March 24, 2015
Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal
Throughout the years there has been several controversies in the United States from alcohol consumption, smoking tobacco, and even civil rights. In today’s generation there is a new controversy that is on the rise. That controversy is the smoking of marijuana, or weed. It has slowly but surely became a major situation all over the nation and states have one by one legalized marijuana in one or two forms: medical or recreational. But the question is, should marijuana be legalized for recreational purposes? There are many people who believe that marijuana should be legalized for recreational use. While legalizing this drug would be the easiest solution, there are concerns that prevent this from happening such as negative impact on your health physically and mentally, altering your perception, and just the fact that it can be an addictive drug.
”It would be malpractice to say that cannabis isn't addictive. Anybody who's experienced it, actually been addicted to it, knows how profound that addiction is...,” says Dr. Drew Pinsky. What he has to say is very true. Though I have not ever been addicted to any kind of drug, I have witnessed people who have been. Many, if not all, have claimed that they are not addicted to smoking weed because it is not an addictive drug. Drug addiction is a dependence on a legal or illegal drug or medication. Keep in mind that alcohol and nicotine are legal substances, but are also considered drugs. While marijuana is not addictive in the way that a drug like crack-cocaine is, heavy use can lead to dependence—defined by the same criteria as for other drugs. 1 in 10 people in the US who have ever used marijuana become dependent at some time, which is about the same rate as alcohol. Dr. Kevin Sabet, a drug policy adviser in the past two presidential administrations, says that physicians in Britain and the Netherlands—both countries that have experience with relaxed marijuana laws—are seeing withdrawal symptoms among heavy marijuana users that are similar to those of cocaine and heroin addicts. This has been confirmed in the lab with monkeys. So overall, you might as well just say that being dependent on a drug is the same as being addicted in my opinion.
Rosalie Pacula, co-director of the Rand Drug Policy Research Center, asks this question: "If pot is relatively harmless, why are we seeing more than 100,000 hospitalizations a year for marijuana use?” Statistics show that emergency-room admissions where marijuana is the primary substance involved increased by 164 percent from 1995 to 2002—faster than for other drugs, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network. Research results over the past decade link frequent marijuana use to several serious mental health problems along with your heart and lungs. A recent Northwestern University study found that marijuana users have abnormal brain structure and poor memory and that chronic marijuana abuse may lead to brain changes resembling schizophrenia and can also cause depression. The study also reported that the younger the person starts using marijuana, the worse the effects become. Though people may not think this is a big deal it is a serious situation, and that’s mental health alone. Doctors have proven that weed causes you to have a higher heart rate by 20%-100% for up to three hours after it has been smoked and is projected to have levels of carcinogens that are 50%-70% higher than tobacco smoke. Regular users are hit with devastating lung problems as much as 20 years earlier than tobacco smokers. British Lung Foundation finds that smoking three to four joints is the equivalent of 20 tobacco cigarettes. Why would you put your heart and lungs in that situation? There are situations that people deny aren’t as damaging when it truly is ruining their health. True, marijuana cannot directly kill its user in the way that alcohol or a drug like heroin can. Other circumstances