Sample English Paper on Should Marijuana be Legalized?

Should Marijuana be Legalized?

Hunter S. Thompson once said, “You can turn your back on a person but you can never turn your back on a drug, especially when it is waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye.” (The Guardian, 2005). Debates surrounding drug use have heightened especially in this era where globalization and the internet foster social influence of behaviors. However, marijuana use has claimed a fair share of the debates due to its perceived effects. In the political arena, various countries have legalized the use of the drug while others restrict its use on the foundation that its harm surpasses the benefits. Therefore, should marijuana use be decriminalized? The use of marijuana should not be legalized due to its harmful effects on individuals and the society.

Marijuana use has health, social, and economic effects. Smoking marijuana, just like cigarettes, puts an individual at high risk of lung cancer and pulmonary diseases (Welsh et al., 2014). This effect is strictly aligned to the smoking aspect of the drug and not its components. Secondly, marijuana blocks memory formation. The active element in the drug, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), acts in the hippocampus part of the brain, which allows for information procession and memory formation. Studies conducted on animals have indicated that this effect is intense especially when the brain is still developing (Welsh et al., 2014). These findings explain why the legal smoking age in most countries is 21. THC also tampers with the functioning of the cerebellum and basal ganglia parts of the brain, which are responsible for balance control as well as posture, reaction time, and coordination (Welsh et al., 2014). The disturbance of these parts affects one’s physical stability and talking. A study done in the Netherlands revealed that smoking cannabis increases the probability of developing depression for young users who are genetically vulnerable to mental illness (Welsh et al., 2014). Other researchers have found that the consumption of marijuana causes side effects like fear, distrust, anxiety, and panic. Besides these side effects, individuals who consume greater doses of the cannabis are likely to experience acute psychosis, whose symptoms are delusions, hallucinations, and detachment from personal identity. Economically, especially in regions where it is criminalized, accessibility of marijuana can be costly. It is also addictive. The drug consumption is, therefore, highly dangerous.

Those who argue in favor of legalizing marijuana claim that the drug has medicinal benefits and it is less harmful compared to other drugs like alcohol. The support for the legalization of marijuana has revolved around the substance’s medicinal benefits. A 2003 study conducted on epileptic rats revealed that marijuana controls seizure (Welsh et al., 2014). THC and cannabinoids ingredients in marijuana attach to the brain cell that controls excitability and regulates relaxation. However, this effect only lasted for 10 hours. The drug has also been shown to treat inflammatory bowel diseases by increasing the permeability of the intestines. Furthermore, marijuana has indicated the possibility of slowing the spread of Alzheimer’s disease by blocking the enzyme in the brain that is responsible for the secretion of amyloid plaques. Lastly, another possible role of medical marijuana is the prevention of cancer spread, as shown in a study of breast cancer in 2007 (Welsh et al., 2014).


The issue of marijuana legalization has attracted conflicting debates, which revolve around the effects of the drug. While those who favor the legalization argue based on its medicinal benefits, most of these propositions have not been scientifically proven. On the other side, the drug poses serious health, social, and economic issues that can greatly affect the user. Marijuana should, therefore, not be legalized.



Welsh. J., Spector, D., & Randy Astaiza. (2014, Jan 11). The positives and negatives: How marijuana affects your brain and body. Retrieved from

The Guardian. (2005, Feb 21). Hunter S Thompson: In his own Words. Books. A Section of Best Remembered Quotes from the Master of One-Liner. Retrieved from