Should marijuana be legalized? NO

Kimberly Laura, In-Depth Editor

It could be argued that the legalization of marijuana would increase the number of people who use it, whether it be for medical or other uses. According to CNBC, marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States.

There are many reasons teenagers and other individuals use marijuana. These reasons could vary from luxury to relief of stress. Reasons could also be because of the easy access to the drug.

The euphoric sensation may act as a form of persuasion to use the drug, however, the damaging side effects of this temporary relaxation are needed to be considered. Using marijuana as a luxury has many long and short term negative effects, both physically and socially.

The most notable side effects of the drug are its impact on the human body. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), short term health effects of marijuana are drowsiness, change in mood, slow reaction time, memory problems, panic attacks, hallucinations and bad coordination. If used at a young age during adolescence, usage of marijuana could decrease one’s IQ score and impact brain development.

Being a user could also negatively affect one’s social life and their relationships with others. It could draw judgment from close acquaintances and even strangers. Close friends and family members would feel a sense of disappointment and distrust, therefore distancing themselves from the user.

Repeatedly smoking marijuana could also create long-term problems, such as addiction. Being addicted brings financial difficulties due to the continue purchase of the drug.

Aside from the effects marijuana has on users, it also impacts those around you. The immediate effect of intaking marijuana is the alternation of coordination, reaction time and alertness. Driving under the influence of the drug will hurt others in the car and on the road. According to NIH, 36.9 percent of drivers who were under the influence of drugs had used marijuana.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, from 2006 to 2010, the number of registered medical marijuana users increased, as well as the number of drivers that tested positive for marijuana doubled. Colorado is a state that has legalized marijuana.

The only positive outcome from using marijuana are it’s medical purposes. This is the main point argued in favor of legalizing the drug.

According to NIH, the U.S Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana as an effective medicine, due to lack of large scale research. There are only two known pills that contain chemicals from marijuana approved by the FDA.

There are states that have already legalized marijuana, such as Montana, and other that have legalized it for both recreational and medical purposes. According to a Melanie Wall study that compared data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, states that have legalized medical marijuana have seen a high rates of marijuana usage between the ages of 12-17 increase compared to other states.

Even without the legalization of marijuana, many people acquire and use it. It could be argued that even with the drug being illegal, it doesn’t stop others from using it. Having it legalized would encourage others to use it, for medical reasons or not. There will be and are a large number of youths and other age groups that intake the drug that aren’t for medical purposes. Legalizing it would increase the number of those addicted and threaten the common welfare of the nation and also the user’s health. Marijuana should remain illegal to decrease the encouragement and access for the drug, it would create more problems than solutions in our nation.