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Health Consequences of Marijuana Legalization

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People are usually faced with two choices everyday: to lead a healthy way of live or to try everything possible as they are all granted just one life that is too short. Considering the behavior of teenagers in particular, this question can be much debated whether it should be allowed or legalized especially when the youngsters reach the full legal age. The fastest and easiest ways to damage health is alcohol consumption and smoking. Moreover, it is even more difficult to comprehend the wholeness of the questions of taking drugs by inhaling, for example, marijuana.

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Smoking is associated with the addiction to inhalation of fumes from burning tobacco. That dependency develops with every gulp without realizing it affects not only the health of initial smoker but other people around. Such addiction to fumes usually develops along with drinking of fermented liqueurs, which cases alcoholism.

This essay is the attempt to understand the health consequences of marijuana on humans’ bodies. Thus, the thesis statement of this research is the following: “The analysis of the debates over legalizing marijuana reveals the challenge facing the American citizens: accepting the idea of narcotic legalization or regarding it as lawlessness manifestation.”

It is essential to analyze what the various ideas and positions on marijuana taking are. As the health of children is the inseparable part of successful future of our generation, the questions on education should be taken into the consideration as well.

Taking into the account the opinions of the Americans regarding the legalization of marijuana, there are two diametrically opposed camps of ideas: those who ardently support the idea of its legalization, and those who consider such a proposition as an unhealthy manifestation of injustice.

Considering the student circles, there is a perception that marijuana is a harmless drug. Some of them assert that it is even less dangerous compared to tobacco. Unfortunately, the given myth can be easily debunked.

The condition of the supporters of such a quick relaxation testifies the opposite. The dilated pupils, impaired ability to perform sequential operations, violated coordination, and increased heart rate – all these symptoms cannot be caused by a harmless drug. Moreover, it is difficult to believe that this innocent artificial raising of one’s spirits poses no danger to the human body. 

There is a broad range of literature sources on marijuana’s negative and positive effects. For example, Buddy (2012) delineates numerous health impacts of this narcotic, such as the effects on the brain, heart, and lungs. The scholar also debates on the potential of the development of cancer and other consequences of taking marijuana, especially during pregnancy (Buddy 2012).

The children born from mothers who have been taking marijuana are found with the neurological development problems (Buddy 2012).  Moreover, according to Buddy (2012), those children might have modified visual stimuli responses, such as tremulousness, which is very increased. When they grow up they can have problems with sustained memory and attention and generally are characterized as the ones that do not have significant problem-solving skills (Buddy 2012).

Mass media sources such as CNN (McLaughlin 2012) and USA Today (Payne &Healy 2012) also demonstrate their position regarding this case. The CNN representative takes a different position comparing marijuana to alcohol prohibition history and analyzing the position of marijuana advocates. The article is supported by twelve videos. Each of them is begins with various aspects of marijuana starting from the health effects along with the legalization issues, and finishing with the home of marijuana along with testing it on animals (McLaughlin 2012).

The USA Today is describing a wide range of the effects of this narcotic, such as the increased heart rate and short-term memory loss. Those effects also include the following: respiratory problems (bronchitis, chronic cough), impaired short-term memory, altered decision- making and judgment, and increased heart rate.

The other  effects caused by marijuana include the following: impaired motor coordination and slowed reaction time, addiction, altered mood, and cognitive impairment. Vulnerable individuals who take marijuana may risk having psychosis, poor studying progress and job performance; their life satisfaction is usually diminished (Payne &Healy 2012).

Doheny (2012) argues about the health effects of marijuana as well. She focuses particular attention on lungs and brain impairment. The writer emphasizes that such worsening can be hazardous, especially while doing various everyday activities, for example, driving a car.

Doheny (2012) presents the fact of the comparison of the researchers regarding tobacco and marijuana users. She claims about the association of tobacco with lower lung function. 

Doheny (2012) states that the lung function is getting worse with the increase of the smoking level. Moreover, the scholar defines low exposure to marijuana levels as “one joint a day for seven years”, and she demonstrates the evidence of marijuana’s negative effects on the functioning of lungs (Doheny 2012). However, these findings are not confirmed when the heavy users are taken into the consideration.

In contrast, Smith (2008) writes about ten health benefits which legitimize marijuana. The author demonstrates that some active marijuana or cannabinoids ingredients were approved by officials to improve the health of the patients who suffer from epilepsy, hepatitis C, anxiety, depression, arthritis, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, morning sickness, cancer, HIV/AIDS and chemotherapy. Thus, he explains why it is being legalized again (Smith 2008).

The scholar compares the results of taking marijuana to the consequences of overdosing with allowed medications or fermented liquors (Smith 2008), drawing a parallel to the fact of taking too much aspirin, wine or coffee. Smith (2008) mentions the ingestion problems of such people that can result even in their death.

