Marijuana is known as a broadly utilized illicit drug all over the world. However, more and more countries (Uruguay, Canada, etc.) support marijuana legalization and put it on par with other drugs (Hassan, 2018; Lopez, 2018). Cannabis should be legalized or not is still an enormous disputable issue and there continues to be a lot of conflicting opinions surrounding it. From my perspective, marijuana legalization is not a wise strategy due to the following reasons.
The first reason explaining why people should not advocate the legalization of marijuana, including the sale, possession, and use of it, is social security. If marijuana was decriminalized, then it would become more easily accessed, with less stigma attached to its consumption (Chloe Nicosia, n.d.). Easier access can influence the youth, driving to the hazard of numerous youthful individuals utilizing marijuana (Cerdá et al., 2017). Moreover, legalization also increases the rate of violent crimes (Johnson, 2019). Marijuana users are more likely to lose control of behavior, resulting in very serious consequences. Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan (Hanoi Psychiatric Hospital) indicated that “drug addicts are more likely to hallucinate, like being mentally ill, need to be isolated from their families and communities to avoid posterity”.
The second reason which exists against the legalization of marijuana lies in the risk of health (both physical health and mental health). According to the research of The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana use can cause a host of impacts like breathing problems, increased heart rate, etc. Some other evidence also points to marijuana’s correlation with mental illness (as cited in NIDA, 2018). For instance, marijuana use can cause severe anxiety and even panic attacks (Abraham, 2018). It is also thought that cannabis use in susceptible adolescents and young adults may lead to schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders (Brodwin & Loria, 2017). In another study, among the young adults, women who used marijuana daily were five times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than those who did not use the drug (Patton et al., 2002).
People of the other side argue that marijuana has a great use in medical treatment. In the book Marijuana and Medicine (1999), the authors found that the use of marijuana for medical use is effective. A typical example for using marijuana in treatment is Jean Charles Pariseau (30) who is an AIDS patient, he used marijuana to treat his illness, and it worked for him (Gray, 1998). But in fact, using marijuana has many insidious side effects that we cannot anticipate (Lava, 2018). Specifically, using marijuana in a long time will cause long-term effects on the brain, including cognitive and memory (Volkow, Baler, Comptom, and Weiss, 2014). Being more serious, some studies showed that marijuana smoke contains tar and harmful chemicals that may cause respiratory diseases, even lung cancer (World Health Organization, 2016).
In conclusion, marijuana is not like other drugs. Whether legal or not, it is undeniable that marijuana contains certain chemicals that are harmful. Therefore, legalizing marijuana is synonymous with increased level of danger of this kind of goods and will surely send the message that it is okay to use psychoactive drugs. Instead of legalizing it, the government should encourage people to understand the unintended harms of marijuana, from which they will have a sense of self-control (or stop) their use of drugs.