Legalizing Marijuana

Health Implications does not Prove the Risk

For some people that haven’t been able to get a glimpse of what marijuana looks like, it is a dry and shredded mix of seeds, stems, leaves and flowers of the hemp plant with a scientific name Cannabis sativa. The plant contains an active ingredient identified as THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. This chemical is said to be have a harmful effect on the brain specifically on the cannabinoid receptors that creates the feeling of being “high”. Furthermore, smoking marijuana would cause the increase of cannabinoid receptors in brain that would interfere with memory, concentration, thinking, movement coordination, time and sensory perception and pleasure. Marijuana was also studied for its addictive properties; the long-term use of marijuana could lead to abuse, which would manifest in compulsive seeking of the drug despite the known harmful effects to body and social functioning.

However, most people’s perception about marijuana is only locked down on its negative health implication when in fact cannabis is a potential drug that offers more beneficial effects. First, addiction is a broad term that can be associated to several things. Tobacco for example is also addictive, yet it is legal. In addition, the percentage of people being addictive to marijuana is a lot less than those of tobacco and alcohol. Research has indicated that only 9% of marijuana users became addicted while 32% of tobacco smokers and 15% of alcohol drinkers actually became addicted. Therefore, the probability of a person being addicted to marijuana is lower than the legal substances such as tobacco and alcohol. Furthermore, the long term effects on respiratory, reproductive and nervous system of marijuana use are also present in tobacco, so there is no reason that tobacco is legal and marijuana is not. THC in Cannabis can be used to relive pain, promote appetite, reduce nausea and glaucoma and ultimately, the drug offers broad-spectrum of relief that cannot be found in other plants.
The 2010 Congressional Research Service report for Congress provided evidence that marijuana is beneficial to health and possesses significant medicinal value. Such claim that marijuana is beneficial cannot be ignored because it is the congressional research arm that justified the argument of its medicinal properties and not just by any pro-marijuana advocates. The Congressional report mentioned that in certain States in the U.S. marijuana was proven to have a positive effect on patients with chronic illnesses. In Rhode Island for instance marijuana is being used to treat Cancer and HIV/AIDS since 2006, while Michigan added Hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma to the list of ailments that marijuana can significantly contribute to relief. The proponents of medical marijuana determined therapeutic value of marijuana in relieving varieties disease related illnesses such as nausea, spasm, muscle spasticity, chronic pain and anxiety. In addition, marijuana was regarded in successfully eliminate the debilitating symptoms caused by the aforementioned illnesses and even the side effects of chemotherapy.

In a nutshell, marijuana is only illegal because the law makers misunderstood marijuana and its beneficial properties are neglected in favor of the negative perception. There are several things that the government has to see clearly to realize that marijuana is not so different from the legalized alcohol and tobacco. Fighting marijuana only creates an alarming situation of racial biases by law enforcement and not to mention the billions of dollars that they spent in prohibition campaigns. There is more in marijuana than what common people thinks. The cost of fighting it could actually mean billions of dollars in federal savings. That legalizing the market for marijuana means billions of dollars in additional tax revenues. Ultimately, marijuana is not just about health risks because it has significant properties that could be the key to the medical mysteries that scientist are still in pursuit for answers. The public is becoming more open to the idea of legalization and so should the government, otherwise the problem of fighting marijuana would remain a problem with a never ending search for resolution.

Posted by December 6th, 2016