The researcher is convinced that marijuana is beneficial by describing the findings of several recent published studies a few months ago (Smith 2008). He states that those results have demonstrated that marijuana is not only beneficial for health but can also help treating various health conditions much faster compared to various scientific labs solutions (Smith 2008).

Szalavitz (2012) describes that for the first time in the US, where the two states that became the first to legalize marijuana are located. She writes about the position of the Federal Government by presenting the numbers of federal indictments and raids on dispensaries that the Obama Administration has authorized lately (Szalavitz 2012).

At the same time, the scholar mentions about an increased push from the public for marijuana legalization. She presents the results of some polls stating that compared to 1969 upward of 38% of Americans nowadays are more supportive of legalization of marijuana (Szalavitz 2012). Szalavitz (2012) is certain that despite various controversies over the frequent recreational use of it during many celebrations, the medical marijuana and its needs are much higher.

Szalavitz (2012) presents the position of three states that had questions of this drug’s medical use in the voting ballots: Arkansas voters rejected the measure, Massachusetts approved it and Montana representatives tightened its regulations, although allowed the use of marijuana as a medical treatment.

At the same time, Rabin (2013) analyzes the consequences of cannabis legalization from the medical viewpoint. Thus, the author focuses entirely on the potential health risks that are associated with the increased marijuana consumption and linked to legalization of this substance. Rabin (2013) claims that legalization of marijuana is a risky undertaking that may seriously damage the health of American citizens.

The issue raised by the scholar provokes to think that some addictive substance can be safely used without affecting the human body (Rabin 2013). Still, even without resorting to the latest findings of scientific researches, my own experience testifies that depending on the strength of the substance and individual sensitivity, marijuana can cause a state of panic, anxiety, and even toxic psychosis.

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Therefore, having taken a minuscule dose of the given drug, one participant of a grandiose student party screamed and begged everyone to save him from some invisible pursuers. Heart pain, excessive thirst, and depression were a price for the artificial happiness.

Rettner (2012) compares the new laws on marijuana to the public health experiment. The author is convinced that such legalization will help researchers use gained materials to conduct the experiments whether marijuana is good or bad for health (Rettner 2012). The real public health effect as Rettner (2012) states, depends upon the frequency and the amount of the drug use and its consumption with alcohol, which affects the potency of the drug.

Finally, the White House continues opposing to marijuana legalization along with the other illegal drugs. Obama Administration explains that this approach counter runs to the public health approach regarding drug policy (White House 2013).

As we see, there are many advantages and disadvantages to marijuana legislation. The question remains, shall the American citizens accept the idea of its legalization or merely regard it as lawlessness manifestation? At the same time, it is also meaningless to deny the obvious and turn a blind eye to the issue of legalizing marijuana, which, in fact, threatens the health of the nation.  

The questions that still remain and require further research are about the official position of media on marijuana legislation and more reliable information on potential health risks of taking marijuana. If it is good for health, what could be the exact health advantages of marijuana taken from the scientifically proved point of view, whether it has more health benefits or negative consequences? It is important to further explore the reason why some states legalize marijuana and others do not.

There were a couple of ideas by the distinctive scholars that this light drug is good for health. However, can the treatment of such diagnosis as depression be treated or is that short-term feeling of happiness just remaining as a temporary fact? Another question that is very essential to answer is whether the law on marijuana is just a public experiment or subconscious decision of the government.

In order to avoid negative causes and further effects of smoking, education and influence should go from all sides: family, school and the child itself. School has to educate the youth by organizing various lectures and excursions to corresponding institutions, by inviting people who were smokers before and were able to quit. Family should serve as the best example of the warmest and the most comfortable surroundings for the child. And, of course, the most depends upon the child – his or her preferences in spending their spare time.

Children have to be involved in the organization where everybody is leading the healthy way of life, where there is an idea on self-education and the necessity of self-development. An example of such organization can be boys and girls scout club, where children can stay and develop during all their lives. Of course, many can argue that it is impossible for everybody to be a scout and avoid smoking during the whole life, but nobody knows unless tries.

As we see, there are many ideas on both marijuana health consequences and its benefits. Despite this fact, other types of unhealthy ways of life should not be omitted from wider deliberation, such as, for example, drinking alcohol.

Smith (2005) clearly states about the alcohol, which is parallel to tobacco inhalation and its effects that humans may ruin their fortunes by the redundant fermented liquors consumption. The scholar is convinced that there are too many people in every country who spend more for those liquors that can afford (Smith 2005). Thus, we need to address those issues to everybody who we can still direct to the right way.

To conclude, as it is proved that taking marijuana has more health disadvantages than advantages, its legislation should be banned. However, if there are some particular exceptions when this drug helpful, each case should be viewed separately. There is a possibility to assume that the more developed society remains, the more different things it discovers, and the more scientifically progressed it is. However, the main idea is to feel the limit of appropriateness and not to go too far not kill our future generations by incomplete vision of this subject matter.

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