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Marijuana: The pros outweigh the cons

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

We should not legalize marijuana nationwide becomes it harms the body and increases crime. Despite marijuana's potential to boost the economy and help improve mental health, we have to remind ourselves do the pros outweigh the cons? According to statistics from CNBC, 37% of treatment in TEDS or Treatment Episode Data Set "were referred through the criminal justice system" and 57% of drug users in the criminal justice system used marijuana. In 2008, 4.2 million illicit drug users out of 7 million in total above the age of twelve used marijuana. Unlike other strong drugs, marijuana is dangerous as the high may last for years. The mental effects can include schizophrenia, "a psychotic mental illness that is characterized by a twisted view of the real world.(Merriam Webster)", problems with movement, lower IQ, anxiety, and mood disorders. The physical effects include birth defects, increased risk of leukemia, and stunted growth. Social effects can be defined as an event that results in a whole group or community of people being influenced. Some social effects include people in public especially babies and children being exposed to it and illegal marijuana suppliers thriving. In the Netherlands, college campuses had to ban it and police could not arrest people if they only had "small amounts". According to drugfreeworld.org, postal workers who used marijuana were 55% more likely to get into accidents, 85% more likely to have or cause injuries, and 75% more likely to be absent from work. 55% of teens said in a survey done by drugfreeworld.org that they wanted to look cool and be popular. Other potential mental effects include increased sensitivity to light and color. During my research on healthychildren.org the statistics that I found were quite shocking. 1 in 5 high school students used in once a month, 1 in 12 used it at least 20 times a month, and 1 in 16 used it daily. Marijuana can in the short term cause interference with judgement, concentration, reaction time, and coordination. In the long time, it can lead to damage of the brain especially if used by adolescents. Due to these consequences, teens using marijuana are "less likely to finish high school and more likely to increase substance abuse or commit suicide". Peer pressure is a main component in the use of drugs like marijuana during the teen years. In conclusion, I urge everyone to think twice before backing the nationwide legalization of marijuana.