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Marijuana Legalization Issues in the USA

The debate around the reasonability of legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has been continuing for decades, with very little consensus having been reached so far. Both sides of the discussion have been offering sufficiently compelling argument, most of them Bing supported by research and other types of credible evidence (Subramaniam et al. 149). However, although the arguments of both sides are substantially compelling, recreational use of marijuana should still be considered an unreasonable solution due to the harm that uninhibited consumption of marijuana will entail.

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Though numerous people have been critical of the negative effects that marijuana is believed to have on people, the existing evidence points to the fact that the existing concerns have all the rights to exist. For instance, even though the adverse health outcomes of consuming marijuana have been downplayed significantly for quite a while, recent research has shown that marijuana does lead to health deterioration (Ghasemiesfe et al. 113). Specifically, Subramaniam et al. outline that the use of marijuana leads to the development of cardiovascular conditions due to vasospasms (148). In turn, the study by Ghasemiesfe et al. confirm that marijuana affects the pulmonary function in a highly undesirable manner (110). Therefore, the negative effects on physical well-being of marijuana consumers serves as the main argument in favor of keeping the substance illegal.

The effect that marijuana legalization will ostensibly have on crime rates is another important talking point, on which both ides hold opposing opinions. While those against the legalization of marijuana voice concerns about the possibility of a rapid spike in crime as a direct outcome of the legal change, the proponents of legalization assume that the crime statistics, particularly, the rates of drug peddling, will drop (Lu et al. 568). However, current research proves that neither of the parties involved has made the correct assumption, and that the existing information on crime rates change in Colorado and Washington, were marijuana has been legalized, shows no observable changes (Lu et al. 568). Therefore, legalizing marijuana as the means of reducing the levels of crime within a particular urban area does not seem to be a sensible step given the evident lack of connection between the two phenomena.

Furthermore, the increased availability of marijuana is likely to lead to a drastic rise in road accidents, s some of the available studies warn. The rationale behind the specified assertions is quite easy to understand; due to the relaxing and numbing effect that cannabis produces, on the brain, the response to a rapidly emerging threat becomes insufficiently quick, hence the increase in the probability of a car accident (Lu et al. 569). In the urban setting, where a driver under the influence exposes not only themselves but also multiple pedestrian to a tremendous risk, marijuana as a recreational drug must be banned.

Remarkably, the effects of marijuana on the probability of a car accident have been significantly understudies, which implies that direct evidence cannot be extracted form recent studies. However, after modeling a hypothetical scenario, the authors of a recent research confirmed that “swerving in the lane, slower reaction time, impaired decision making, impaired driving performance, and risk-taking” represent the behaviors that are highly correlated with driving under the influence of marijuana (Das et al. 8). Therefore, there are strong reasons to believe that the consumption of marijuana affects the probability of a car accident to a tremendous degree, mostly due to the loss of focus and the ability to think critically, analyzing the situation observed on the road (Das et al. 10). Therefore, the use of marijuana is highly correlated with the threat of a car accident, which is why it needs to be prohibited as a form of a recreation drug.

Another legitimate concern that could be seen as an argument against the legalization of marijuana is linked to the fact that the introduction of a regulation allowing its us without the promotion of awareness concerning the effects of marijuana and the details of the neurological response that the brain produces when introduced to marijuana is likely to lead to further aggravation of people’s health. Specifically, harmful myths about marijuana, such as the idea that it does not lead to the development of a chemical dependency, as well as other potentially dangerous misconceptions, will remain in place is marijuana is legalized without any concessions being made in regard to promoting awareness about it (Gladwell par. 2). Specifically, believing that marijuana produces no effect on the neurological pathways of the human body, people till consume the drug in question in ample amounts, spiraling into a chemical dependency and developing the substance abuse problem that may lead to further severe complications.

At the same time, the idea of legitimizing marijuana use should not be dismissed as entirely devoid of common sense. The rationale behind the arguments of the proponents is quite understandable, their main assumption being that the current status of a prohibited substance makes marijuana all the more desirable, at the same time fueling its illegal peddling (Choi et al. 324). In this context, the idea of making marijuana readily available as a recreation drug will imply removing the stigma from it, therefore, effectively eliminating the criminal market that sells marijuana (Choi et al. 325). However, when approaching the issue form a practical perspective one will recognize the multiple impediments that must be addressed in order to implement the described change. Specifically, the issue of organized crime will not dissolve once marijuana is legalized; instead, the criminal market of drug peddling is likely to view the newly developed legal one as its direct rival, therefore, causing the further threat of violence exerted by members of organized crime on the participants of the recreational marijuana industry (Choi et al. 327). Therefore, the legal implications of legalizing marijuana need to be scrutinized very closely before the decision to allow the use of cannabis is made.

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Finally, one must address the problem of tax money as the possible reason for concern when legalizing marijuana. Specifically, there is the possibility that the costs for producing recreational marijuana will be significantly higher than the related tax revenues obtained by selling the product to the target audience (Choi et al. 329). Therefore, there are reasons to believe that the introduction of regulations legalizing the use of marijuana will inevitably lead to the mismanagement of the financial resources at the disposal of the state authorities, particularly, the tax money supplied by citizens (Choi et al. 330). Given the drastic implications of a company failing to meet the standards for financial management and the allocation of the state funds, making changes to the current framework of addressing marijuana misuse issues appears to be unreasonable.

Even though the proponents of legitimizing marijuana do offer some important arguments that do, in fact, represent the truth, the disadvantages o legalizing marijuana, particularly, in relation to the threat that it will entail for the well-bring of citizens across the U.S., outweighs the positive outcomes. Specifically, the damage done to health coupled with the lack of awareness about the health outcomes in question and the increased rates of crime indicate that the few positive effects of legalizing marijuana are not worth the threat. Therefore, marijuana should retain its illegal status; moreover, accurate information about the effects of marijuana use must be made available to the public by healthcare experts. Once marijuana is recognized as a substance that leads to the development of an addition with the resulting damage of neurons, it will be vital for me to continue my professional development.

Works Cited

Choi, Anna, Dhaval Dave, and Joseph J. Sabia. “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Medical Marijuana Laws and Tobacco Cigarette Use.” American Journal of Health Economics, vol. 5, no. 3. 2019, pp. 303-333.

Das, Subasish, Ly-Na Tran, and Magdalena Theel. “Understanding Patterns in Marijuana Impaired Traffic Crashes.” Journal of Substance Use, vol. 26, no. 1, 2021, pp. 21-29.

Ghasemiesfe, Mehrnaz, et al. “Marijuana Use, Respiratory Symptoms, and Pulmonary Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 169, no. 2, 2018, pp. 106-115.

Gladwell, Malcolm. “Is Marijuana as Safe as We Think?” The New Yorker, 7 jan., 2019, Web.

Lu, Ruibin, et al. “The Cannabis Effect on Crime: Time-Series Analysis of Crime in Colorado and Washington State.” Justice Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, 2021, pp. 565-595.

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Subramaniam, Venkat N., et al. “The Cardiovascular Effects of Marijuana: Are the Potential Adverse Effects Worth the High?” Missouri Medicine, vol. 116, no. 2, 2019, pp. 146-153.

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