Legalized Marijuana Marijuana Controversy: America is the land of the free and the foundation of democracy. This countries foundation is based on the fact that an individual can enjoy freedom from oppression and the minority’s opinions can be heard along with the majority’s. Our government is designed to be fair and open minded, to be a servant to the people it governs. Unfortunately once an opinion is placed into the collective mind of society, it is a struggle to alter that opinion through argument and information. The opinion in our country on the subject of marijuana use has always been a sensitive issue, open to debate and sparking many controversial questions and moral issues.
The same questions come up time and time again when the debate starts. What are the effects on marijuana on the body? Does marijuana create a desire to try more potent substances? Is the resistance society places on the use of marijuana costing the taxpayers more than it is worth? What is the reasoning behind our decision to generally view marijuana as a bad substance worthy of resistance? And even though most hesitate to admit it isn’t marijuana already a part of our culture and a major factor in the identity of multiple generations of Americans? So many questions surround the issue, likely they will not go away in the near Rubish 2 future. Marijuana is not a threat to our society, other than opinions that have been generalized into our cultural beliefs of right and wrong, we have much more productive ways to spend our tax dollars. Marijuana has never been proven to have any long term medical effects that are detrimental. Cigarettes, alcohol, and various drugstore stimulants should be of more concern than marijuana.
The opinions that have been formed about marijuana are based on racist beliefs and also circumstantial moments in history. Supporters of the legalization of marijuana have valid arguments and can not be ignored forever. These people are becoming a strong voice in our society and can not be ignored. We have facilitated this with our blood and hard work in the creation and defending of our constitution. The first issue to be confronted is that of the effects of marijuana on the body.
The physiological effects of marijuana on the body are not very strong. It would actually take 20,000 to 40,000 times the normal dose to kill a human being. There is no documented case of a death caused by marijuana overdose. The only noticeable effect on the body is the slight increase in heart beat, depending on the dose amount. The increase in blood pressure also usually creates bloodshot eyes.
The mouth tends to dry out and the user has an urge to drink water. All of the other effects that could be related to marijuana use are inconsistent so cannot be directly linked to the substance (Model 15). Many people would argue saying that marijuana has long term long term effects on the body and marijuana effect a persons ability to drive making him a danger to others? These arguments can be addressed with information from cultural anthropologist Charles Levinthol as referenced in Michael Massing’s article in “The Nation.” There is Rubish 3 no evidence that marijuana is habit forming or that users suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Long term users do not suffer from increased heart diseases or any other visible signs of health problems. About the only proven long term effect is short term memory loss, and this is only while the person is under the influence of the substance.
A perfect example of the long term effects of heavy marijuana use can be seen by looking at the Rastafarians, Costa Ricans and the Greeks. These people tend to have a more accepting attitude of marijuana use in their daily lives. When these groups were studied for adverse effects none could be found, other than a slight decrease in pulmonary functions (massing 6). As for the effects on the driver, marijuana can in high doses cause hallucinations. This is only in cases where doses 10 times the normal joint is smoked.
This is also very rare and only happens to a small percentage of people who smoke. The person who is at the average level of influence is not really dangerous to others especially when compared to the drunk driver (McWilliams 62). Using driving as an argument against legalization of marijuana is not concrete. If marijuana was legalized it would still be likely that it would be illegal to drive under the influence. The problem is not the marijuana itself, but rather in the abuse of it by the user. We don’t blame alcohol when a person uses it and decides to abuse the laws pertaining to drinking and driving. Neglect on the part of people, and over generalizations by authors and lawmakers sometimes leads to the belief that marijuana is a gateway to other harder drugs. One author of such an article is Henry Clark.
He tells us that marijuana is a sure way to get interested in harder drugs. He boldly implies that marijuana increases the risk of cancer, and that it always leads to criminal behavior (Henry 7). This really makes me mad, I read Rubish 4 this article and realized that he had absolutely no evidence to support any of his claims. I am not saying that he is wrong, but how does he come to such monumental conclusions without concrete evidence? I remember hearing that green M’s caused cancer, does that mean it is true. It seems like everyone is making a claim that one thing or another causes cancer. And as for marijuana being a gateway drug there is no evidence, only speculation.
How do you know that drug users do not simply use marijuana along with their other drugs? I smoke when I drink does that mean drinking causes smoking? I know many people who have smoked marijuana for years and years. These people would never think about trying a harder drug. I have yet to meet a person who got bored with marijuana and decided to try heroin. There is no concrete connection between marijuana and hard drugs. We are wasting so much of our countries money hunting down and these horrible pot smokers so we can lock them up and save our society from their terrible ways. For example, Phillip Macleans makes a comparison between a country that has legal marijuana and the U.S. Amsterdam has legal marijuana you can buy it in the store and then go smoke it in the street if you want.
But in the U.S. this is worth a long prison sentence. Amsterdam statistically has a lower percentage of marijuana users, a lower crime rate, and less people are addicted to hard drugs. And don’t forget about the tax money that goes into the countries economy. The money is put into the economy, rather than spent on jailing the users. The fact that marijuana has medical value should be an indicator that it is not a lethal substance.
The brain even produces that specifically react in a positive way to THC ( the substance that gets you high in marijuana) (Macleans 57). Many would argue Rubish 5 that our country has its own unique law, and that we should prosecute however we see fit. My response to that is, weigh the pros and cons of marijuana and the money we pay in taxes to prevent its use, it is not worth it . It seems that our country has a long standing tradition of wanting to prosecute marijuana users. If we go back and follow a little bit of American history provided to us by author Janet Monfreddi, of “High Times” magazine, we can begin to trace the origins of the present thoughts and opinions on marijuana.
The first written account we have of a cannabis product as a mood altering drug is in 2737 BC. This account was given in the writings of the Chinese emperor Sheng Nung. They used the substance as an aid to meditation and also to help them with such medical problems as rheumatism, gout, and even absent-mindedness. They knew it had intoxicating effects but they were more concerned with the medical benefits that could be gained from its use. The Muslims used it also since alcohol was strictly prohibited by the Koran.
The Muslims were the first to produce the substance known as hashish, the new s …