Is marihuana beneficial or destructive to society - Essay Example

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Studies have proven that the use of marihuana at a young age greatly impacts academic performance and deprives our society of the youth as they are not able to reach their greatest growth and potential. The use of marihuana not only affects the individual who is using it, but…
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Is marihuana beneficial or destructive to society
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Is Marihuana Beneficial or Destructive to Society? Why Do We Need to Prevent Legalization? Studies have proven that the use of marihuana at a young age greatly impacts academic performance and deprives our society of the youth as they are not able to reach their greatest growth and potential. The use of marihuana not only affects the individual who is using it, but also the society and the environment of which the individual is part of.
While studying and conducting researches on marihuana as part of my assignment, I came to see the alarming facts of prevalence of marihuana use among youths. According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) in the year 2000, approximately 3 million out of 23 million youths (13%) used marihuana prior with the survey. The rate of substance abuse among youths was higher compared to the number of adults aged 26 years old and older who have5% rate of marijuana usage. What could have possibly provoked them to use marihuana?
We know that children decide to try marihuana because of pressure from other individuals, problems related to school and family, depression, and self-esteem. According to Dr. Bruce Beckum, child psychologist and noted authority on young adult drug use, “Seventy percent of young people who use drugs report difficulties at home and at school…” The alarming rates of increase marihuana among youths might be attributed to these intrapersonal and interpersonal factors and partnerships among government, parents, and youths themselves must be worked on in order to address these issues and completely eliminate marihuana use among youths.
Marihuana puts children in danger. It is not the only drug that is most commonly used, but is also known to cause many other problems. An article from the Journal of the American Medical Association states that teens who use marijuana are 77 % more likely to try harder drugs (Smith, 64). How can people say that our society would benefit from the legalization of marihuana when this is only hurting and influencing children in a negative way? Are we only thinking in adults when we speak about marihuana? Probably, adults had thought of legalizing marihuana because of the medical benefits that can be derived from using it such as alleviation of undesirable effects of certain medications, treatments, and diseases. If just in case marihuana would have been legalized, patients will no longer experience extreme discomforts. However, legalizing marihuana would cause a lot of consequences even if it is for medical benefits. Well, let me tell you something that is not the case. Usually, the most affected by our decisions is the children. In my opinion, if we want to protect the structure of our society and our economic well-being, it is necessary that each and every child has the opportunity to an education were they can achieve and enrich their capabilities to the maximum. To prevent that our children consume alcohol, marihuana and other drugs is vital. Parents need to encourage their children and speak to them about the harm that any drug can cause and that its use is simply not an option.
Some individuals consider that the legalization of marijuana would be beneficial to the United States, because the taxation of marijuana would be responsible for billions in revenue for the government. Is this a good enough reason to make it legal? May be is only the government benefiting from this and not society? Who can consider the use of marihuana proceeds beneficial to the support of drug-treatment centers? I would say instead of using the money for drug-treatment centers it would be wise to invest in drug prevention programs. Children need to learn the real consequences of the usage of marihuana and other drugs. Does it mean that because a large number of our adult population is using it will beneficial for future generations?
I personally know a man that works at a marihuana dispensary. I saw him when walking into the grocery store the other day and he pass a card out to me and mentioned that if I was interested he could easily get me a prescription. My reaction was; “Is this guy crazy?” What are the boundaries, laws, regulations, when anyone can gain access to it? The easy access to marijuana is only making it worse for those struggling with drug dependency issues and encouraging new generations to consume it. Who can tell me that seeing all the marijuana joints around is not influential to the minds of our children? Should local authorities be involved? The answer is “Yes”. We need to stop throwing drug addicts in jail and start educating children that marijuana like any other drug is harmful. Children need to understand the real dangers of it.
Do you know why the government is furiously trying to stop marijuana trafficking? Its because the cartel leaders are making a lot of money selling weed, which allows them to buy the supplies they need to run their business. So the only positive is that once marijuana is legalized, people wont be buying it from private dealers who likely obtained their product from a cartel, stopping some of the trafficking and related crime issues. But at the same time, if we start talking to our children we could prevent the future use of any drugs, and also reduce trafficking.
