100% legalized marijuana
Debate Rounds (5)
Firstly, I would like to talk about the negative health effects of marijuana. Marijuana has several short term negative effects which include- panic attacks, anxiety, depression, sleepiness, restlessness, lowered reaction time and increased heartbeat by almost 50%- sharply increasing the risk of a heart attack However what makes the effects of smoking marijuana even more severe is the length of time that the drug stays in the body. In one smoking of marijuana- the drug stays in the body for around to 14 days and in smokers who smoke marijuana more often and more intensely, the drug can stay in the body for up to 3 months. This means that one smoking of marijuana stays in the body 56 times longer than 3 pints of beer, which is usually removed from the body within a maximum of 6 hours.
There are also several long term effects of marijuana which include-Respiratory issues such as- Reduced resistance to bronchitis, rapid destruction to lung tissues and fibres, potentially causing lung cancer. Marijuana also affects the immune system, causing abnormally low or high activity and in some cases the body begins to fight off its own "good" cells. It also causes abnormal growth in teen users, brain disorders and abnormal cellular structures, sometimes even the complete destruction of cellular matter. Marijuana negatively affects the urological system, it reduces male sex hormones, and can cause erectile dysfunction. Marijuana is also shown to cause testicular cancer in some cases. The most overwhelming negative effects of marijuana lie in the brain, it can cause permanent brain lesions, learning difficulties, depression, and other long term psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Here we can see a long list of violent, destructive long term effects of marijuana.
By legalizing this drug, it means that more people are subject to the affects of the drug, causing more illness, injury and in some circumstances death.
Prohibition is based on lies and disinformation. Justification of marijuana's illegality increasingly requires distortions and selective uses of the scientific record, causing harm to the credibility of teachers, law enforcement officials, and scientists throughout the country. The dangers of marijuana use have been exaggerated for almost a century and the modern scientific record does not support the reefer madness predictions of the past and present. Many claims of marijuana's danger are based on old 20th century prejudices that originated in a time when science was uncertain how marijuana produced its characteristic effects. Since the cannabinoid receptor system was discovered in the late 1980s these hysterical concerns about marijuana's dangerousness have not been confirmed with modern research. Everyone agrees that marijuana, or any other drug use such as alcohol or tobacco use, is not for children. Nonetheless, adults have demonstrated over the last several decades that marijuana can be used moderately without harmful impacts to the individual or society.
Marijuana is not a lethal drug and is safer than alcohol. It is established scientific fact that marijuana is not toxic to humans; marijuana overdoses are nearly impossible, and marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or tobacco. It is unfair and unjust to treat marijuana users more harshly under the law than the users of alcohol or tobacco.
I will begin with some rebuttal against your two arguments. Firstly "A drug dealer makes tons of un-taxed money off children every day. If marijuana was to be made legal it would cut down on black market activity". This argument simply put says we should legalize marijuana to cut down on black market activity and make it an industry. This argument would be applicable if there wasn't serious health implications with marijuana. With this logic heroin and cocaine would be legal.
"Concerns about marijuana's dangerousness have not been confirmed with modern research". This argument is invalid. In 2014 professor Wayne Hall, one of the World Health Organizations advisors released a report into his research of marijauana. This research conducted in the 21st century found that-
Adverse effects of acute cannabis uses were
"Driving while cannabis-intoxicated doubles the risk of a car crash; this risk increases substantially if users are also alcohol-intoxicated.
"Cannabis use during pregnancy slightly reduces birth weight of the baby.
and that the adverse effects of chronic cannabis use
"Regular cannabis users can develop a dependence syndrome, the risks of which are around 1 in 10 of all cannabis users and 1 in 6 among those who start in adolescence.
"Regular cannabis users double their risks of experiencing psychotic symptoms and disorders, especially if they have a personal or family history of psychotic disorders, and if they start using cannabis in their mid-teens.
"Regular adolescent cannabis users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers but we don"t know whether the link is causal.
"Regular adolescent cannabis users are more likely to use other illicit drugs, but we don"t know whether the link is causal.
"Regular cannabis use that begins in adolescence and continues throughout young adulthood appears to produce intellectual impairment, but the mechanism and reversibility of the impairment is unclear.
"Regular cannabis use in adolescence approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia or reporting psychotic symptoms in adulthood.
"Regular cannabis smokers have a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis.
"Cannabis smoking by middle aged adults probably increases the risk of myocardial infarction.
Clearly there is modern research into marijuana and it's not all "old 20th century prejudices that originated in a time when science was uncertain how marijuana produced its characteristic effects".
My second argument is that marijuana is a very addictive substance,as proven by NIDA studies which suggest that 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it rising to about 17 percent in those who start using in their teens. If marijuana is an addictive substance then legalizing would only worsen the situation we already have with drug addicts, making it more accessible would only mean that more people would become addicted and potentially be unable to work etc. or become so reliant they couldn't afford it and be in financial issues.
States spent an estimated $3.61 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010 alone. New York and California combined spent over $1 billion according to the ACLU report.
Approximately 750,000 people were arrested for marijuana law violations in 2012 according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation"s annual Uniform Crime Report " comprising about half (48 percent) of all drug arrests in the United States; that"s one marijuana arrest every 42 seconds.
A decade ago, marijuana arrests comprised just 44 percent of all drug arrests. Approximately 42 percent of all drug arrests nationwide are for marijuana possession. Of total arrests for marijuana law violations, more than 87 percent were for simple possession, not sale or manufacture. There are more arrests for marijuana possession every year than for all violent crimes combined.
A marijuana arrest is no small matter. Most people are handcuffed, placed in a police car, taken to a police station, fingerprinted and photographed, held in jail for 24 hours or more, and then arraigned before a judge. The arrest creates a permanent criminal record that can easily be found on the internet by employers, landlords, schools, credit agencies and banks. The collateral sanctions of a marijuana possession arrest can include loss of employment, financial aid, housing and child custody.
The criminalization of marijuana in the early 20th century was not based on any scientific assessment of its risks " but rather racial prejudice and politics. The first anti-marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest during the 1910s and 20s, were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Artists and performers " especially black jazz musicians " were common targets.
My third argument will talk about how marijuana is a 'Getaway' or 'feeder' drug, and is linked to users going on to use worse drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
People who use marijuana will be more likely to move on to harder drugs. We can debate the health effects and science of marijuana all day, however we cannot debate that there aren't harmful effects of hard drugs. Worse drugs seriously damage peoples health. One major study, conducted in 2011 found that smoking cannabis daily 'sets users up for a lifetime of multiple drug use' and that 'Heavy users are more likely to resort to crime to fund their addiction.' By legalising marijuana, it makes people more like to use it due to its accessibility, and potentially resort to harder drugs. They may even need to sell or manufacture cocaine or heroin to financially meet the costs of marijuana and other drug addictions. Legalisation clearly makes the situation of drug abuse much worse for the health sector and the police as marijuana can lead to much more dangerous drugs.
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