Marijuana, also known as: weed, pot, the devil’s lettuce, and cannabis should not be legalized. As an athletic runner I don’t appreciate having to smell and inhale the substance when I’m out training at my local park. It's very hazardous for my lungs especially since I live a healthy, no smoking lifestyle. I know people that smoke this substance and I can tell that they do not benefit a single bit from it. They lose money, respect, and a life because they behave similarly to how alcoholics do when under the influence, which I also have personal experience with.
According to National Institute on Drug Abuse a governmental wesbite, it is stated that “When people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory, and learning functions” which may affect the rest of their adult life. I,
as a high schooler, can verify that multiple students in my school smoke marijuana for recreational use. Walking outside the school after hours into the neighboring park, I always see teens in groups taking turns smoking.It has gotten to the point that I am not surprised or shocked because I’m used to seeing this. It’s nothing new to hear that a student is caught with drugs on campus because it happens all the time, even on the first week of school. The longer the students keep abusing the substance, the more and more poorly their decision making will become. It used to be hard to obtain the substance, but now that it's legalized its much easier to possess it.
According to the website Foundation For A Drug-Free World, in 2005, 242,200 emergency room visits had marijuana involved. This happened in a time where marijuana was not legalized so we can only imagine what the statistics will look like by the end of this year. The most common scenarios were of an individual/individuals under the influence (which clouds judgement) and did something that harmed them or others. A New York Times article called A Case Against Marijuana by David Leonhardt also states that “marijuana-related traffic deaths are up, as are marijuana-related hospitalizations and the number of newborns testing positive for it” in Colorado since its legalization in 2014. This relates to the other statistics on the number of emergency room visits caused by marijuana so we can determine that marijuana legalization is dangerous.
Many users of the substance started at a young age. If the substance were to be banned then there would not be high school students that are already deteriorating their health and misleading their lives before they reach adulthood. I have seen many cases where teens that smoke end up not doing well in life and possibly living on the streets. It breaks families apart, makes you lose your sanity and most of all it takes control of you as a whole.
Marijuana tends to increase crime because people usually obtain it illegally. If it were banned for good then there wouldn’t be as much crime rates. Making it legal only encourages for more crime to happen which will eventually get out of control of the government. Since it’s legal at the moment, there are numerous advertisements on TV, freeways, and online that want you to buy cannabis which will influence children into taking an interest and eventually trying it as they get older. This will cause an even greater widespread use of the substance.
Medical marijuana, which actually serves a purpose in bettering the lives of patients, has shown to reduce Parkinson’s disease symptoms after taking a few drops of cannabis oil. The patients can walk, talk, eat and do everyday things for a few hours because of this drug. Seeing the miraculous effects that cannabis can serve makes me feel that marijuana is not completely bad it’s just that people misuse it making it look bad.
In conclusion, Marijuana that's for recreational use should be banned for the protection and good health of the youth but medical marijuana should be legalized for patients of certain diseases.
Contributing Writer: Andy Herrera