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Marijuana: The Issues of Legalization in the USA Essay

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Updated: May 15th, 2019

The legalization of drugs is one of the most controversial social and legal issues which can be discussed from two opposite perspectives. The legalization of marijuana is discussed during a long period of time, and the debates are based on the complicated history of using marijuana in the USA.

To understand all the possible effects of the marijuana legalization, it is necessary to pay attention to the definition and classification of the drug with references to determining the most important social and legal aspects of the problem. Marijuana, or cannabis, is the specific mixture made of the plant Cannabis sativa, and it can be classified as the psychoactive drug which changes the person’s mood and often relives pain.

The active constituent of Cannabis sativa is also used to make the synthetic variant of this drug. Thus, marijuana can affect people negatively while changing their moods and provoking socially deviant behaviors, and it can influence the people’s physical and psychological state, relieving pain and helping cope with depressions.

From this point, focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing marijuana in the USA, it is necessary to pay attention to the potential causes and effects of the process. In spite of the fact the discussion is still not resolved, it is possible to observe the changes of the public’s attitude to the issue because of becoming more tolerant toward the usage of marijuana within the society.

The chain of causes and effects associated with the legalization of marijuana can be rather long. It is stated that marijuana influences the changes in the people’s moods while affecting their brain processes. As a result, people can feel relief from pain, the raise of the mood, and the improved appetite.

These effects of marijuana are significant for medicine (Klofas). The opposite side of the process is the uncontrolled behavior, anxiety, apathy, anger, and the negative effect on the cognitive processes. Thus, discussing the usage of marijuana as a cause, it is possible to observe the variety of different effects on the mental and physical health of people.

Furthermore, these effects are more intensive in relation to youth because young people’s organisms are more exposed to the harmful effects of marijuana. The medicinal value of marijuana is one of the key arguments to speak about the legalization of the drug in definite states of the country (Klofas). The usage of marijuana becomes more typical for the American society that is why the definite examples of tolerance in relation to the question can be observed.

Moreover, “legalizing marijuana for medical purposes has … higher levels of support, according to Gallup, with 70 percent of Americans favoring making cannabis legally available for doctors to prescribe” (Steve 42). From this point, marijuana can be classified as the medicine and drug at the same time. The problem is in the fact that the negative social consequences of marijuana legalization for medical needs should be taken into consideration.

Paying attention to the social effects of legalizing marijuana, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that today marijuana can be discussed as medicine rather than drug, and this situation can influence the changes in the social visions of the problem. According to Steve, “an October 2010 Gallup Poll showed 50 percent opposed to legalizing pot and 46 percent in favor.

The number of people favoring legalization has grown to today’s 46 percent from 12 percent 40 years ago” (Steve 41). The opinions of the public are divided, and both the variants of the situation’s resolution are discussed as equally possible. The effects of resolving the problem in relation to this or that opposite point of view can be rather difficult to predict.

The usage of marijuana is based on the necessity to reduce the social anxiety and raise the people’s moods as a kind of medicine prescribed by a doctor. On the one hand, the effect is the stimulation of the person’s activity and the improvement of his or her social relations. On the other hand, marijuana can provoke the intensification of the social anxiety with references to the high-risk population (Buckner et al.).

Marijuana which is used to decrease anxiety can provoke more anxiety and socially deviant behaviors. It is rather difficult to find the balance of the cause and effects while using drugs to change the people’s moods.

Being impossible to control their reactions and behaviors while using marijuana, a lot of young people provoke workplace incidents, and they become the victims in the car accidents. People are also inclined to agree that marijuana causes the antisocial behavior and make people commit a crime because the drug affects the person’s significant addiction.

There are also effects of using marijuana not only on the social life but also on the economic development of the country. The legalization of marijuana can lead to changing the economic situation because of taxing the production and selling the drug. It is necessary to look at the problem from the larger perspective.

The popularity of marijuana in the USA leads to the worsening of the situation in such countries where the production of this drug is one of the main illegal financial sources. Marie Javdani states that the demand for drugs in the USA directly affects the development of the drug production in Colombia, and this process influences the lives of millions of people (Javdani). That is why, it is impossible to limit the discussion of the marijuana legalization only to the issues of its medical use and effects on the people’s health and behavior.

The drug production depends on the complicated system in which many people are involved. The addiction of one person can affect the lives of many other people because of their economic and social connections. If the legalization of marijuana becomes the reality in the USA, people should be ready for a lot of unexpected positive and negative effects because the controversy of the question makes it difficult to discuss the issue only from one perspective.

It is possible reduce the spread of the drugs in the American society, but there are several approaches to the problem. If marijuana is legalized, patients with cancer receive the necessary relief, the psychological and physical recreational practices become more effective, and the country’s economy becomes stronger.

However, if marijuana is legalized, it becomes more available for different social and age groups, and the risk of the uncontrolled and violent social behaviors increases. From this point, if the legalization of marijuana can be discussed as the cause, the effects can be numerous. That is why, the opinions of the American public are not only different, but they are rather opposite.

Works Cited

Buckner, Julia, Richard Heimberg, Russell Matthews, and Jose Silgado. Marijuana-Related Problems and Social Anxiety: The Role of Marijuana Behaviors in Social Situations. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 26.1(2012): 151-156. Print.

Javdani, Marie. “Plata o Plomo: Silver or Lead”. The Bedford Reader. Ed. Dorothy Kennedy and Jane Aaron. USA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. 448-455. Print.

Klofas, John. The Social and Legal Effects of Medical Marijuana: State Legislation and Rules. 2012. PDF file. Web.

Steve, Elliott. The Little Black Book of Marijuana: The Essential Guide to the World of Cannabis. USA: Peter Pauper Press, Inc., 2011. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Marijuana: The Issues of Legalization in the USA." May 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/marijuana-the-issues-of-legalization-in-the-usa/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Marijuana: The Issues of Legalization in the USA'. 15 May.

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