There are solutions to the difficult questions. The government isnt going to solve this issue unless we make them aware of the real facts, do not believe the myth that marihuana is not addictive or harmful. If it isn’t why do we have millions depending on it? Marihuana causes dependency and increases the possibility of individuals to experiment other drugs.
Signs that a child could be consuming drugs not only are seen by changes in mood, attitude, sleep habits, mysterious friend, failing grades, unexcused absences and sudden anger. Maintaining open communication can help us identify any unusual conduct and other signs of possible drug usage.
Legalizing Marihuana: Exploring the Positive and Negative Effects of Legalizing Marihuana in the Society
To explain further the different sides of the effects of marihuana in society and to avoid biases, the positive and negative effects of marihuana used in the society were identified by respective proponents. Let us tackle first the rationale of those in agreement with the legalization of marijuana in the society. According to pro-marihuana legalization, studies which claimed that the use of marihuana harms mothers, babies, and members of the society were not 100% factual. In a study involving two groups of pregnant mothers (one group is using marihuana and the other were not), there are no significant differences between the two experimental pregnant mothers three days after birth. In fact, one-month old babies whose mothers’ ingested marihuana had displayed better physiological ability, require less facilitation to reach organized state, and were more socially responsive and alert. In addition, the use of marihuana has been part of the cultural traditions of some rural communities and viewed marihuana not only as a recreational drug but of ritual and therapeutic value. Women usually add marihuana in a tea and give it to children and elderly who are sick (Bello, 127). As continuous medical research on marihuana emerges, so as the benefits marihuana can offer in treating medical conditions including those related with stress.
The studies stated above implied that the use of marihuana should be legalized not only because of economic reasons but because of an evidence-based medical benefits. However, the question is the amount of consumption. If the government wanted to legalize marijuana in the society, how will they assure the public that it will not be abused by a lot of individuals? We also know that children at developmental years learn from copying actions and values. If they would see adults using marihuana, will they also use marihuana later in life? Legalizing the use of marihuana in the society is not easy as it may result to even worse problems than addiction. Let us take a look on the negative effects of marihuana in the society.
As one of the proponents of anti-legalization of marihuana in the society, I questioned the study stating that babies born from mothers ingesting marihuana are socially alert and responsive. Hanson,Venturelli &Fleckenstein (2006) stated that the use of marihuana can impair memory of recent events, physical coordination, and perception (p. 398). With these adverse effects, how can a baby become alert and responsive if in the first place, the mental, physical, and perceptual areas commonly used to judge alertness were altered? As these children grow older, do you think that school performance will not be affected as well as the rate of accidents? Instead of wasting one’s effort in legalizing marihuana, why don’t we increased government funding, time, and effort in uplifting the quality of education? Why don’t we focused on preventing the occurrence of medical disorders related to stress by enhancing the family and social support system instead of legalizing marihuana which were also known to cause a medical disorder called substance addiction? Legalizing marihuana is like solving a problem with a more complicated problem duly because the use of marihuana will lead to multisystem disorders such as paranoia, respiratory problems such as laryngitis, pharyngitis, and bronchitis, and cardiovascular problems such as heart rhythm irregularities and low blood pressure (Hanson, Venturelli &Fleckenstein, 407).
It seems that the use of marihuana has more negative effects than positive effects, thus legalizing marihuana use in the society would only add burdens ranging from multisystem disorders, accidents, low quality of education, and misconception among children and members of the society. Therefore, it is necessary to weigh out the pros and consequences before legalization could have made because no one knows what marihuana could do in the future.
Bello, Joan. The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological and Spiritual. Final Ed. Pennsylvania: Life Services Press, 2008. p. 125-130.
Hanson, Glen R., Venturelli, Peter J. & Fleckenstein, Annette E. Drugs and Society. 9th ed. Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2006. p. 382-417. Read More
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