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Argumentative on Legalization of Marijuana - Essay Example

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This is an "Argumentative Essay on Legalization of Marijuana". An important metric by which we can measure the prosperity of a society is its social cohesion. …
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Download file to see previous pages Every nation in the world has such roots, and every nation was subsequently transformed by trade, migration, and invention. The infusion of new inventions, drugs, and substances into the culture can affect it drastically. For instance, alcohol had a significantly deleterious effect on Siberian Indians, now commonly called Native Americans. Their physique had not enough evolutionary time to adapt to the mind-altering and addictive nature of alcohol. On the other hand, the European genotype lived far longer alongside alcoholic consumption. Yet, the negative aspects of such consumption were still plain to see:  
  • increase in violence
  • increase in family dysfunction
  • increase in injuries
  • severe addiction which leads to debilitating chronic medical conditions
  • lower productivity
  Because people understand that no individual can make a law onto itself, as we are all inter-dependent and affect each other constantly, alcohol eventually became a highly regulated drug by the government. One that is restricted in terms of age, production, labeling, and marketing. More importantly, for a while, it was illegal, and that proved to spark criminal chaos on the streets of many cities.   The question arises, does marijuana, as one of many mind-altering drugs, deserve more severe scrutiny than alcohol or less severe regulation by the government? Let’s find out in this Argumentative Essay on the Legalization of Marijuana essays.   The accompanying question is also important when it comes to its illegal status. What is the level of tolerance the government should allow for certain inventions and drugs? For instance, if we were to increase the speed limit for vehicles, we would save tens of thousands of lives annually. However, we don’t do that because people prioritize the convenience of faster driving to a certain number of deaths.   Clearly, our metric for the government allowing something to be legal or illegal depends on the balance between its utility and its potential harm. In such a way, we must view marijuana as well. What is its utility in relation to its potentially harmful effects, especially compared to an already legal, although regulated, a substance such as alcohol?   The way marijuana affects society can be viewed from three critical perspectives:
  • Physiological/medical.
  •  
  • Societal, i.e. does it significantly affect social cohesion.
  Skewed Perception and Economic Opportunity Although by all biochemical effects, alcohol is a drug, it is simply not viewed as such. This is for the simple reason that alcoholic drinks have been normalized through centuries of use. Such beverages have become as common as bread. This is not the case with illegal marijuana. Despite growing in nature, it has been erroneously perceived as something special and out of bounds with our current cultural habits. Because we did not normalize marijuana, the government views it as an abnormal and illegal drug, as something that needs to be more severely sanctioned than alcoholic products.   Such skewed perception results in a significant economic drain. Over 300 economists have estimated that the US government wastes approximately $14 billion yearly on marijuana prohibition. Just $8 billion could be saved by not enforcing marijuana prohibition. Additionally, the national budget could be richer by at least $6 billion if the government taxed marijuana as it taxes tobacco and alcoholic drinks.   That is only the beginning of the economic opportunity if we remove its illegal status. If the government legalized it on a federal level, marijuana could open up countless economic opportunities, creating a brand-new market for medicinal and recreational marijuana. Considering the wide range of marijuana plants and the varied way in which they can be prepared and ingested, this would create space for numerous marijuana products, shops, and accessories.   Physiological Impact of Marijuana An honest person could argue that it doesn’t matter what it costs to suppress marijuana smokers, and it doesn’t matter if we lose money by not having a regulated and taxed marijuana market. The reasoning behind this is that the physiological effects of marijuana would have such negative effects on people that they would overshadow and potential gains.   These negative effects of marijuana on people can be summed up as:  
  • It is a gateway to deadly, hardcore drugs.
  • It lowers productivity and dulls the mind.
  By contrast, it is well-understood that alcohol, despite not being an illegal drug, has a severe negative impact on people’s health. Some of the deadlier impacts are is the suppression of the central nervous system, including alcoholic coma. In fact, doctors determined that consumption of common drinks like beer, vodka, and wine causes more deaths globally than infectious diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis.   When was the last time you heard someone overdosing on marijuana? Or even better, when was the last time you heard that someone used alcoholic beverages for legitimate medicinal purposes?   Marijuana is not only non-toxic to humans but is regularly used as a medicinal remedy for terminal patients. This created the initial push for marijuana legalization during its uniformly illegal status, as patients suffering from cancer and other diseases found cannabinoids in marijuana as a highly effective solution for managing pain, without the negative and addictive side effects with which legalized painkillers come with. In addition to being a natural painkiller, it has another huge benefit for patients who must go through the grueling experience of chemotherapy – an increase in appetite.   Initial marijuana research conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin suggested that one marijuana joint equals five cigarettes, by measuring airflow resistance into the lungs of smokers. However, this is only a single metric for lung health. Taking all the lung health markers together, Dr. Tashkin discovered that marijuana smokers fared better on all indicators compared to tobacco users, and by a large margin. More importantly, there were no indications that marijuana smokers have a higher incidence of lung cancer, which is certainly the case with tobacco smokers.   Of course, this line of reasoning completely omits the fact that smoking marijuana is just one way to absorb its mind-altering cannabinoids. Many people prefer to ingest them by combining them with regular food like cakes. This completely circumvents the smoking issue, even if it was an issue as such compared to tobacco, which it isn’t.   As far as the effects of marijuana on human behavior go, it has been widely observed that its users exhibit mellow, subdued demeanor. The opposite of the belligerent behavior observed in drunk people. But of course, this doesn’t mean one should operate vehicles and other important tasks under the influence of marijuana. If legalized on a federal level, marijuana should receive the same level of regulation as alcoholic products.   Lastly, the notion of a legalized gateway drug is itself an incoherent proposition. When deconstructed, we can see that it doesn’t make any sense, as the same can be said more appropriately for alcohol. And if it is a gateway drug to harder drugs, should we criminalize this particular drug? Not to mention the fact there is no evidence for that being the case anyway. Otherwise, given the widespread consumption of legalized alcoholic beverages, every other person would already be a hardcore heroin addict.   Conclusion The introduction of novelty often invokes people’s exaggerated reaction that leads to deceit. The mainstream media did not disappoint in this as it peddled every unsubstantiated and hysterical argument against marijuana one could think of, often lumping all drugs together. As the mediatic space became more decentralized, and as the reality itself disproved countless anti-marijuana claims, we can now move forward and completely legalize marijuana in all aspects. Considering the initial criteria given – the balance between utility and potential harm – we can safely say that marijuana passes the test. In particular, it passes this test in exemplary fashion compared to far more toxic and mind-altering drugs we have already grown accustomed to, such as alcohol and tobacco.                 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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