In America, we face a problem known as the Drug War. To help put an end to our nation’s difficulty with drugs, our government has done everything in its power from passing new laws to enforcing stricter policies. However, a time comes when we must realize that if we aren’t going to fight it all, we might as well not fight it at all.
What I mean by this is that if the government is going to allow the use of dangerous substances such as alcohol and tobacco, the government has no right to morally deny its people to use other substances seen as harmful, such as marijuana.
Marijuana should be legalized because it is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, it is scientifically helpful to the medical field, and the government has no valid reasoning to allow alcohol and tobacco consumption opposed to the use of marijuana.
According to the Marijuana Legalization Organization, 100,000 deaths occur each year due to alcohol consumption, and one-fourth of these deaths are caused by drinking and driving, (and these numbers are excluding the victims of the accidents).
The same website also states that the second major cause of death in the world is tobacco, taking nearly five million lives each year. The number of deaths resulting from alcohol and tobacco combined is elevating rapidly and very frightening, yet both remain legal and widely used. On the other hand, I have not found a single statistic or article proving that a death occurred due to the use of marijuana.
Yes, there have been accidents and injuries that are supposedly in result to the use of marijuana, but I would much rather suffer an injury than suffer death.
It is virtually impossible for marijuana to cause a death because the effects of marijuana on a person are very mild. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) provided me with a variety of facts about marijuana and the effects that it has on a human. The high that is produced by marijuana is caused by THC (the active chemical in marijuana). When marijuana is smoked, THC enters the blood stream, and it is then carried throughout the rest of the body.
Upon reaching the brain, THC influences nerve cells, pleasure, memory, and sensory perception (NIDA). Notice that I used the word influence.
I used this word in opposition to the impairing effects that alcohol has on a human. Individuals under the impairment of alcohol are much more dangerous to society than individuals under the influence of marijuana. The Americans who use marijuana on a daily basis are not doing so because they have a death wish or because they seek to jeopardize their life by getting ‘messed up’.
They are doing so because they’ve worked hard throughout the day and they feel the urge to smoke a little marijuana and relax and temporarily relieve some stress.
This brings me to my next point. In an article published by The Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, it is said that marijuana has relaxing and calming effects on the body, yet it does not have significant effects on cognitive abilities (Marijuana Scholar).
This is why more and more doctors have begun to use marijuana as a provisional cure for patients suffering extreme pain. Doctors throughout the nation have begun giving cancer patients the privilege to smoke marijuana legally to help relieve their pain.
I even found an article that was in response to questions from the White House about the medical effects of marijuana on patients. The response that was returned stated that cannabis (meaning the THC in the cannabis) is used for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation (Marijuana Legalization).
In a survey given to senior citizens, 72% agreed to legalizing marijuana for medical purposes (NIDA Facts amp; Statistics).
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but is it not the doctors who spend their entire education learning about what is beneficial to the health of humans? Aren’t the doctors the people we depend so heavily upon to provide us with our healthcare?
Yet, now that the doctors are telling us that marijuana is of valuable use, our nation (or should I say our government) is hesitant to remain confident in our doctors.
For my final argument, I would like to discuss a few reasons why the government would resist so strongly to something so unpretentious. In my own opinion, I feel that the main reason the government will not legalize marijuana is because they would never find a valid way to put a tax on marijuana, since marijuana can be grown in a garden or back yard.
This is a valid point; however, I do not think it is reason enough to keep marijuana from being legalized. What I truly do not understand is why the government wants to ban something found to be potentially helpful, yet continue to allow the selling of substances that are far more lethal.
Maybe we should all think about this in a very logical scenario: Would you rather have your own children introduced to alcohol and tobacco, or marijuana? Let’s think about it. Along with alcohol comes the risk of drinking and driving, severe impairment and even alcohol poisoning.
Tobacco provides us with spectacular health issues such as heart disease, lung cancer, and emphysema. Marijuana will do nothing more than make you temporarily forgetful and stimulate one hell of an appetite. I am sorry to be so unpatriotic, but I choose the latter.
In conclusion, I am very disconcerted after preparing this article. To know that alcohol and tobacco are available at any given time for legal purchase is saddening upon reviewing the statistics and death rates of these two substances.
Even doctors have begun to make efforts to prove that marijuana is beneficial to the world of health. I feel that the government is being overly critical to continue to outlaw the sale and use of marijuana, while allowing Americans to obtain alcohol and tobacco. It is true that not one of these items may be necessary, yet the most beneficial of the three remains illegal.
It is time for our government to quit wasting money on useless things such as drug testing and fighting against marijuana.
The real concern should be the number of deaths due to legal substances. Even though it is proving to be beneficial to our futures, it seems as though America is most intent on fighting the legalization of Marijuana, while ignoring the dangers of what is already legal.