Blog Post #7: Marijuana should be illegal

Marijuana is one of the most discussed controversies in the United States today. Over the past decade states have successfully made moves in legalizing medical marijuana. A total of 29 states, more than half of the country agrees medical marijuana use should be legal. On the other hand, states have also been working towards legalizing marijuana at a recreational level. In the recent 2016 elections four more states have joined the movement towards legalization making it now a total of eight states. Although the road to legalization hasn’t been the smoothest the public sentiment towards marijuana has grown the past few years causing lawmakers in some states to take great caution and influence stricter regulations. Those against legalization fear the drugs many health effects, the negative influence on the youth and endangering public safety.

One of the main reasons marijuana should remain illegal is because of the several health risks. First of all, marijuana is highly addicted. For those who smoke marijuana know it is hard to quit and also don’t end up quitting. Research shows that one in eight users become addicted and for those who start before the age of 18 the risk of addiction raises to 1 in 5. Those who become addicted to marijuana expose themselves to the many short and long term effects on his or her brain. Directly after a person inhales or consumes marijuana, the THC affects specific brain cell receptors. This causes the “high” feeling that people feel altering one’s senses, time perception, change in mood, difficulty thinking, and impairs memory and body movement. Those who start using marijuana as a teenager jeopardize their brain development greatly. Weed reduces one’s thinking, memory and learning functions that are essential. For instance, a study showed that smoking marijuana heavily during the teen years and had an ongoing use lost an average of 8 IQ points. Studies also have shown that it has affected school performance negatively with a high risk of dropping out. Marijuana also comes with a handful of physical and mental effects. For physical it has been shown to cause breathing problems and increased heart rate. As for mental, it causes temporary hallucinations and paranoia.

If marijuana were to be legalized throughout America, there could be a huge harmful impact on the young generation. A decade ago when marijuana was legal throughout the nation, there was a negative outlook on the drug. Children would hear everyday, “don’t smoke it is bad for you and you will get lung cancer” and they followed. Now that public opinion has greatly shifted towards a more accepting sentiment it could affect young people and the future humankind. It is evident that using marijuana greatly affects your health and also much more impactful for those who start at a young age. If legalization continues to grow young people will be more inclined to smoke thus exposing themselves to the harmful consequences.

It is bad enough that so many lives have been lost due to cigarettes and driving drunk. Legalizing yet another harmful stimulant will increase those statistics greatly. Recent reports have shown that drugged driving deaths has escalated ever since medical marijuana has been legal in more and more states. And with states where marijuana is legal with recreational use those rates will increase even more. Bottom line, it is apparent that legalizing marijuana across the country comes with many negative aspects and in the longterm will hurt this country.

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