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Texas Should Not Legalize Marihuana for Personal or Medical Use

Introduction

The drug use is one of the most urgent social and legal problems nowadays. Certain drugs have been historically used as the components of the medicines. Many are prohibited. The legalization of marihuana for personal and medical use is the subject of discussions and debates.

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The aim of this essay is to argue why Texas should not legalize marihuana for personal or medical use.

The Brief Description of Marihuana as the Drug Substance

The marihuana represents the vegan substance, which is derived from the cannabis, the herbaceous plant. The dried leaves of the plant contain the chemical element, which is, in essence, the drug substance. The statistics shows that “marihuana is the third most popular recreational drug in the United States (behind only alcohol and tobacco)” (“About Marijuana” n.pag.). The drug is smoked. The extent of its influence depends on the experience of the drug addict and the quality of the drug. Although marihuana is not as dangerous as tobacco and alcohol, it affects the health of people substantially. The short-term drug taking leads to the problems with memory, thinking, decision making, and world perception. The long-term drug taking leads to the changes in the brain similar to those, which occur as a result of the ecstasy taking. “Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 750,000 individuals per year — far more than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined” (“About Marijuana” n.pag.).

Medical Uses

The leaves of cannabis can be used for the medical purposes. Although marihuana has been used in medicine for centuries, the opinions of the modern doctors are rather different. At the same time, the majority of them claim that the further research is necessary. Currently, it is known that the chemical elements contained in marihuana may cause the ‘neuroprotective’ effect (Kalant & Porath-Waller 6). Therefore, marihuana can be potentially used for the treatment of certain diseases. The effect can be described as the decrease in the activity of the nervous cells, which are more liable to damage in the stance of the activity when they can suffer from the insufficiency of oxygen (Kalant & Porath-Waller 6). The results of the research undertaken by the American doctors show that marihuana can be used as the analgesic. However, it should be used only for short-term treatment as the long-term marihuana taking can lead to the adverse effects including the serious mental disorders. The usage of marihuana for medical purposes is allowed in certain European countries including Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Finland, and Germany. Some of the Australian states also allow the medical treatment based on the usage of the cannabis. In the United States, the usage of marihuana for medical purposes is allowed in 18 states. In particular, Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, and Washington have already legalized the use of cannabis in medicine. However, the opponents of the legalization claim that we have lack of the information about the properties of the plant and cannot predict the consequences of such medical treatment. In addition, the opinions of doctors are divided regarding the dosage of marihuana, which can be effective for the treatment and which will not lead to the adverse effects.

The supporters of marihuana legalization argue that, nowadays, there is an unregulated market of marihuana, which facilitates the distribution of drugs, illegal activity, and crimes. According to their point of view, the legalization will make the situation more controllable. The supporters of the legal changes also claim that the criminalization of marihuana usage “contributed to an explosion in the growth of the national prison population, with low-level drug offenders often serving disproportionately long sentences” (“US: Federal Go-Ahead” n.pag.). They state that the prohibition of the marihuana usage supports its illegal production and distribution leading to the increase in the number of violent crimes. The supporters of legalization consider that the liberalization of the drug usage will make a positive effect on the social safety and well-being. They claim that the alcohol is far more harmful and demoralizing substance than marihuana. According to the statistical data, the overwhelming part of the domestic crimes (almost 90%) is committed by the drunken offenders. It is claimed that, in contrast to the alcohol, marihuana relaxes and calms. The supporters of marihuana legalization argue that the drug taking does not make people aggressive and, thus, cannot be considered as the factor provoking the hate and violent crimes.

