Marijuana Legalization Debate

According to the opinion article posted by the Editorial Board of the Washington Post newspaper, the rush to legalize the use of marijuana should be rejected by Washington D.C voters. The board notes that handling of small amounts of drug was decriminalized recently and therefore, it is not logical to legalize the drug too soon. Voters should be given adequate time to ponder over the raging debate and be allowed to have their own independent input without being persuaded by politicians.

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Although the effects of marijuana may be worse than that of alcohol, the board observes that the drug is still harmful. The District should take enough time before proposing for legalization. Better still, it should learn from other states that have already implemented the legalization process.

The board asserts that outright legalization of marijuana may not be the best option at a time when there are other avenues to control the trade and consumption of harmful drug. The American Medical Association (AMA) has always been against legalization. A statement quoted by the board from AMA notes that “cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.” (D.C. voters should reject, 2014, par. 4).

It is indeed true that marijuana is among the harmful drugs that should not be allowed to penetrate into society. From the above opinion piece by the Washington Post Editorial Board, it is evident that marijuana debate has dominated headlines for a long time. However, should we trust politicians and pro-legalization sympathizers to assess the negative effects of marijuana? The American Medical Association comprises of professionals who have analyzed the effects of the drug and generated profound findings.

Needles to say, there are sufficient research-based empirical studies that have linked marijuana consumption with memory loss. Malivert and Hall (2013) are emphatic that marijuana smoke contains a lot of cancer-causing substance compared to tobacco. A single cannabis joint has an equal effect to five cigarette sticks.

The arguments made by the editorial team are not quite convincing even though marijuana remains a harmful substance. The board should have included a number of quantitative studies that have proved the negative effects of cannabis sativa. Some statistical data is necessary in such a hotly debated issue in order to convince the audience. In addition, the editorial board has not clarified how marijuana use led to impaired driving. There might be other causes of poor vision apart from marijuana.


D.C. voters should reject. 2014.

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Malivert, R., & Hall, J. C. (2013). The effect of medical marijuana laws on extralegal marijuana prices. Atlantic Economic Journal, 41(4), 455-456.

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