Legalization of Marijuana



How can something so good be so bad???

There is a large drug problem facing Canada today, and this problem extends to all citizens. Itís not just the poor and the uneducated that are affected by this problem. The most largely used illegal drug in Canada is Marijuana, and thus is targeted as the drug for law enforcement to target the most, costing the taxpayers lots and lots of money. I will show you that Marijuana is not as large an evil as it may appear, and that if legalized the economy would be strengthened and the efforts of law enforcement could be focused on more serious drugs.
First off, to understand what we are dealing with I will give a brief explanation of what Marijuana is and itís uses. Marijuana is classified as a hallucinogen and is a psychoactive drug. Its medical name is Cannabis Sativa and it is found in the Indian hemp plant, of which there are three types; Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Rudderalis. Some of its nicknames and street names are pot, weed, green, herb, and sensi. The drugs use dates back in manuscripts back to 2700B.C. in China (Nadelmann). Jamestown settlers also cultivated the drug, 1611, who used the drug for its fibers to make rope and clothes. Marijuana is widely used, an estimated one out of every three people have used it, and among high school students 44% have experimented with it (Bowmen). Marijuana is almost always smoked to experience the effects, but eating it and brewing it into tea are common practice also. It can be smoked by rolling it into a paper (joint) or by placing it into a pipe (often called a bowl). Often times there is a mixture of marijuana with tobacco to create a pleasurable taste. When someone smokes marijuana for the first time they do not get high, it is usually the second or third time a user feels the effects. These include chronic laughter and heightened senses. Afterwards a dry mouth and hunger, called the munchies, often follow. The ingredient in cannabis sativa that causes the mind-altering effects is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
Now that you know a little about the drug I will discuss its health effects. I am not saying that Marijuana is good for you; all I am saying is that comparable negative effects are present in many legalized drugs.
Marijuana intoxicates a person in a way very similar to alcohol. Reaction times are decreased and the person may appear to be very sluggish. While intoxicated a person may have a hard time concentrating on simple tasks. There have been many studies ran on the long term effects on marijuana causing memory loss, and many of the studies are either contradictory or inconclusive. The effects of marijuana on the lungs are very similar to the effects of cigarettes in that lungs will get coated in tar and respiration may become difficult as time passes. However, marijuana has not been linked as a cancer-causing agent (Califano), making it much healthier than cigarettes in that aspect. There have been no tests to prove marijuana is addictive other than mentally (American Journal of Nursing), which is a problem that can arise from using many things such as caffeine. Marijuana, in fact, has been proven to be less of a health risk than junk food, salt, tobacco, and alcohol.
Hardly anyone over 21 experiments with a drug, they have experimented with it before. If no one has experimented with a drug before they are 21 then they are highly unlikely to experiment at all. There are three million underage cigarette smokers underage, many smoking just for the reason to disobey the laws society places on us. This industry is estimated at one billion dollars. There are also twelve million underage drinkers, many drinking just to disobey the laws also. This industry is estimated at ten billion dollars. Marijuana use is just like these figures, but it covers all of the population, not just those under 18 or 21. Harnessing an industry like this would have astronomical economic benefits.
Marijuana being legalized would also help many people that are sick. The drug THC whether being smoked or ingested in its pure form is an excellent painkiller and muscle relaxant, which would not carry