Professor Jennifer Davis
20 February 2013
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States of America, with almost seventeen million users between the ages of 12 and older. A statistic has show that there have been annual cases of up to 374,000 people treated urgently with primary marijuana problems. According to the survey conducted in 2009 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana use over a month among 12 to 17 year olds climbed 9 percent from 6.7% in 2008 to 7.3% in 2009.
In the highly charged debate over legalization, people’s perception of the drug is lead by false assumptions and will be clarified and addressed by the best sources possible. An examination of marijuana use has concluded dangers of substantial marijuana use and the likely consequences of legalization.
The article written by Heather Bells, “Legal Pot: Marijuana-Friendly Laws Threat to Kids?” This article briefly explains how marijuana affects the brain stimulus of children compared to that of adults. This article is solely for the purpose of shining light on the dark side of marijuana use.
According to Dr. Christian Thurstone, “1 in 6 kids who try marijuana before the age of 18 become addicted.” Dr. Thurstone proceeds to say, “Some people think that marijuana is psychologically addictive, not physically addictive – it’s just a soft drug.” According to another source, which is from www.whitehouse.gov and also agrees with Dr. Thurstone’s view, says, “that frequent marijuana use is associated with dependence, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance and impaired cognitive and immune functioning.” The usage of marijuana can affect social lives of young individuals as they become more involved with the usage of marijuana. As more states begin to legalize marijuana under Obama what else will society be affected by? Dr. Christian Thurstone adds, “I can tell from personal experience that these kids who come to see us are dropping out of school, they’re dropping out of their families, their friends – all their activities.” If these were facts from a study conducted by a well-known doctor then why would we begin to legalize a drug that has such an underworld impact on society? www.whitehouse.gov has also stated, “that studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and the increased of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and schizophrenia.” This is giving us examples and statistics to why we should not legalize the drug as it does underlying damage in the psyche than physically. A 2010 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study found two-thirds of new marijuana users are under 18. Unfortunately, marijuana impacts their developing brains in a much more powerful way than adults. A study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences reports that young people who start using marijuana regularly before age 18 can lose up to eight IQ points. A study published in last year's British Medical Journal found marijuana use doubles the risk of car crashes. Previously stated by the governments own statistics in the White House. This shows us an understanding of how regular marijuana use can affect an individual substantially more than people realize. It is an underlying factor. Other research has shown that marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and to be an irritant to the lungs. This means the lungs reject the smoke making the individual cough as a natural reflex. People usually associate this as not a bad sign but a good sign that the drug is working. Little do they know is that marijuana contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than to that of regular tobacco smoke. Signaling marijuana is actually worse off for you than tobacco. This proves almost everybody’s thoughts on marijuana as there is a “wives tale” that believes marijuana does no harm to the human body. On the other