Marijuana is No Longer a Bad Thing Essay

Submitted By wilke012
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Marijuana is No Longer a Bad Thing I am lucky to grow up in a period of time when there is a pro marijuana movement across the United States. I am imagining telling my kids the day that marijuana had been legalized in all fifty states. My kids would probably ask why marijuana had been illegal in the first place. Well, I know it was illegal because of a few opposing views on the matter. On may have said that marijuana is a terrible gateway drug that leads to more serious drug addiction. Another popular statement opposing marijuana leads to more criminal violence. Finally, a common reason people have given negative feedback about the legalization of marijuana is because they believe that marijuana leads to people having unfashionable, immoral lives. When all is said and done, people are making judgments that are not factual. Marijuana should be legalized, because it is more safe and harmless than other addictions that we may or may not have legalized today. Marijuana is not considered to be a gateway drug. Maia Szalavitz is the author of Time Magazine’s drug column, Marijuana as a Gateway Drug: The Myth That Will Not Die. She reports that in a recent 2011 study, “the federal government funded two huge surveys on drug use in the population. Over and over they find that the number of people who try marijuana dwarfs that for cocaine or heroin. For example, in 2010, 2.3 million people reported trying pot — compared with 617,000 who tried cocaine and 180,000 who tried heroin” (Szalavitz). Marijuana does not trigger urges to use cocaine or heroin. The users that smoke marijuana should not be tied at all to the users who are addicted to cocaine and heroin. Marijuana is a completely different drug and should not be considered as a gateway drug, because United States studies show that there is minimal proof for this myth. Secondly, marijuana should also not be connected with the idea that is leads to a higher, violent criminal rate. Matt Ferner, an author from The Huffington Post has made the claim that legalizing medical marijuana has caused no increase on crime in his article named Legalizing Medical Marijuana May Actually Reduce Crime, Study Says. A recent University of Texas study claims that “the findings on the relationship between violence and marijuana use are mixed and much of the evidence points toward reductions in violent behavior for those who smoke marijuana” (Ferner). The study carefully examined states in which medical marijuana was legal and proved to show no violence. Ferner continued to explain that “researchers have suggested that any increase in criminality resulting from marijuana use may be explained by its illegality, rather than from the substance itself." The fact that marijuana is illegal is the only reason why marijuana is increasing crime, if any crime does indeed increase in a state. Marijuana simply does not lead to a higher, violent criminal rate. An opposing view may argue that marijuana is immorally wrong and that it simply leads to people having unfashionable and immoral lives. David Brooks, an American political and cultural commentator who writes for The New York Times, Weed: Been There. Done That, argues that “In legalizing weed, citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing individual freedom. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be” (Brooks). This is a very opinionated statement that has no justification or right to explain what most people want to be like. Brooks continued on to explain that In our societies, “government subtly encourages the highest pleasures, like enjoying the arts or being in nature, and discourages lesser pleasures, like being stoned” (Brooks). Again, Brooks is adding his opinion on yet another myth that people who smoke