Marijuana should not be legalized in the United States. This is because the drug has numerous negative effects not only on its users but also on the country.
Over the past few decades, marijuana has been associated with immense negative connotations. Many people believe that it acts as a gateway to other drugs and thus need not be legalized in America. Little is known about the drug despite some of the users claiming that it helps in boosting one’s mood as well as acts as a relaxant. The drug may have some positive effects on its users. Nevertheless, its immense negative repercussions not only to its users but also to the country underline the reason why the drug ought not to be legalized (Cram, 2010). Some people argue that the cost of controlling marijuana use in the country is high and thus the government needs to legalize it, come with measures to regulate its use, and at the same time tax those who would supply it.
Why marijuana should not be legalized
Marijuana is a gateway to other drugs
Cases of food adulteration have been reported in different regions across the world. There have also been cases where those legalized to manufacture and sell tobacco products have added lethal chemicals to the products. As a result, many people have lost their lives out of these acts. Legalizing marijuana in the county would mean that more citizens would be exposed to the dangers of facing similar problems. There is no doubt that those allowed to sell and produce the product would try to look for additional chemicals in the desire to earn extra money. Marijuana is considered to be the gateway to other hard drugs (Page et al, 2003). This implies that legalizing the drug would hamper the government’s effort to fight other drugs. In the end, all the other hard drugs would pervade entire America making it hard for the government to control their use.
The will lead to low economic growth
America has been known as one of the countries that are experiencing vibrant economic growth. It has an industrious population where everyone strives at improving his or her living standard. Nevertheless, legalizing marijuana would lead to the country’s economy suffering from retarded growth. It has been noted that the drug leads to anxiety and other motivational challenges to its users. This makes it hard for marijuana users to pursue their professions. Hence, legalizing the drug would mean that most of the younger generation; that is more prone to using the drug would not effectively pursue their studies (Joffe & Yancy, 2004). The country would therefore experience a shortage in labor force thus lowering its productivity and economic growth. In addition, the drug is associated with laziness. This implies that allowing people to freely use the drug would render them lazy hence increasing the number of dependents in the country. As marijuana users are susceptible to using other hard drugs, they risk suffering from the numerous medical problems associated with them (Vaughn, 2005). This implies that legalizing marijuana would subject the nation to more expenses in purchasing drugs to cater to the affected users.
The drug is carcinogenic
Marijuana has numerous long-term negative effects on its users. Just as tobacco, the drug has been found to contain some agents that cause cancer. In addition, smoking marijuana exposes one to other respiratory problems. With more people dying from cancer, legalizing the drug would imply intensifying the number of cancer victims in the country (Buddy, 2010).
Objections to the illegalization of marijuana
People need to be given the freedom to make decisions
Despite people demanding the illegalization of marijuana in the United States, there are no good reasons for that. Proponents of marijuana illegalization base their arguments on prejudices and they do not have concrete evidence. From a philosophical perspective, people ought to be given the freedom to make their own decisions. The government is not supposed to influence one’s decisions if they do not in any way affect those people that are around him or her. People who use marijuana are not forced by anyone and they do it out of their will (Kreit, 2003). Consequently, the issue of legalizing or illegalizing marijuana ought not to emerge as it is within people’s rights to make decisions on matters affecting their lives. Compared to drugs such as tobacco and alcohol that are legal, marijuana has limited side effects. It beats logic in legalizing drugs that have adverse effects on the public and illegalizing a drug that is known to have limited negative effects on the public.
Controlling marijuana usage is expensive
The cost incurred in the government’s effort to curb the use of marijuana is very high. All arms of the government in the United States participate in the fight against marijuana use in the country. To make this process a success, money is required (Hellman, 1985). In addition, people arrested for using the drug are imprisoned and the taxpayer has to cater for their needs. To save the country from incurring all these expenses, it would be wise to legalize marijuana. Money used in feeding prisoners, paying judges who address marijuana cases, and housing the prisoners can be channeled into other productive projects. Apart from saving the country from incurring heavy expenses, legalizing marijuana would facilitate raising government revenues. The government would collect tax from those selling marijuana hence acting as an extra source of government revenue.
Marijuana prohibition makes no difference
Another reason why marijuana ought to be legalized is that banning its usage does not help the nation in any way. Instead, the move intensifies the level of problems experienced in the country as people look for ways of smuggling the drug into the country. There has been no evidence that shows that prohibiting marijuana smoking in the United States has helped in cutting down on the number of people using the drug. Today, one does not have to be over twenty-one years old to buy marijuana in America (Marijuana Legalization Organization, 2005). Even high school students are freely accessing and using the drug. Drug dealers care less about the age of the person they sell the drug to. For them, it is business just like other businesses and hence they are out to make money regardless of the persons they deal with. It would therefore be good to legalize it and come up with programs to educate the public about its effects. This would give them a chance to make an informed decision on whether to use or not to use the drug. The move would also help the government formulate strategies to use in regulating marijuana usage in the country. It is only through this method that the government can save high school students from being exploited by drug dealers who are out to make money at their expense (Single, Christle & Ali, 2000). The government will be in a position to regulate the age of those supposed to use the drugs thus ensuring that high school students do not use marijuana.
Despite the above arguments on why marijuana ought to be legalized in America, there is a need for the government to ensure that it has done all it can to ensure that the drug is illegalized in the country. Despite some arguing that there are no concrete reasons as to why the drug should be illegalized, its adverse effects on both the individuals and the nation speak for themselves. As marijuana smoking leads to users becoming lazy and unproductive hence depending on their relatives as well as the government for their upkeep, they become a burden, therefore, adding expenses to their relatives and the government (Wagner & Anthony, 2001). The amount of money spent in treating and taking care of people who suffer from the effects of marijuana use surpasses the one that can be used in illegalizing its use. Marijuana has been found to have carcinogenic agents. Legalizing the drug calls for the government to set aside extra money to cater to victims who will suffer from cancer.
Even with prohibiting marijuana use in American being seen as having limited effects in reducing the rate of marijuana smoking, it can significantly help in cutting down on the number of people using the drug. For instance, high school students would fear being punished hence keeping away from using the drug. In addition, the rate of selling marijuana in the country would go down as people fear being indicted.
Buddy, T. (2010). The health effects of marijuana: Negative health effects are numerous.
Cram, G. (2010). Marijuana should not be legalized. Web.
Hellman, A. D. (1985). Laws against marijuana- the price we pay. Illinois: University of Illinois Press.
Joffe, A. & Yancy, S. (2004). Legalization of marijuana: potential impact on youth. PEDIATRICS, 113(6), pp. e632-e638.
Kreit, A. (2003). The future of medical marijuana: should the states grow their own? University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 151, pp. 75-83.
Marijuana Legalization Organization. (2005). Why marijuana should be legal.
Page, S. A., Verhoef, M. J., Stebbins, R. A., Metz, L. M. & Levy, J. C. (2003). Cannabis use as described by people with multiple sclerosis. The Canadian Journal of Neurological Science, 30(3), pp. 201-205.
Single, E., Christle, P. & Ali, R. (2000). The impact of cannabis decriminalization in Australia and the United States. Journal of Public Health Policy, 21(2), pp. 157-186.
Vaughn, J. (2005). Why marijuana should not be legalized. Web.
Wagner, F. A. & Anthony, J. C. (2001). Into the world of illegal drug use: exposure opportunity and other mechanisms linking the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine. American Journal of Epidemiology, 8(4), pp. 43-61.