Marijuana Should Be Legal for Anyone over 21
Marijuana should be legalized for recreational purposes to anyone over 21 years of age. Marijuana has been proven to be safer than alcohol, yet marijuana is against the law. Alcohol is known to contribute to acts of violence and crime, while in most cases cannabis can reduce aggression in its users. “In last year’s cases of reported violent crime three million offenders had been drinking. Almost all cases of date rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence had some kind of connection to alcohol” (Medical Fact: Marijuana is Safer Than Alcohol, 2009). Marijuana has not been linked or has been left absent from any of those type of crime reports.
Alcohol-related traffic accidents have gone down in the past 20 to 30 years; however, they still kill approximately 14,000 lives every year according to MADD. The numbers for THC-related traffic deaths are very rare because most of the deaths in these cases the driver was also under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. However, “there is evidence from a number of studies, including some laboratory simulations that give power to the idea that people under the influence of cannabis seem to be aware of their impaired motor skills, and two tend to drive below the posted speed limit.
People under the influence of alcohol are more likely to unaware or defiant about their impaired state and most tend to speed or drive recklessly” (RN, How Many People Actually Die from Marijuana and Alcohol, 2010). Some of the main concerns about legalizing marijuana are if marijuana causes any type of cancer or long time health effects. “Alcohol abuse as we know can contribute too many different long-term negative health problems, mainly cirrhosis of the liver and other types of cancers.
There are some doctors that state that a small quantity of alcohol, taken daily, is good for salutary health effects, alcohol is still one of the worst drugs that someone could take for pain management” (Kaufman, 2008). Marijuana has not been linked to cause any type of cancer but instead is used to treat some side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Studies have been done to see if marijuana has any link to causing cancer. Donald Tashkin from the University of California Los Angeles is a pulmonologist that has studied marijuana and its effects for over 30 years.
He stated that “New findings were against our expectation. A study was done were we hypothesized that there would be an association between marijuana and lung cancer, and with heavier use of the drug that the link would be even more positive. Instead we found that there was no association at all, we even found that THC might have some protective effects against cancer” (Tashkin, 2009). Many states have already made marijuana legal for medical use because of all its positive effects on the user.
Some government officials are trying to keep marijuana illegal because they say it is a gateway drug, and will lead children to harder drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine. However the RAND study performed by the U. S. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (which measures patterns and frequency of self-reported drug use among Americans) found that “Marijuana experimentation by adolescents does not lead to the use of harder drug’s, and that teenagers who tried hard drugs were predisposed to do so whether or not they tried marijuana. Almost anything can be called a gateway drug in today’s time.
Most people can remember a popular candy know as Candy Cigarettes. “Candy Cigarettes that are exactly the way you remember them as a kid. Each pack has 10 white candy sticks with a red tip, ready to be rolled up in your T-shirt sleeve” (Oldtime Candy Company, 2010). I asked my parents about my use of Candy Cigarettes. “When you were 8 or 9 you always wanted to act cool like the older guys on our street. You would always ask for those things, and you and your best friend would stand outside playing with them.
If I would have known that it would have led to you really smoking I would have never bought them” (Anderson, 2011). The statement “marijuana is a lot safer than alcohol” cannot go unchallenged and should be debated. One important subject is the risk that marijuana use (especially in young adults) can lead to some kinds of mental illness. “Studies support findings that risk of schizophrenia doubles in young abusers” (U. S. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2009).
According to Joseph Califano Jr. CASA founder and chairman of Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) “If we were to make marijuana legal and taxed it, for approximately every dollar of tax revenue, there could be as much as seven dollars incurred in medical costs”. Legalizing marijuana would mean that it would be easier for the drug to get in the hands of kids. According to CASA findings “Despite reported declines in teen marijuana use in 2007, almost eleven million teens report using marijuana. Marijuana is a major substance that is being abused among teens in America.
More than five times the increase in such findings for all other substance abuse. ” With marijuana becoming so popular again with teens most people believe that we should keep the drug illegal. Marijuana should be legalized for recreational purposes to anyone over 21 years of age. Studies have shown that it is safer than alcohol, and is being use by a wide spread of society. Money from taxation of marijuana can be used to benefit schools, decrease the deficit, and lower prison rates and populations for minor offenders and misdemeanors.
Marijuana has not been shown to cause cancer, but instead help with some of the side effects. As well as reduce aggression in its users. No Drug is good and all of them need to be regulated in some type of way. However, marijuana use is not going stop. We as a society need to control it and gain from it. Legalizing marijuana and putting laws, similar to the ones for alcohol, in effect would increase the use of marijuana amongst our society, but it would also bring in money that is in great need for our schools.