Marijuana Should Not Be Allowed
The paper examines the negative influence of marijuana from health, social, and economic perspectives and demonstrates the reasons why the use of cannabis should not be allowed. The author gives a comprehensive analysis of the adverse impact of marijuana on the brain, heart, and reproductive function of the human being and shows that the harm from the use of the herb can be caused not only to the smoker but also to the offspring. The article also sheds light on the threat to public safety and economic welfare of the state that can arise from the use of the herb. In particular, the author draws attention to the fact of the increased number of vehicle and industrial accidents, high crime rates, and economic losses caused due to the negative impact of marijuana. The article also reveals the facts of negative consequences of the use of medical marijuana in the states where the plant has been legalized. Given the overview of the harm caused by cannabis, the author suggests that it has to be prohibited for use for both medical and recreational purposes.
Keywords: marijuana, cannabis, negative impact, THC, dopamine
Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs, and the question of its legality has been raised in numerous debates and campaigns around the globe. The plant also has been subjected to numerous studies. Their results lead to the conclusion that despite the possibility of the use of the herb in medical purposes, it can have a negative impact on the human being, which outweighs its positive features. Since the use of cannabis causes dramatic and permanent harm to health and endangers public safety, marijuana should not be allowed to use.
The adverse effect of marijuana on health uplifts the herb to the list of the most latent but dangerous drugs and signifies that the circulation of cannabis has to be banned. Repp and Raich (2014) suggest that only recently biochemists managed to extract THC psychoactive element from the herb and found that it contained the group of over 60 cannabinoids that had a negative impact on the brain. Thus, Jacobus and Tapert (2014) claim that marijuana causes impairments of cognitive faculties, fragmentation of thought, alters time sense, damages the hippocampus section of the brain, and lowers the ability to transfer information from short-term to long-term memory. Furthermore, Filbey et al. (2014) indicate that marijuana is also associated with psychoses and is particularly dangerous for people with genetic vulnerability, since it can prolong the duration of depression and even result in schizophrenia. Additionally, the plant has a negative influence on the heart and increases the risk of myocardial infarctions, strokes, and even transient ischemic attacks during the intoxication (Volkow, Baler, Compton, & Weiss, 2014). Therefore, the consequences that can be caused by the use of cannabis make the drug particularly harmful to health and demonstrate the need for strict control over the use of the drug.
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What makes marijuana even more dangerous is the so-called “gateway effect”. Due to its ability to cause addiction, cannabis often serves as a starting point for using heavier drugs, and therefore, undermines the drug control in the country. In particular, Volkow et al. (2014) argue that the users of the herb are not able to recognize the addiction because of the physical and psychological dependence due to reduced dopamine sensitivity of the reward regions of the brain. Furthermore, cannabis users who started to consume the drug at a younger age are particularly vulnerable to the subsequent use of amphetamine and heroin (Volkow et al., 2014). Thus, if the brain of a person in the young age has reduced reactivity to dopamine, early exposure to marijuana can result in addictive behavior towards other drugs later in life. Such behavior can cause additional threat to the health of the drug user and even raise the crime level.
If the use of marijuana is allowed, society will have to face the fact that the herb will affect not only the smoker but also those who refrain from using the drug. Thus, Repp and Raich (2014) claim that prenatal use of marijuana causes negative long-term consequences for children of the smoker: it lowers intelligence and birth weight and can result in congenital disabilities in the child. Repp and Raich (2014) also underline that these outcomes of the use of cannabis and its influence on the child should be considered together with the fact that children tend to use marijuana more often if they have been influenced with the herb before birth or in early childhood. In particular, Repp and Raich (2014) specify that an average of 18% of all marijuana poisonings is reported for children under twelve years old. This confirms the fact that allowed marijuana use can have unpredictable outcomes and cause harm to both the smoker and people who interact with them.
Studies also confirmed that the use of marijuana not only has an adverse impact on a personality of a human who consumes the drug but also endangers public safety. For this reason, marijuana should not be allowed to use irrespectively of the situation. Here, Evans (2013) specifies that cognitive impairments caused by the herb affect sensorimotor and attentional functioning as well as lower the ability of a person to be engaged in operating vehicles, machinery, and firearms. In particular, Evans (2013) claims that drivers under the influence of cannabis have reduced reaction and therefore have an increased risk of causing fatal outcomes in collisions. Evans (2013) also refers to the fact that the percent of the drivers who used marijuana before fatal car crashes raised by 49% after medical marijuana was allowed. A similar effect was found in productivity: people who consumed marijuana appeared to have 55% more industrial accidents and get injured 85% more than those who did not take the drug (Evans, 2013).
Negative consequences for public safety and economy from the use of marijuana can be found even in states where this herb has been given a legal status. Thus, Evans (2013) claims that losses with an estimated sum of $64 billion were caused due to illnesses, lack of productivity, and crime resulting from the use of cannabis, and its legalization only contributed to these damages. Besides that, states where medical marijuana is sold have witnessed an increase in the number of violent crimes, murders, and robberies (Evans, 2013). Therefore, legalization of marijuana for medical purposes also has negative effects on the state and society, which makes it reasonable to prohibit the use of the drug.
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Concluding, the use of marijuana should be strictly prohibited, as this herb can cause a dramatically negative impact on the health of the individual who consumes the herb, endanger reproductive functions, and result in permanent impairments of the brain. Furthermore, marijuana can have adverse effects even for public safety and incline drug users to commit crimes or resort to heavier drug use. For these reasons, given the negative consequences the drug can cause and taking into account the facts of improper use of medical marijuana, it should be exempted from the sale both for medical and recreational purposes.