One of the longest political debates in the U.S. is whether or not to legalize marijuana. Some who want to legalize marijuana state it’s a stress reliever, and can benefit people medically. On the contrary, those like myself believe marijuana is a stepping stone drug into much harder and more dangerous drugs, it can impair your driving ability, and can have lasting effects on the body, and if we legalize marijuana we make drugs readily available to our youth.
Marijuana known to man for quite some time has been used for centuries. The Marijuana prohibition has been in effect since 1937 and continues today. The main goal of marijuana prohibition is to stop Americans from using it, has failed like the alcohol prohibition did in 1920 when it was enforced. Studies show that of the substances alcohol, tobacco (nicotine), and marijuana, that marijuana is the least addictive. This does not mean that marijuana is harmless. Research shows that marijuana damages short term memory, distorts perceptions, impairs judgment and complex motor skills, alters heart rates, and has the potential to trigger severe anxiety, and paranoia. According to NORML (The National Organization to Reform Marijuana laws) marijuana is said to be the second largest cash crop in America and has a value of around $14 billion. If the amount of marijuana purchased annually were taxed, it would be around 250 million dollars in tax money that the government isn't receiving due to the fact that marijuana is illegal. Beside the fact that the government is losing out on a lot of tax money, the government spends an incredible amount of money keeping marijuana illegal.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is the most commonly used drug in the United States. Since marijuana is so easily accessible, one can find a soccer mom enjoying pot brownies or an inner city teen smoking a joint in a garage. Unfortunately, marijuana use can cause an inevitable craving for stronger substances, leading users down a long road of drug use. New testimony suggest that marijuana was unlikely to be addictive this research has not been proven. Marijuana use can cause an inevitably craving for stronger substances, leading users down a long road of addiction. There have been many studies done on the gate-way and stepping stone theory. ”Cannabis use is strongly associated with the use and abuse/dependence of other illicit drugs.” ARPANA AGRAWAL*, MICHAEL C. NEALE, CAROL A. PRESCOTT AND KENNETH S. KENDLER Psychological Medicine, 2004.
As many of us know driving is a common activity that we all take advantage of daily we just get in and go we change lanes, talk on the phone, and even talk to our children all while we drive. It’s very easy to forget how alert we need to be while we drive and how much of our brain is used while we drive. Drugs interfere with the brain’s ability to function properly. When using marijuana while driving we put ourselves and our children at a significant increased risk of danger. When a study was done on teens under the influence of marijuana over 90% of teens said they would stop driving if asked by their passengers. As adults, who would ask us if we felt safe while driving under the influence of marijuana, or to stop? There is an ingredient in marijuana that is called THC. THC effects areas of the brain that control the body’s