Week 6 First Impression

The legalization of marijuana is one of the many controversial issues in the modern climate. For this week’s post, I have been asked to take a side on this divisive issue. I, for one, have always supported the legalization of marijuana in both medical and recreational capacities. That’s not to say that I’m necessarily encouraging its usage, I merely think that there isn’t sufficient evidence or reasoning for it to remain illegal. First, marijuana has been legal in certain states already and they’ve seen no great health crises as far as marijuana usage goes. These states have also been able to collect tax revenue on legal marijuana which is a positive, if not overstated, effect. Another reason to support marijuana legalization is that it would then be subject to federal regulation and inspection. The legalization of marijuana would also cut down on the massive number of people who are given disproportionate sentences due to mandatory minimums on drug charges.

There are some who would argue that marijuana is too harmful to be legalized and that it would have a negative effect on society but I am not so sure that this is the case. The obvious response to this concern would be to point out the fact that neither tobacco products or alcohol are illegal even though they both are arguably equally, if not more, dangerous than marijuana. To those who are skeptical, please thing of it this way. Alcohol can easily kill you in multiple ways, from drunk driving to liver failure. Tobacco products can cause an array of cancers and other respiratory diseases. Marijuana only shares the danger of intoxicated driving with these two. Marijuana will not cause cancers like tobacco, and you also can’t overdose like you can on alcohol. The primary issues with marijuana is that it can cause psychosis in some users after chronic daily use, and that it can affect the brain development of young people. The chronic use issue is unavoidable. If you take any drug daily, then you’re going to have some long-term problems. The effects of marijuana on brain development are a more valid concern in my opinion. I would certainly want to see rules and regulations if marijuana was to be legalized and specifically I’d say a legal age of perhaps 21 with the effects of marijuana both short and long term clearly defined on the packaging.

From a completely moral standpoint, I don’t like the idea of the legality of any substance that is both addictive and can be harmful to the user. From a more pragmatic perspective, however, I understand that people are going to use marijuana and I would rather have it be regulated and studied to help safeguard people.

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One thought on “Week 6 First Impression

  1. Hello! I also agree that marijuana should be legalized. I am completely behind marijuana being used for medical reasons, but I agree with you that I am not morally in favor of using marijuana recreationally. I do believe, however, that your political and legal beliefs should sometimes differ from your personal beliefs, and this is a case where although I do not personally want to use marijuana, I think that it should be legal for others to make that choice. Marijuana has consistently been proven to be less dangerous and less addictive than cigarettes, alcohol, and prescription drugs. I also think that the criminalization of marijuana users and dealers is inherently problematic, and I agree with your point on mandatory minimums. I think many people have received sentences that are not proportional to their crimes, and that judicial discretion would be helpful in differentiating between a criminal and someone who has made a mistake. I also agree with your point that there should be an age limit for the legal use of marijuana. I like the proposal of using 21 as the age limit since it is the age that the United States already uses for alcohol and since our early 20s is when our brains become fully developed.

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