Human life is not perfect. It is difficult to make life of people easy and happy. People are different - they have different needs, wishes, and opinions. That is why it is difficult to organize life of society in an appropriate way. Nevertheless, people are wise beings, and they invented such thing as legislation, the aim of which is to organize life of people taking into account human needs, and basing on their rights and duties. However, legislation systems are not perfect, and sometimes they need to be changed. Modern legislative system of the United States of America can be an example. There are a lot of aspects, which can be changed, for example, raise of capital gain tax, revocation of punitive damages in tort actions, lowering the age of majority to 16, and so on. However, one of the most disputable changes, which are being discussed for a long time already, is legalization of marijuana. By virtue of different reasons, people have two main points of view on the issue - some people believe it should be legalized, while the others are strongly against its legalization. Let's cover both perspectives in order to understand the essence of the issue better.
Arguments for and Against Legalizing Marijuana
As it was mentioned above, one of the positions concerning legalization of marijuana is that it should be legalized. People, who have this point of view use different arguments in order to prove it. One of the most widespread arguments is that marijuana has medical properties, and one of the main properties is its analgesic effect. The researchers confirm that marijuana is used to treat tetanus, epilepsy, and cholera. Moreover, it is confirmed that "reporting in all cases, … patients experience relief from the symptoms of these disorders" (Jacob & Jacob, 2009, p. 37). Among other diseases, which can be treated with the help of marijuana, is migraine, excessive coughing, involuntary twitching, inability to sleep, loss of appetite, palsy, dysentery, and a lot of others. Moreover, marijuana is used even to relief pain from HIV/AIDS, and it is sometimes given to children who suffer from epilepsy. Medical properties of marijuana are proved, and they cannot be underestimated.
However, not all people agree that this is a reason to legalize marijuana. There are also several arguments, which are provided by people, who confirm that legalization of marijuana should be prohibited. The first argument is that marijuana is an addictive drug, and it can become a reason for developing addiction to harder and more harmful drugs such as heroine. The research, which was carried out in 1995 in the USA, showed "a three-year increase in marijuana use among American teenagers, at a time when more potent forms of marijuana are readily available" (Shalala, 1995). However, not only the studies of the previous century confirm that marijuana is addictive, and can lead to illegal use of it.
For example, Alain Joffe and Samuel Yancy, who carried out the research in 2004, confirmed that "legalization of marijuana could result in advertising campaigns for its use" (Joffe & Yancy, 2004, p. 634). The second reason why people are against marijuana legalization is that it is harmful to people's health. It is confirmed that marijuana usage "damages short-term memory, distorts perception, impairs judgment and complex motor skills, alters the heart rate, can lead to severe anxiety, and can cause paranoia and lethargy" (Shalala, 1995). It is evident that marijuana causes not only physical, but psychological addiction as well because it is "one of many mood-altering substances used by humans" (Ruschmann, 2009, p. 10). Mind of people, who use marijuana, can start working worse, they can experience altered state of consciousness, and it can lead even to crimes that are often committed under influence of inadequate state of a person.
My Opinion on Marijuana Legalization
The analysis of the studies of different researchers showed that there are two main points of view on the issue of marijuana legalization. Some people believe that marijuana should be legalized, while the others are against its legalization. Both points of view are supported with numerous arguments, and all of them seem to be rational and sensible. However, my point of view is that marijuana should be legalized.
First of all, the fact that marijuana has medical properties, and can relief pain and suffering of people with different diseases is undeniable. It is proved by numerous researches, which were carried out during different periods of time. Moreover, marijuana is not a usual medicine. There are a lot of cases when marijuana is the last hope for ill people, and sometimes it is the only medicine, which relieves pain or other unpleasant symptoms of diseases.
The second reason, which seems important to me, is the fact that marijuana is legalized in 20 states of America already (ProCon.org, 2014). I believe that if such great number of states legalized marijuana, it is really necessary to do in such a way. If politicians continue to vote for marijuana legalization, it means that there are no so many difficulties related to the issue. Certainly, there can be some fears as for possible negative effects related to marijuana legalization, but I am sure that it is possible to organize legalization in a strict way in order to avoid unpleasant effects.
First of all, there should be restrictions as for how much marijuana a person can possess. Secondly, marijuana should be possessed only by those people, who suffer from diseases, which can be cured only with the help of marijuana. Moreover, patients, who are treated with marijuana, should have documents, which confirm that they have a right to possess marijuana. Measures of precaution should also be carried out while prescribing marijuana to patients. For example, doctors should examine a person's reaction to marijuana, warn him/her about possible negative effects and harmful influences on a person's health. Of course, doctors must not prescribe higher dose than is needed for a person's treatment. One more thing, which should be taken into account while legalizing marijuana, is that people, who distribute marijuana illegally, should be punished in accordance with laws.
The issue of marijuana legalization has been remaining an important issue in the United States of America for a long time already. People are divided into two groups in accordance to their points of view. The first group of people believes that marijuana should be legalized, while another group insists on an opposite opinion. People, who want marijuana to be legalized, argue that it has medical properties, which help to relief a lot of symptoms of different diseases. People, who are against its legalization, confirm that marijuana is harmful to health, it can cause addiction to harder drugs, and can even lead to social problems, for example, such as increased level of crimes. After analysis of both points of view, and reading a lot of information on the issue, my opinion is that marijuana should be legalized. The first argument to support this point of view is the same as among the majority of people, who want marijuana to be legalized. This argument is that marijuana possesses medical properties, and it is used while treating numerous diseases. As for fears about different negative effects, I am sure that the laws about legalization can be strict, and it will prevent people from breaking the laws, and will benefit people, who really need marijuana as a treatment.
Jacob, J.W., & Jacob, J.W. (2009). Medical Uses of Marijuana. Bloomington, IN: Trafford Publishing.
Joffe, A., & Yancy, W.S. (2004). Legalization of Marijuana: Potential Impact on Youth. Pediatrics, 6(1), 632 – 638.
ProCon.org. (2014). 20 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC. Retrieved
Ruschmann, P. (2009). Legalizing Marijuana. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing.
Shalala, D.E. (1995). Say ‘no’ to legalization of marijuana. Wall Street Journal, 10.