16 February 2016
Legalizing Recreational Pot
Heavy marijuana smokers are at risk for some of the same health effects as cigarette smokers, like bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses. Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States and around the world. Those who support its legalization, for medical or for recreational use, fail to recognize that the greatest costs of marijuana are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself. If the United States were to legalize marijuana, the number of users would increase. New users would not be limited to adults if marijuana was legalized, as regulations on alcohol and ...view middle of the document...
Some of the effects of marijuana may last over a long period of time or in some cases may even become permanent. According to a facts sheet given to the public by the National Institute of Drug Abuse,
A study showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing cannabis use disorder lost an average of eight IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The lost mental abilities did not fully return in those who quit marijuana as adults. Those who started smoking marijuana as adults did not show notable IQ declines (National Institute of Drug Abuse 2015).
The National Institute of Drug Abuse is providing further affirmation that there are long-term effects that should be taken into consideration when thinking about legalizing marijuana across the country. Many people fail to realize that long-term use of the drug can lead to “lost mental abilities” which would be a disadvantage to many users throughout life. Although the National Institute of Drug Abuse claims that use of the drug can diminish learning abilities in the future because of “smoking heavily,” they fail to establish just exactly what is considered heavy smoking to the public. Legalizing marijuana for everyone to use would create younger users since it would be extremely accessible to the public. Although marijuana is not as addicting as heroin or meth, it is still harmful to users who begin using the drug at an early age and could cause serious disadvantages for their futures.
According to a study, only about 9% of marijuana users become clinically dependent on the drug. Clearly marijuana is not as dangerous as other drugs such as meth or cocaine. Although there are accidents that happen while on the use of marijuana, it is rare that anyone actually gets harmed physically from the drug itself. My case is that more people who are exposed to something at a young age and that is seen as a social norm, there will be many users who would also begin to see other drugs as not that serious as people see marijuana today. This attitude could potentially cause people to want to sample other drugs because of their curiosity and by this would increase the number of drug users since people would become addicted to more serious drugs through the gateway drug they started off with, marijuana.
Besides the curiosity and easy accessibility, another reason the number of drug users across the United States would increase would be because marijuana is a gateway for other drugs. Since the legalization of marijuana would make smoking weed out in public and smoking in general a social norm, many users of marijuana could possibly fall under the curiosity of what other drugs can do and how they could make them feel while on them. The high that marijuana causes is what drives many people to start using. Although other drugs provide different types of high, the high people experience from marijuana may not be enough anymore if it were legalized throughout the states. Since...