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Why Cannabis Should Be Illegal Essay

In the United States today, 2.7 million people are abusing drugs. One of the most popular drugs among those abused is marijuana, which is technically known as cannabis, but commonly referred to as pot, weed, and hash, among other names.

Many people, especially teens, experience peer pressure causing them to make bad choices. One of these decisions includes the use of marijuana. People will smoke to ease up pain or stress in their lives or to simply feel the sensation of being high.

What many people fail to realize though, is that like other recreational drugs, smoking marijuana is illegal and should not be used just because it’s easily accessible.

Although many people in the US want Marijuana to be legal, it should not be. Marijuana should stay illegal because it has been proven by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that it is useful for medical purposes and should be kept that way. Some of the medicinal uses are: AIDs, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, HIV, Migraine, Spasticity, etc.

The legalization of marijuana use will restrict access to minors similar to age restrictions on alcohol. Putting an age limit to the legalization however, is not enough to prevent the consequences that could occur from the use of marijuana.  Age restrictions on alcohol does not prevent all teenagers from drinking, so restrictions on marijuana will likely have the same effect.

Although it is not necessarily addictive on its own, marijuana is referred to as the gateway drug. It is known to lead to the use of more dangerous and addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that the younger a person is when he or she begins using marijuana, the more likely it is that he or she will abuse other drugs as she gets older.  If true, once legalized, more teenagers will use marijuana and possibly abuse other drugs.

Marijuana will not only cause more people to become drug addicts, but it will harm their brains, lungs, and hearts. The cannabinoids in marijuana cause parts of the brain to function wrong. After smoking, a person will have trouble remembering what he or she was doing before he or she began. Smoking will also cause a 20-100 percent increase in their heart rate and an increased risk of a heart attack. Smokers will also be more inclined to have respiratory problems due to the amount of smoke that enters their lungs.

While the debate over legalizing marijuana has been on going for a few years, it is clear that keeping marijuana illegal is the best solution for everyone. Legalizing the drug would do nothing but harm our country. More people could become addicts and more people could die. There is no reason for the death toll to rise over the legalization of a drug. So in the end, don’t be under the influence, stay above it.

Marijuana should be illegal for the majority of medical purposes because of the potentially dangerous side effects. Some of these side effects include lapse, or no commonsense for decision making. There have been absolutely no cases stating a person has overdosed from smoking marijuana, but there have been several documented cases that prove marijuana was the cause of death. An example of this would be, a person smokes one self made marijuana cigarette, and attempts to drive an automobile. The moment that person sits in the driver seat, they become as dangerous as a drunk driver.

Another extremely dangerous side effect is the slowing down of reflexes. If a marijuana intoxicated driver were to be confronted with a foreign object on the road, it we be too late for him/her to realize the danger he has placed himself and possibly the other passengers.

Those side effects could be considered miniscule to the possibility that smoking marijuana leads to harder drugs. The cold hard facts prove that marijuana is the steppingstone to harder drugs. These harder drugs include cocaine, heroin, LSD, and several others. If you were to ask current drug users what there first drug was, the most common answer would be marijuana.

Oncologists overwhelmingly reject the idea of prescribing smoked marijuana. Crude marijuana contains over 400 different chemicals. THC, the main active ingredient in crude marijuana, is available as the prescription drug Marinol, for the treatment of nausea associated with chemotherapy; however safer and more effective anti-emetic medication are available and preferred by oncologists.

Probably the largest reason to smoke medical marijuana is because of glaucoma. There is no scientific evidence that marijuana prevents the progression of visual loss in glaucoma. While marijuana, as well as alcohol and a host of other substances, and lower intraocular eye pressure, the medication must be carefully tailored to the individual to prevent further eye damage. Besides numerous adverse side effects of smoking marijuana, the dose cannot be controlled. Several AIDS patients are using marijuana because of the claim that it gets rid of some of the side effects. Smoking marijuana to reduce the side effects of AIDS compromises the immune system and puts AIDS patients at a significant risk for infections and respiratory problems. A current scientific study show that Marinol (oral THC), is effective in increasing appetite but is ineffective in increasing weight gain.

Others smoke marijuana because they believe it reduces the spasicity associated with Multiple Sclerosis. In a recent double blind scientific study, the latest high-tech electronic equipment was used to determine if smoked marijuana had any benefit in treating spasicity in patients with MS. The study found that all patients receiving marijuana rather than placebo perceived their spascity to be lessened, when in actuality, it was made worse.

Smoked marijuana is neither an acceptable medical treatment nor an alternative medical treatment for any illness. Marijuana use has serious health consequences. Concentration, motor coordination, memory, lungs, reproductive and immune systems are all adversely impacted by marijuana use; marijuana is addictive. Physicians who treat people for cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and other diseases do not favor the use of marijuana.

Not one American health organization accepts marijuana as medicine. These include the American Medical Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Glaucoma Society, American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Cancer Society. FDA/DEA have repeatedly rejected marijuana for medicinal use. Marijuana fails to meet any of the Drug Enforcement Administrations or Federal Drug Administration's eight criteria for approving drugs for medical use. Most doctors want the best medicine possible for their patients. Although synthetic marijuana (THC) in a pure and standardized form is available by prescription, it is often the last choice of doctors, because better medicines are available. Marijuana is not recognized as a medicine in generally accepted pharmacopoeia, medical references or textbooks. Even Marinol, a synthetic form of THC (tetrahydracannibinol), available by prescription for treating nausea, has far more negative health effects than other available agents. There are numerous and more effective anti nausea agents. These include Prochlorperazine (Compazine), metaclopramide (Reglan), lorazepam, corticosteroids, thiethylperazine (Torecan), ondansetron (Zofran), promethazine (Phenagran), perphenazine (Trilafon), and chlorpromazine (Thorazine). The pro-drug lobby views the suffering of patients with chronic illness with false promises about marijuana as medicine. They have stated that they are pushing marijuana as medicine and are using it as a "red herring" as part of a strategy to legalize marijuana for general use.

Legalizing marijuana for medical use would just give people more reasons to get high. Many of the side effects are very dangerous. It has been proven to be addictive, and the bottom line is there is absolutely no scientific evidence that smoking marijuana helps any type of medical condition.

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