Over the years, conservatives and liberals have had a lot of debate over the positive or negative results of the cannabis root, and it seems to have escalated over the past five years or so. Of course, Mary-Jane users promote the benefits of the plant use, while those against it mostly show the negative results. The purpose of this article is to show both the harms of benefits of marijuana so that readers will have a more informed mind.
Before we examine the positive/negative effects of marijuana, I do want to note one thing. Usually the argument against the legalization of marijuana has to do with how bad the effects are and how they harm the person. Protesters claim the harms are detrimental to the citizens of our nation and therefore ought to be banned. The government had previously outlawed the drug with this same supportive argument.
However, contrary to popular belief, it’s not only users of marijuana that support the legalization. Many people support the legalization of it because, they argue, the government has no right to tell a person how to run their life. I mention this, because we need to realize that the arguments do not even really attack each other. They are like two men who punch in the wrong places. With this in mind, let’s look at the arguments for the outlawing of marijuana.
1. Many argue against the legalization of marijuana because of the harmful side effects of marijuana:
- Increases heart rate; potential cause of heart attacks
- Slowed reaction time
- Impairs body movement
- Impaired memory and increases probability of brain damage in a baby when used during pregnancy
- Causes paranoia
- Causes hallucinations
(These are just some of the negative side effects of marijuana.)
2. People argue that an individual’s use of marijuana (and drugs in general) affects other people, therefore harming other individuals’ rights.
3. People argue with statistics from states like Colorado, saying the results of legalization are horrendous:
- DUI’s of marijuana have increased.
- Suspensions of students from school due to usage of drugs have increased, and the majority of those were marijuana usage.
- The hospital visits due to marijuana usage has increased by 57 percent
(These are just a few of the negative results from legalizing marijuana.)
4. Many believe that it is the right of the government to regulate and ban anything which might harm a person.
Now considering the statistics presented, it seems like it would be a good idea to ban marijuana. It seems to be a terrible drug and should never be used in the first place. However, remember, libertarians and anarchists believe the government should not tell a person how to run his or her life. They do not deny the negative effects of marijuana, but making laws preventing those things won’t fix the problem.
In fact, some say the reason there is a 57 percent increase in hospital visits or an increase in DUI’s is because they were not before recorded as a usage or drugs, since they were illegal. DUI’s and hospital visits were simply recorded as use of illegal drugs, and they were not tracked as much.
Anyways, let’s look at the other side of the picture.
1. Libertarians/liberals/anarchists believe that the government has no right to run a person’s life. That’s the person’s choice, and the government’s main job is to protect us from foreign dangers and to handle foreign affairs.
2. Legalization of marijuana in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, has not increased any negative effects on society:
- Teen/underaged use of marijuana is unchanged in states that have legalized marijuana.
- Legalization of marijuana has little impact on traffic fatalities. Basically, the fatalities that occurred before it was legalized hasn’t increased.
- It is very profitable.
- It decreases the chance of bad quality marijuana being sold and therefore causes less illnesses.
- The economy has improved.
- It’s generated new jobs.
- Recreational use of weed has not seemed to result in more kids using it.
(These are just a few of the positive results from legalizing marijuana.)
3.Proper use of marijuana has health benefits:
- It can cure glaucoma.
- It can stop the spread of cancer.
- It can improve the lungs.
- It can help control epileptic seizures.
- Can decrease anxiety
- The chemical inside marijuana, THC, slows the progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Eases the pain of MS.
(These are just a few of the positive effects of marijuana.)
Now, the fact is, despite whether the federal or state government bans usage of drugs, people are still going to use drugs. People debate whether the usage of marijuana has increased since legalization, and honestly, it is my opinion that it is up to the interpretation and belief of the individual. Those against marijuana will find where usage has increased, and those for the legalization of marijuana will find where usage has stayed the same.
For many years, I was taught marijuana is bad; all illegal drugs are bad. However, I have found that some drugs do, in fact, have benefits to them. I sometimes wonder if they were banned more for control or to benefit drug companies, or was the intent really to protect the American people? It is my opinion that benefits or no benefits, it is not the right of the government to prevent an individual from doing something they want unless it limits or inhibits or harms the rights of another person. This is why it is my opinion that children should not be allowed to access marijuana until they have reached adulthood, unless it is properly administered to them by a doctor for medicinal purposes.
I have discussed the topic with many people, each person has a different idea and opinion. Among the conservative and libertarian circles are many opinions which vary from one extreme to the other, but the main arguments are clear. The question to you, dear reader, is why? Why are you in favor of one or the other?
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