Effects of Legalization of Marijuana
Drug abuse is a common problem in many countries through out the world. Drugs refer to substances that affect the functioning of the body for medicinal, recreational, intoxication or performance enhancement purposes. Some drugs are legal for consumption while others are still prohibited and illegal to sell and consume in many countries (Gerber 21). Marijuana is one of the illegal drugs traded in many countries. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug made from the floral parts and dried out leaves of the cannabis plant. Although, the drug is illegal in the United States of America, it is the third most consumed drug after alcohol and caffeine. The legalization of marijuana is still being debated globally. In America, use of marijuana has been legitimized in Washington and Colorado.
Marijuana consumption leads to several negative health problems affecting the human body. The immediate reaction is a high or hyperactive and energetic mood to the consumer. However, the long-term consequences on the body functions are negative. It may cause loss of memory, heart attacks, kidney failure, cancer, and addiction when consumed for a long period of time (Clement, Kenneth and Xueyan 33). In the United States, there are debates on whether legalization of marijuana would increase or decrease the consumption of alcohol and other drugs. According to the Office of drug control policy in Washington, Marijuana legalization will increase the rate of consumption of marijuana and other drugs among the youth. This is because alcohol and marijuana are said to be complimentary drugs and no single drug can be consumed alone. A drug abuser tends to abuse more than one drug simultaneously. Thus, legalization of marijuana will lower the cost of trade of drugs despite the high taxes imposed on drugs. Thus, despite the United States running the campaigns of a drug free world, marijuana legalization would increase drug consumption and this may result to increase in deviant behavior and crime rate.
Although it has been proven that alcohol has more adverse side effects than marijuana, alcohol consumption remains legal while marijuana consumption is illegal. The common reason cited for this is if marijuana becomes legal, anyone can grow it and its consumption will be wide spread throughout the world. In addition, major religious beliefs prohibit consumption of drugs. Another school of thought argues that: alcohol consumption is legal because it fetches a lot of tax income for the government. Thus, even though marijuana is a natural plant and alcohol is chemically processed, marijuana legalization will not fetch much tax for the government because it will be readily available to many people (Clement, Kenneth and Xueyan 56).
Many alcohol consumers ignore the fact that they are drug abusers because it is legal in many countries. However, it is proven that alcohol consumption is harmful to one’s health and it should be emphasized that consumption of drugs of all forms should be discouraged at all costs. This is because in addition to health related problems, drug abuse also leads to increase in crime rate as it promotes deviant behavior (Gerber 71). Drug abuse also leads to dysfunctional cognitive processes of the brain leading to road accidents, violence, and even death. Thus, is correct to say abusers of legal drugs are hypocritical to say they do not use drugs. In conclusion, reality proves that consumption of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine are also drug abuse. Whoever takes these drugs risks experiencing severe health complications in the long run.
Gerber, Rudolph J. Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2004. Print.
Clements, Kenneth W, and Xueyan Zhao. Economics and Marijuana: Consumption, Pricing and Legalizations. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print