Marijuana - not a gateway drug

According to Maldonado-Molina and Lanza (901) marijuana is not a gateway drug because it is unlikely that using it will lead to the use of other legal and illegal drugs like alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and tobacco as well as addiction to those drugs. The dried leaves, stem, flowers, and seeds of the hemp plant, also known as Canabis sativa, are where one of the most widely used substances in the world can be located. It goes by several names, such as weed or cannabis, and includes a number of chemicals, including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). (Shukla 5). Users experience bodily side effects from the plant's chemical, including hallucinations and delusions. People use it as a psychoactive drug or medicine by smoking it or consuming it in foods or drinks. Other drugs such as heroin, morphine, and cocaine have serious adverse effects on the users especially the ones that have become dependent on them. Some of the effects of such drugs on the brain include altered senses, addiction, mood changes, impaired body movement, thinking problems, and impaired memory among others. They mostly lead to addiction, homicides, and other crimes as they alter the senses of the user. However, marijuana has no serious adverse effects on users and has not caused any deaths therefore, it should be legalized because it is not a gateway drug, can help in economic development through reduction on government spending, and generation of revenue through taxes.

Marijuana should be legalized since it is not a gateway drug to the use of other substances such as heroin, cocaine, and nicotine. These drugs are very addictive and illegal in many countries in the world. In many nations, they are not allowed since they are considered as hard drugs. Soft drugs such as marijuana may not cause physical addiction but users can experience altered senses. Users of hard drugs find it difficult to quit and require assistance and rehabilitation especially if severely addicted (Maldonado-Molina and Lanza 901). Drug addicted individuals drop out of school, engage on crime, or lose their jobs out of frustration. These drugs should therefore remain illegal due to their addictive effect. Hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and nicotine among others have caused several deaths in the world and should remain illegal to safeguard lives of human beings. In several cases, some die after withdrawing from the drugs while other deaths are caused by violence. Those that inject themselves are at risk of being infected with diseases such HIV/AIDS and other blood infections once they share injecting needles. However, marijuana is smoked or taken with foods and does not cause such effects on individuals. Marijuana does not cause addiction to the users like other illegal drugs, which makes it safe to use (Maldonado-Molina and Lanza 901). In addition, it does not cause deaths to users like heroin and cocaine thus using it is safe. For this case, marijuana should be legalized while the other drugs should remain illegal due to the harm they cause to the population.

Legalization of recreation marijuana can be of great benefit to the government since it can reduce its spending on its regulations and use. The government spends huge sums on illegal drugs through arrests, trial, incarceration, deportation of addicted immigrants, and prosecution of cases among others. The money spent on issues related to marijuana use can be used to develop other areas of the economy and boost its performance. More money is spent in rehabilitating cannabis users and legalizing it may save about $42.3 billion every year (Caulkins 5). Recreational marijuana should also be legalized and regulated to enable the government earn revenue from fines. Companies such as manufacturers of fertilizers, farmers, and other dealers of agricultural inputs will benefit a lot from its legalization since it will be grown openly. Drug war in the US costs the government a lot of money especially catering for prison expenses and making it legal would reduce such costs. If drugs such as Marijuana are legalized the government would ease its burden of spending too much money tracking it users, sellers, distributers, and producers.

The legalization of recreational marijuana can generate high tax revenues for the government facilitating economic growth. Businesspersons that deal with the drug do it in secret and make huge profits from its sales. However, if it is legalized it will be sold openly and the government can set regulations that will enable it to collect taxes. If the government takes marijuana out of the black market, it can benefit a lot through regulations governing its production, marketing, and consumption. It is estimated that it can generate revenue amounting to about 2.4 billion every year if taxed like other goods (McGinty 81). Again, the rate of tax on marijuana may be higher compared to other goods generating more income to the economy. Companies such as those that produce fertilizers for farming may make high sales due to increased production of the drug. Since such companies pay tax to the government, earnings may be high enabling the economy to grow.

On the other hand, legalizing marijuana is linked with some adverse effects such as laziness. Some people have associated the drug with time mismanagement in which the users spend time fantasizing about things that they do not own. For instance, the drug alters the memory of the user making him/her see things that do not exist. Some may hallucinate and think that everything they are thinking about is true. When the effect of marijuana subsides, they are faced with reality of who they are. Therefore, marijuana is associated with empty dreams and making people lazy since most of them may not work after consuming it. However, compared to other drugs, marijuana is very mild, and apart from causing laziness to the user for some time, it does not have very serious effects. People have different opinions regarding recreational marijuana arguing that it is the same a heroin and cocaine but research has shown that it does not have serious negative impact on the users (McGinty 80). Marijuana should therefore be legalized since its consumption does not cause destruction to the users as other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and morphine.

Humans have been using marijuana for years and the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana has been debated several times. Some individuals think that marijuana is addictive as the other drugs but this is not the case. Although the users experience some changes in their brain, the effect cannot be similar to that caused by other drugs such as cocaine and heroin, which is illegal. Laws of legalizing marijuana should be enacted to allow production, sale, and use while benefiting the economy. Since marijuana is not as addictive as other illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine, it should be legalized, as it has several benefits to the economy.

Works Cited

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Beau Kilmer, Mark A. R. Kleiman, Robert J MacCoun, Greg Midgette, Pat Oglesby, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, and Peter H. Reuter. "Options and Issues Regarding Marijuana Legalization." Perspectives. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation (2015).

McGinty, Emma E., et al. "Public Perceptions of Arguments Supporting and Opposing Recreational Marijuana Legalization." Preventive Medicine, vol. 99, 2017, pp. 80-86.

Maldonado-Molina, Mildred M., and Stephanie T. Lanza. "A Framework to Examine Gateway Relations in Drug Use: An Application of Latent Transition Analysis." Journal of Drug Issues, vol. 40, no. 4, 2010, pp. 901-924.

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