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Marijuana Should Be Illegal Essay

Why Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized

Legalization or decriminalization of marijuana is opposed by a vast majority of American’s and people around the world. Leaders in Marijuana prevention, education, treatment, and law enforcement adamantly oppose the substance, as do many political leaders. However, pro-drug advocacy groups, who support the use of illegal drugs, are making headlines. They are influencing decision making thru legislation and having a significant impact on the national policy debate here in the United States and in other countries. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is the oldest drug user lobby in the U.S. It has strong ties to the Libertarian party, the Drug Policy Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union. These groups use a variety of strategies, which range from outright legalization to de facto legalization under the guise of medicalization, control legalization through taxation. However, drugs like marijuana are addicting and should not be legalized. Marijuana should not be legalized because it can cause overwhelming damage to the society as a whole. As Bennett says, “Drug use- especially heavy drug use- destroys human character. It destroys dignity and autonomy, it burns away the sense of responsibility, it subverts productivity, it makes a mockery of virtue” (Husak 663). People throughout the nation have witnessed law changes regarding the possession of marijuana to its physical and social effects on society. Marijuana should not be legalized for the following reasons namely for the legal, physical, and social aspects of its use.
Since the late 1970s different states have been changing laws of decriminalization of marijuana. Many states did not decriminalize and often dropped charges for possessing small amounts of marijuana. President Carter even recommended decriminalization of possessing marijuana in an attempt to spread his thoughts on how laws provide the worse consequences than the effects of the drug itself. However, in the early 1980s various states outlawed decriminalization despite marijuana activists having tired to not criminalize the use and possession of marijuana. Research has shown various physical effects of marijuana on the body. Marijuana is considered to relieve pain, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. But, its use does impair memory and cause depression. There are also many social effects of marijuana on society. Some of the social problems of not prohibiting the drug are that its use decreases productivity and cause uncontrollable aggression. Most importantly, marijuana has a large impact on motivation and is easily attainable. People can easily cross-state borders and manage to bring marijuana back to state of residence. All of the legal, physical and social aspects of not legalization marijuana can affect the society in a big manner based on moral grounds.
The legal aspects or laws associated with the use and possession of marijuana is very controversial...

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Marijuana should be illegal for the majority of medical purposes because of the potentially dangerous side effects. Some of these side effects include lapse, or no commonsense for decision making. There have been absolutely no cases stating a person has overdosed from smoking marijuana, but there have been several documented cases that prove marijuana was the cause of death. An example of this would be, a person smokes one self made marijuana cigarette, and attempts to drive an automobile. The moment that person sits in the driver seat, they become as dangerous as a drunk driver.

Another extremely dangerous side effect is the slowing down of reflexes. If a marijuana intoxicated driver were to be confronted with a foreign object on the road, it we be too late for him/her to realize the danger he has placed himself and possibly the other passengers.

Those side effects could be considered miniscule to the possibility that smoking marijuana leads to harder drugs. The cold hard facts prove that marijuana is the steppingstone to harder drugs. These harder drugs include cocaine, heroin, LSD, and several others. If you were to ask current drug users what there first drug was, the most common answer would be marijuana.

Oncologists overwhelmingly reject the idea of prescribing smoked marijuana. Crude marijuana contains over 400 different chemicals. THC, the main active ingredient in crude marijuana, is available as the prescription drug Marinol, for the treatment of nausea associated with chemotherapy; however safer and more effective anti-emetic medication are available and preferred by oncologists.

Probably the largest reason to smoke medical marijuana is because of glaucoma. There is no scientific evidence that marijuana prevents the progression of visual loss in glaucoma. While marijuana, as well as alcohol and a host of other substances, and lower intraocular eye pressure, the medication must be carefully tailored to the individual to prevent further eye damage. Besides numerous adverse side effects of smoking marijuana, the dose cannot be controlled. Several AIDS patients are using marijuana because of the claim that it gets rid of some of the side effects. Smoking marijuana to reduce the side effects of AIDS compromises the immune system and puts AIDS patients at a significant risk for infections and respiratory problems. A current scientific study show that Marinol (oral THC), is effective in increasing appetite but is ineffective in increasing weight gain.

Others smoke marijuana because they believe it reduces the spasicity associated with Multiple Sclerosis. In a recent double blind scientific study, the latest high-tech electronic equipment was used to determine if smoked marijuana had any benefit in treating spasicity in patients with MS. The study found that all patients receiving marijuana rather than placebo perceived their spascity to be lessened, when in actuality, it was made worse.

Smoked marijuana is neither an acceptable medical treatment nor an alternative medical treatment for any illness. Marijuana use has serious health consequences. Concentration, motor coordination, memory, lungs, reproductive and immune systems are all adversely impacted by marijuana use; marijuana is addictive. Physicians who treat people for cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and other diseases do not favor the use of marijuana.

Not one American health organization accepts marijuana as medicine. These include the American Medical Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Glaucoma Society, American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Cancer Society. FDA/DEA have repeatedly rejected marijuana for medicinal use. Marijuana fails to meet any of the Drug Enforcement Administrations or Federal Drug Administration's eight criteria for approving drugs for medical use. Most doctors want the best medicine possible for their patients. Although synthetic marijuana (THC) in a pure and standardized form is available by prescription, it is often the last choice of doctors, because better medicines are available. Marijuana is not recognized as a medicine in generally accepted pharmacopoeia, medical references or textbooks. Even Marinol, a synthetic form of THC (tetrahydracannibinol), available by prescription for treating nausea, has far more negative health effects than other available agents. There are numerous and more effective anti nausea agents. These include Prochlorperazine (Compazine), metaclopramide (Reglan), lorazepam, corticosteroids, thiethylperazine (Torecan), ondansetron (Zofran), promethazine (Phenagran), perphenazine (Trilafon), and chlorpromazine (Thorazine). The pro-drug lobby views the suffering of patients with chronic illness with false promises about marijuana as medicine. They have stated that they are pushing marijuana as medicine and are using it as a "red herring" as part of a strategy to legalize marijuana for general use.

Legalizing marijuana for medical use would just give people more reasons to get high. Many of the side effects are very dangerous. It has been proven to be addictive, and the bottom line is there is absolutely no scientific evidence that smoking marijuana helps any type of medical condition.