Legalization of Marijuana and the Threat It Poses

RUNNING HEAD: Legalization of Marijuana
Legalization of Marijuana 3


Legalization of Marijuana
According to 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), marijuana is one of the most used illicit drugs with 22.2 million users per month. The survey also states that adolescents and young adults are the most affected group. Perceptions of the risks associated with consuming marijuana have steadily declined due to the debates surrounding loosening restrictions and legalizing marijuana for recreational and medicinal use (Posey, 2016). But, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), there are increased medical emergencies which are related to marijuana consumption. Proponents of the legalization of marijuana argue that it has a therapeutic benefit, and it contributes to the country’s economy through taxation collected (Kaiser, 2016). Despite this argument, this paper will argue against legalization of marijuana citing its foundation from a moral, economic, social and medical perspective of the society.
Increased Criminal Activities
Marijuana use is correlated to increased crime rate in America. Proponents of legalization argue that property theft, shoplifting, pickpockets and street gangs would decrease if drugs including marijuana were made legal (Bell, 2007). They also believe that drive-by shooting or drug-related murders would drop if drugs such as marijuana were made legal. They feel that reduction in the struggle between the youth and the government agencies regarding marijuana use would move a greater way in reducing criminal activities (Shephard & Blackley, 2007). As a counter argument against legalization, marijuana use is closely related to increased criminal activities. Many suicide cases are conducted by individual under the influence of marijuana. Furthermore, criminal activities are committed by persons whose brains are under the influence of mood-altering drugs such as marijuana (Blazer & Wu, 2009).
Public Health Concern
Legalization of marijuana has devastating effects on the economy, public health, the society as well as the American culture in general (Single, 1990). Uncontrolled use of marijuana intoxicates the brain, damages the normal functioning of the body and lead to behavior changes that are costly to maintain. Additionally, use of marijuana threatens the welfare, the safety of both the users and non-users (Thomas & Hauschild, 1971). For example, an individual intoxicated with marijuana would easily harm another person for no reason. Legalization of marijuana would also increase the burden and pressure on the health care industry (Van & Cross, 1997). For instance, there would be increased visits to emergency rooms, growth in police responses as well as increased ambulance calls. There are numerous adverse effects of using marijuana, they include; risk of cancer, delayed brain development, result to mental illness and increased predisposition to cardiovascular diseases. As per now, marijuana use costs the government about $15.8 billion annually (Posey, 2016). Therefore, if it is made legal, then the amount spend would triple constraining the budget and affecting the economy of the country.
Increase in Terrorism
It is now 15 years after the deadly terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001. It is evidently clear that massive amounts of money are run by these global terrorist networks in order to maintain their activities and fund their members (Vlahov, Galea, Resnick, Boscarino, Bucuvalas & Gold, 2002). According to undercover research done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, terrorist’s activities are funded from money collected from narcotic businesses including marijuana. Despite the fact these terrorist activities take place in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia, legalization of marijuana in America would only exacerbate the terrorism problem. In simpler terms, legalization of marijuana would mean creating better opportunities for a terrorist to survive as well as control different markets in the European and American region (McGuire, 2016). Having these facts in mind, the paper wholly oppose legalization of marijuana or any other drug.
Moral perspective
From a moral point of view, a government cannot be involved in the distribution of objects, services or substances that are considered immoral as per the norms and values of the society (Denning, 2016). Marijuana is generally considered as unhealthy substance following the adverse effects it has on the well-being of the community (Voss, 1981). A government is expected to protect the health of its citizens rather than exposing them to harm. Moreover, easy availability of marijuana would mean the creation of new consumers rather than reducing and rescuing the already affected persons. As seen earlier, marijuana use affects both the users and the passive users equally (McGinty, Samples, Bandara, Saloner, Bachhuber & Barry, 2016). For example, increased health costs, neglect of children and families by marijuana-addicted parents and amplified criminal activities affect both the users and the innocent individuals in the society (Dougherty, 2016). Therefore, legalization of marijuana would only mean destroying the already established morals, values, and peace of the society which is completely unethical.
Norms and values in the society are learned through the socialization process. Similarly, legalization of marijuana would socialize the younger generation that marijuana use is acceptable. Having this in mind, it is clear that legalization of marijuana would have more adverse effects than positive effects on the society (Borini, Paulo, Guimara?es, Cardoso, & Borini, 2004). Some of its effects are more likely to tough on the moral value of the community, economic, security, and health of the nation. Following this, this paper can confidently stand against legalization of marijuana.

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