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Marijuana has been classified as a potent and illegal drug in the contemporary world because of its properties. In as much as its use in some settings is extremely important, this is normally administered under a controlled environment. Nevertheless, the drug still finds itself in the wrong hands as a leisure drug. This has prompted national governments to institute corrective mechanisms to control the illegal use of the drug. As a result, strict legislations have been instituted stipulating punitive measures to which those caught abusing the drug should be subjected to. People feel that these legislations have not been very effective in stopping the illegal use of the drug; hence, the formal debate on whether the legislations make any sense. Thus, despite the existing legislative framework recommending the use of marijuana in restricted settings, there is need to completely legalize marijuana as a medicinal and recreational drug, but enforcing punitive measures for those found becoming nuisance because of using the drug.
Marijuana should be legalized because this will decrease the current attention of the drug as an illegal substance. Legalizing marijuana does not imply it should completely be allowed for all the wrong reasons. In actual sense, more focus should be given to the positive attributes of the drug with regard to its medicinal properties. In the current status quo, more focus seems to have been given on the negative attributes such that any small incident is characterized as a criminal activity. This attention given to marijuana could be part of the reason causing people to classify the drug negatively. This has the impact of increasing the value of marijuana as a recreational while undermining its medicinal properties. In fact, legalizing the drug will make it to be used in any setting such that there will be no need to hide it like it is presently. Additionally, it will also give law enforcement officers any easy time in curbing crime in the society.
On the other hand, marijuana should not be legalized because it will have detrimental effects on the society with regard to behavioural problems among members of the society. Legalizing marijuana will enable young offenders to access the drug more easily from the counter. Even if strict regulations are out in place to safeguard against illegal access without prescription, there will still be other alternative ways of accessing it. Hence, unless something is done to decrease this illegal access, marijuana use will continue disintegrating the moral norms of the society. Legalizing marijuana will also increase the levels of truancy witnessed in education settings, consequently increasing the juvenile crime rates witnessed in the cities. Thus, law enforcement officials will have a difficult time trying to address crime problems since there will be more instances to deal with on a on a frequent basis. Moreover, the legalizing the use of marijuana will have a negative impact on institutional establishments such as schools, colleges, and universities due to poor performance outcomes.
According to Louie Wason, marijuana’s medicinal properties include its use as an appetite stimulating drug by eliminating the effect of cachexia. Indeed, surveys conducted during the 1970s reveal that more than 93% of respondents using marijuana reported that they enjoyed and ate more food while under the influence of marijuana than during ordinary times (Louie). Marijuana has also been found to be effective as a pain relieving substance. In a study conducted to compare the effectiveness of pain relieving substances, marijuana was compared against THC and codeine. Out of the 10 cancer patients that were followed up for a significant period of time during the study, it was established that marijuana had the highest efficacy and less toxic effects (Louie). On the other hand, several studies conducted have affirmed the negative effects of marijuana on humans. In a study conducted to assess the addictive potential of marijuana, it was established that 9% of the participants eventually became addicted to the drug (National Institute of Drug Abuse). Additionally, data from the National Institute of Drug Abuse reveals that marijuana abuse has been incremental among 12th graders, for example, it was 44.8% in 2005, 42.3% in 2006, 41.8% in 2007, and 42.6% in 2008.
At this point, the negative attributes of marijuana outweigh the positive attributes; hence, marijuana should not be legalized. For example, in as much as marijuana has positive effects in improving the one’s appetite, the probability of there being a better alternative cannot be overruled. Hence, in as much as marijuana proved to have better pain relieving outcomes with less toxicological effects, the percentage of these beneficiaries is extremely low. Comparing this to the increasing numbers of people abusing marijuana on a yearly basis, especially young members of the population such as 12th graders; it implies that the future effects may not be easily eliminated because the problem is developing into a culture.
Finally, the debate on whether to marijuana should be legalized or not is a deserving one given the impact marijuana has on the society. The society has clear norms characterizing everyone’s expected behaviour. The norm are supported by a strong legislative framework, which institutes specific controls on certain elements in the society such as legalizing the use of marijuana in chosen settings while prohibiting others. Normally, less focus is given to the medicinal attributes of marijuana such as its use as a pain relieving substance. However, only a small percentage seems to benefit compared to the majority. Therefore, there is more benefit in not legalizing marijuana compared to legalizing it.