patients who have testified that use of marijuana has had an impact on their pain.

Scientific research has also proved that marijuana can really help in pain alleviation. While scientists are really trying to ensure that efforts are made to enhance the quality of service that patients receive, they hit a dead end in their research due to legal restrictions (Goldberg 251). Debates about marijuana in the political arena have found their way into scientific studies thus hindering any progress that would have been made.

The government’s argument of illegalizing marijuana is to deter people from harming themselves. However, it is rather difficult to determine what is good or bad for a person. People should have the freedom of choosing what is right or wrong for their lives.

The government’s role should be to limit choices made by people if the choices endanger the person’s live or that of others. But if a patient chooses to use marijuana to alleviate the pain he or she is undergoing, the act is beneficial to the patient and the community at large (Ponto 1081). As a result, the patient should not be compelled not to have a choice where his or her own live is involved.

Moreover, the argument that illegalizing marijuana will be beneficial to the whole community is wrong. Tobacco and alcohol are legal and their effects are not any different from those of marijuana. On the contrary, nobody is campaigning against tobacco and alcohol though they are both responsible for destroying lives. Marijuana is addictive and so is tobacco and alcohol. Why should marijuana be treated differently?

Currently marijuana is illegal and yet many people still have access to it. Each year numerous people are arrested for using marijuana and sent to prisons.

These people strain the government facilities which are already overpopulated. The government has to provide for the basic necessities of this people while they are in prison. The law also requires the government to put in place measures that will ensure that any person found using marijuana is arrested.

In addition, the government spends money to ensure that distribution channels of marijuana are curtailed. All these require the government to spend a lot of money thus increasing public expenses. Despite all this expenses, marijuana still finds its way into the hands of its users. However, if marijuana was legal the government will not only safe the money it spends but would also increase its income through taxing marijuana (Rabin Par 1).

Lets think for a moment the effect that illegalization of marijuana has had to our community. Young people still get marijuana whenever they want without any hindrance. It is also not possible to associate illegalization of marijuana with reduction of its use. Various studies have shown that the number of people using marijuana has steadily risen over the past years. Given that marijuana is sold under great secrecy, it is easy for young people to get it than it is to get alcohol or tobacco.

Distributors of illegal commodities usually do not care who they sell the commodities to. People who are below the legal age usually get and use marijuana as they wish. All this show that illegalization of marijuana has not met the intended objectives of reducing its use in the community (Rosenthal and Steve 108). Therefore, it is worthless trying to implement a policy that does not have any positive impact to the society.

Our constitution outlines that people have freedom to exercise their religious practices. It is stated that people should not be discriminated against on grounds of their gender, religion, racial background or any other grounds. Christians are allowed to enjoy their freedom without any regulation from the government and so are some other religions.

In the latter and spirit of this requirement, no restriction should be placed on the religions that use marijuana (caulkins, Angela, Beau and Mark 58). There are religions especially the Rastafarians which use marijuana as part of their practices. Illegalizing marijuana is tantamount to restricting religious practices of these religions.

On the same note, it can be proved that implementation of the law against marijuana is discriminative. There are many people who use marijuana in the United States of America and they are not restricted to the low economic class only. People from all economic classes as well as different racial backgrounds use marijuana.

However, people from the economically upper class are able to disguise themselves and slip the net of police. Consequently, it is people from low class and mostly the colored that are arrested and charged for using marijuana. The Whites usually find a way of getting themselves out of the hook.

However, there are people who are against the idea that marijuana should be made legal. As a result, they have forwarded several points to support their position. Firstly, the addictiveness of marijuana is not like that of tobacco or alcohol.

While addicts of alcohol and tobacco will stick to them even when it is hard to get them, addicts of marijuana will turn to other narcotics in case they are unable to get marijuana. Moreover, even when marijuana is available research has shown that marijuana users will be using other narcotics (Ponto 1082). It is therefore clear that legalizing marijuana will bring a lot of problems in regulating the use of other narcotics.

Secondly, the argument that marijuana is a good painkiller is insufficient to counter the negative impacts that the substance has to human life. So far the medical use of marijuana is not so common that it can make any impact in the medical field. Moreover, there are other pain relievers which are as effective as marijuana. On the same note, research can be done to come up with an alternative painkiller that would be effective but not addictive.

It is therefore not necessary to legalize marijuana solely on the reason that it has medical benefits (Rabin par 2). It is important to note that legalizing marijuana for medical use will open avenues for people to misuse it. Arguably, it would be very difficult to define what is meant by medical use. Furthermore, there is a possibility that people will fake different diseases so that they can be able to use marijuana. Additionally, cases of people taking too much doses than required would be very high thus leading to addiction.

It has been argued that illegalization of marijuana has not stopped illegal selling of the substance. But nobody has proved beyond reasonable doubt that legalizing it will do any good in reducing illegal trading.