In contrast, the opponents of liberalization claim that marihuana is the psychotropic agent, the unrestricted usage of which will hardly contribute to the social safety. They support their arguments by referring to the dynamics of the number of drug addicts in the states, which have legalized or decriminalized cannabis. In particular, the allowance of the free distribution of marihuana in Alaska resulted in the significant rise in the number of drug addicts. The statistics shows that Alaska takes the first place in the rating of the US states on the number of drug addicts. The number of violent crimes has also increased since 1980s when the legal changes have been made. Besides, there is evidence that the people, who have taken the marihuana since their youth, often start the taking of the hard drugs including heroin and cocaine. The results of the scientific research support the opinion of the legalization opponents. It has been found that the people, who have been taking marihuana since the young age, are prone to the drug and alcohol addiction five times greater than those, who do not have such experience.

The Justice Department in Texas has already implemented a number of changes including the changes in “the mandatory minimum sentencing for low-drug offenders” and the simplification of the procedures for doing marijuana business (Garcia n.pag.).

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Personal Opinion

Taking into account the arguments for and against marihuana legalization, I think that the drug should not be legalized in Texas. I agree with the opinion of legalization opponents who say that such kind of changes is not a solution to the problem and that even if the deregulation makes the market more controllable, it will not decrease the number of drug addicts. The current statistics shows that the number of the drug addicts in Texas is about 6% of the population, which is 2% less than the average rate in the country (Texas Drug Control 1). I think this data show that current situation in the state is much better than all over the country. That is why what we have to do is to not allow these figures rise. The statistics in the states, which legalized marihuana, is much worse than in Texas. For example, the percentage of the illicit drug addicts in Colorado is 11%, which is 3% more than the country average (Ferner n.pag.). The figures clearly show that the legalization does not make Colorado the state with the higher level of social safety. Furthermore, the percentage of the marihuana users in Colorado is 9% higher than the average rate in the US (Ferner n.pag.). The statistics of the other states, which legalized marihuana, is rather similar. Therefore, the legalization of cannabis does not improve the situation. As we can see from the statistical data, it leads to the increase in the number of drug addicts. That is why Texas should not legalize marihuana for personal or medical use.

Conclusion

In order to summarize all above mentioned, it should be said that the problem of the soft drugs legalization is one of the most urgent in the United States. A number of states have already implemented necessary legal changes to make marihuana legal. Texas is at the stage of debates but it seems that the politicians try to pass the amendments to the drug legislation. There are different views in the society regarding the issue. The supporters of legalization say that it is necessary step to make the drug market controllable, whereas the opponents argue that it will worsen the criminal situation in the state and undermine the social safety. In my view, marihuana should not be legalized for personal or medical use as the experience of the states, which have legalized it, shows that the number of drug addicts as well as the number of violent crimes increase after the legalization.

References

“About Marijuana”. Norml.org. 2013. Web.

Ferner, Matt. “Colo. Drug Use Higher Than National Average, Study Shows”. Huffingtonpost.com. 2011. Web.

Garcia, Gilbert G. “Justice Department agrees to tolerate marijuana reforms, while DEA drags its feet”. Texas Criminal Lawyer Blog. 2013. Web.

Kalant, Harold, and A. Porat-Waller 2012, Clearing the Smoke on Cannabis. PDF file. Web.

Texas Drug Control Update n.d. Web.

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“US: Federal Go-Ahead for Local Marijuana Laws ”. Hrw.org. 2013. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 29). Texas Should Not Legalize Marihuana for Personal or Medical Use. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/texas-should-not-legalize-marihuana-for-personal-or-medical-use/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 29). Texas Should Not Legalize Marihuana for Personal or Medical Use. https://studycorgi.com/texas-should-not-legalize-marihuana-for-personal-or-medical-use/

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StudyCorgi. "Texas Should Not Legalize Marihuana for Personal or Medical Use." July 29, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/texas-should-not-legalize-marihuana-for-personal-or-medical-use/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Texas Should Not Legalize Marihuana for Personal or Medical Use." July 29, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/texas-should-not-legalize-marihuana-for-personal-or-medical-use/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Texas Should Not Legalize Marihuana for Personal or Medical Use'. 29 July.

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