Is Marijuana Really Safe To Use?

Essay #2

Is Marijuana Really Safe To Use?

The issue on marijuana has been going on for decades and the question is if marijuana should be legalized or kept illegal under the federal law in the United States. The issue on marijuana would take a policy stasis. There have been arguments that even if marijuana does not have any recorded deaths, it can lead to death when it is not used correctly or in the right environment. The brains of people under the influence of drugs are different compared to someone who is completely sober. Marijuana could be non addictive drug but sometimes people would abuse the drug daily. Since marijuana is very accessible, anyone could buy it of the streets, even teenagers. This would lead these youths to getting in trouble with law enforcement or even self harm when using marijuana at such a young age.

Even if marijuana is the least dangerous illegal drug, it should be used properly for medical reasons only, for the states that have it legalized that is. Marijuana could be a huge helping factor with certain health issues such as glaucoma or seizures. There are instances where children use marijuana as treatments for their epilepsy and autism, but marijuana is only used in extreme cases. It would be safer to use marijuana rather than chemotherapy because of the fact that chemotherapy costs a lot, it takes a long time to get better, and the amount of radiation that the body takes up for the treatment would rather hurt the body more than it helps. Using marijuana would also help as a pain reliever, instead of using pain killers or prescription pills to stop pain because they can be addicting and there is a chance to stimulate the growth and spread of tumors through the body. When people use marijuana, it should be used properly, especially for those who might need marijuana for treatment or to even slow down cancer cells.

There are arguments about how marijuana is illegal but somehow tobacco and alcohol are completely legal and can be bought anywhere, at a certain age that is. From the article “What Science Has To Say About Marijuana,” the author talked about the comparison of 20 drugs and the harms they caused to individual users. They looked into how these drugs affected society as a whole through crime, family breakdown, absenteeism, and other social ills. The results were that alcohol came in as the most harmful drug compared to marijuana, which came in eighth out of the twenty. “Federal scientists say that the damage caused by alcohol and tobacco is higher because they are legally available; if marijuana were legally and easily obtainable, they say, the number of people suffering harm would rise.” (Boffey 2014). Since alcohol and tobacco are already legal and accessible, they would have a higher harm rate. Since marijuana is not completely legal it would be harder to get, legally. If marijuana is completely legal in the United States there is a possibility that harm rate will rise because it would be accessible to anyone. It is unlikely for harm rate to rise because marijuana does not, “produce public health problems comparable in scale to those currently produced by alcohol and tobacco.” (Boffey 2014). Marijuana would be considered a safer substance than alcohol or tobacco but that does not mean it should be used irresponsibly.

The impact of marijuana use is different for every age and is used for different reasons but marijuana has huge health affects to young people who use this substance. “A long-term study based in New Zealand, published in 2012, found that people who began smoking heavily in their teens and continued into adulthood lost an average of eight I.Q. points by age 38 that could not be fully restored.” (Boffey 2014). Even if there are no current affects seen when using marijuana, there would be problems on the long run. Teens who smoke heavily before the age of 21 would affect how their brain will develop. The brain is not fully developed until the age of 21 and smoking a lot would make the brain vulnerable to change, especially how a person thinks for themselves. “The recent review by experts at the National Institute on Drug Abuse concluded that adults who smoked heavily in adolescence had impaired neural connections that interfered with the functioning of their brains.” (Boffey 2014). The long term affects of marijuana could have a huge impact on peoples health and how their body functions. The impact of the brain could also lead to hallucinations through the user because frequent users would take these huge doses of THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for a euphoric high.

The use of marijuana for medical reasons have great factors, especially when it comes for pediatric patients. There are instances where there are pediatric patients that use marijuana in there treatment. There was case where a child was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The mother of the child tried chemotherapy for the first few months to help treat her sons leukemia but it became worse. “At nearly three-years-old, Landon was suffering stomach failure, neuropathy, and excessive pain and vomiting.” (Butterfield 2016). The use of chemotherapy not only tries to help the patient but it also harms them at the same time with these severe effects. The next alternative the mother tried for her son was to use cannabis oil, which is highly concentrated marijuana extract and is commonly used when children can not cope with the severe side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. “Once starting the medicine, his red and white blood cell counts began to improve.” (Butterfield 2016). The mother said that taking her son out of chemotherapy would help stop the blood transfusions and platelet transfusions that her son had to keep on doing. Her son was not in pain anymore when he was using cannabis oil instead of chemotherapy and that he started to improve in health. The health of the child has improved from having severe stomach failure, pain, and vomiting into having the potential to eat and walk again. Marijuana can always be looked into as an alternative treatment instead of going through something like chemotherapy that might make the matters worse.

Marijuana can be dangerous to users who are young, especially when their bodies and brain are still under development. When these young users keep on smoking everyday they would affect their own neural connections and their function of their brain. It would be best for the younger audience to stay away from marijuana so that their bodies could fully develop and that they could live a healthier life without smoking or consuming drugs. Also marijuana should be mostly used medically especially for patients who need the treatments or who need to prevent cancer cells from reproducing. Even if there are both good and bad affects of marijuana, marijuana should be used responsibility and for good reasons, instead of using it for self pleasure.

References:

Boffey, P. M. (2014, July 30). Opinion | What Science Says About Marijuana.

Butterfield, D. (2016, May 10). Children and Marijuana #2: Conditions Treated With Cannabis.

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