As a matter of fact, legalization of marijuana on any grounds whether medical or otherwise will increase illegal trading because that will provide an excuse for illegal dealers to transport the substance. It will therefore be difficult to regulate the use of marijuana among young people and other unauthorized people if it is legalized (Goldberg 253). Consequently, abuse of the substance will be uncontrollable and this will lead to even dire negative effects.

On the same note, while other medical drugs are subjected to several stiff safety tastes before they are allowed to be used; it is difficult to subject marijuana to the same.

Of all the medical researches that have been done on marijuana, none has identified it as totally safe to be used for medical purposes. Moreover, legalizing marijuana would be tantamount to encouraging its smoking. It should be noted that marijuana has various negative effects to the health of people. Marijuana has been associated with tachycardia and motor impairment (Earleywine 76).

On the same note, research has shown that marijuana can lead to increased chances of one getting lung infections besides weakening the immune system. Moreover, continuous use of marijuana can cause fatal complication in older people. Similarly, marijuana has been depicted to cause negative effects to brain and nerve cells. All these negative effects of marijuana increases doubt on its benefits to society. It shows that there would be many negative impacts associated with the substance if it is legalized (Rosenthal and Steve 109).

There are those who have argued that illegalization of marijuana has had no effect to the society. The fact that marijuana gets its way into people’s homes and even high school children can get it cannot be swept under the carpet. But imagine for a second that there were no regulations on the use of marijuana.

Everybody in need of it could just go to the nearby shop and purchase it. More youth would be using marijuana than they do today. Cases of people dropping out of schools due to over indulgence in marijuana would be very high. The fear of being caught and imprisoned has reduced the quantity of marijuana that is distributed in the community. Legalizing marijuana will increase its availability leading to increased number of users both legal and illegal. Given the side effects marijuana has, this will spell doom to the society as a whole.

Though people are supposed to have freedom to decide what is good for their lives, other people’s affair should be put into consideration. Religion should not be an excuse for people to use harmful substances.

The effects of marijuana to secondary smokers should be minimized as much as possible. The side effects of marijuana are too many to be left unchecked. It is the role of the government to ensure the well being of all its citizens. In this regard, it is upon any government to ensure that any harmful product to people is not available for choices (Goldberg 249).

On the same note, it has been argued that legalization of marijuana will save a lot of money that is currently used trying to implement the policy illegalizing marijuana. The same argument proposes that there would be increase in government income from taxing marijuana. This argument is as wrong as it is misleading.

Research has shown that use of marijuana leads to increase in crime rates. When addicts of marijuana cannot get money to purchase the drug, they will turn to crime to get money. As a result, the government will still have to spend on keeping criminals in prison. Moreover, there should be some regulation to ensure that marijuana meets some specified safety standards before it is allowed into the market. The cost of implementing these regulations is likely to exceed the tax collected in the case of marijuana.

The social impacts of marijuana are also negative and many. To begin with, marijuana is known to make people violent. Therefore, many families will be marred with cases of violence thus leading to family breakdown.

Consequently, more and more children will grow up without proper parental care which will increase juvenile delinquencies. On the same note, it would be morally wrong to legalize a substance whose negative effects are well known to everybody. Moreover, legalization of marijuana will increase the chances of minors getting access to it.

This will not only increase cases of juvenile delinquency but also other economic problems. Similarly, marijuana is known to be addictive and makes people dependent on it (Rosenthal and Steve 107). Consequently, massive use of the substances will be problematic economically since most people will stop providing for their families just to have money to buy the substance. This will lead to low living standards.

Many people will give reasons why marijuana should be made legal. Alcohol and tobacco have been made legal so why is marijuana treated like it kills instantly. Some will argue that no study has directly linked marijuana with any of the health conditions it is suspected of causing. On the same note, it is a fact that marijuana is still being used even by high school students yet it is illegal.

Others will argue that it will be unfair and morally wrong to deny patients the chance of reducing he pain they endure by illegalizing marijuana. However, we should ask ourselves which option is better between getting alternative pain relievers and having a society where majority are addicts of marijuana. Clearly, if it was not for the regulation against marijuana, there could have been a disaster especially in schools.

It would be immoral to allow patients touse marijuana as a pain reliever knowing very well that the substance has dire impacts on their health. Consequently, legalizing marijuana will do more harm than good. In this regard, the subject of whether to legalize marijuana or not should be dropped.

Works Cited

Earleywine, Mitch. Understanding Marijuana: Anew look at the scientific Evidence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer and Mark R. Kleiman. Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.

Goldberg, Ray. Drugs Across the Spectrum. Stanford: Cengage learning.

Ponto, Laura L. Challenges of Marijuana Research. Oxford Journals 129.5 (2006): 1081-1083. Print.

Rabin, Roni C. “Legalizing of Marijuana Raises Health Concerns.” The New York Times 07 Jan. 2013. Web. <>.

Rosenthal, Ed and Steve Kubby. Why Marijuana Should be Legal. New York: Running Press, 2003. Print.

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