Marijuana: Should it Be Legalized? Essay

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The use of marijuana for medical purposes has stimulated debate for many years. Some people find the use of marijuana therapeutic and the only way to relieve their chronic pain. Also, there are a growing number of people who feel it is harmless and think it should be legalized in small quantities for recreational use. Despite the illegality of this substance it has continued to be used and grown by many people. And though it seems harmless to some, there are others worried about the message legalization and the recreational use of the substance would give teenagers. And more importantly they are concerned about increased criminal behavior, addiction and other health problems that can arise from its use.
Though marijuana is a natural product it can affects a person’s thoughts, ability, and reactions. As a result there are questions over whether it is safe or not. It is prepared from the flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It has many names and is usually smoked but can also be used in several other forms of consumption. The active ingredient in marijuana that produces its high is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. TCH quickly moves through the blood stream and attaches to receptors in the brain and triggers the euphoric feeling users experience. There are several side effects that can affect your mental and motor skills. Because it is often smoked it can cause smoking related issues like respiratory disease or lung cancer if used over a long period of time. And if used over an extended period of time can lead to addiction.
There are many who believe that legalization will lead to more cases of addiction and especially to increased use and addiction in teenagers. Teenage use of drugs is not new. Many teenagers are under a great deal of stress from school, family, peer pressure. Many people, including several of our Presidents have admitted to using marijuana at one time in their life.
Because of the widespread use and acceptance of marijuana as well as the passage of several state medical marijuana laws several research studies were conducted. These studies were analyzing whether new medical marijuana laws were causing an increase in teen use. The data from the research showed there was an increase in teen use over the last four years. One such study even revealed that it had increased in the youngest age group studied, eighth grade students (Anonymous). This increase in teen use is further supported by an article from Target News Reports that states “one in every fifteen high school seniors today is smoking pot on a daily basis” (Marijuana). These studies show a growing trend in teenage use of marijuana and popularity of marijuana which would seem to support the fact that legalizing marijuana even for medicinal purposes has led to increased teen use.
The acceptance of marijuana use by a growing number of people may have been a contributing factor to this increase. Such a broad acceptance of a drug as “ok”...

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