Marijuana is a very controversial substance, which has been a debate in California on whether it should be legalized or not. The substance, which is derived from dried cannabis Sativa or cannabis India, has many uses, including medicinal uses, animal food as well as hemp for rope making. Marijuana happens to be an illegal substance that has the widest use globally. At this point, one wonders why such a substance is termed illegal, yet it seems to have a lot of support from many people. In fact, the usefulness of marijuana as a medicine and rope-making raw material makes it hard to understand why this substance should not be legalized.
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The effects that marijuana has on the body are both positive and negative. Since it can decrease intraocular pressure, perhaps it would be wise to consider its use for such a purpose though it leads to reddening of the eyes. The muscle relaxation effect of marijuana also appears to be a positive effect that should be used to argue for its legalization. The negative effects on the body should also be factored in deciding whether to legalize marijuana or not. For instance, an increased heart rate may not be desirable for patients with cardiovascular diseases, not to mention skin sensation effects.
Marijuana Legalization Issue
California’s proposition that marijuana is legalized for persons aged 21 and older is a sensitive issue. It is hard to ensure that those who are in possession of marijuana do not have more than 28.5 grams. The difficulty in assessing this quantity would imply that people would consume more than 1 oz, more so considering the addictive effects of marijuana. Arguing that marijuana should be legalized and be used in non-public places like personal residential areas does not mean that it would not affect others. Second-hand marijuana smoke may affect family members who live in the same residence with a marijuana smoker.
The control of cannabis is further complicated by arguing that one can grow cannabis in the space of 2.3m2 for personal use. It implies that persons who have more than one private residence may grow marijuana in all the residents, thus exceeding the allowed 25 square feet. This, therefore, means that legalizing marijuana using the above control measures is not an effective way of preventing the adverse effects of the substance.
While it is true that marijuana can raise a substantial amount of revenue from excise tax, sales taxes and save millions of money used in law enforcement of marijuana-related offenses, these benefits may not be worth in the long-run. Given that marijuana has serious health problems, including increased road accidents, as well as increasing the likelihood of use of harder drugs, these benefits may be neutralized later. A large percentage of the population would be jeopardized, thus requiring a lot of money for rehabilitation, not to mention physical and mental impairment that would reduce people’s productivity.
Given the several advantages of marijuana use, such as medical use, the use of marijuana should be restricted for such purposes only. Going with the difficulties in controlling marijuana use and the possible harms, I think marijuana should not be legalized in California. However, going with the recent polls (46% for “Yes” against 54% for “No”), it is likely that the proposition will be passed in 2012. It is, therefore, important to review the requirements for legalization and implement more stringent rules that will require marijuana to be used only when necessary. Otherwise, our children will be in danger of the harmful direct and indirect effects of marijuana.