Marijuana Should Not Be Legal Essay

1242 words - 5 pages

The legalization of marijuana has been a debated subject in America since the 1970's. The pro-marijuana society in America has made claims as to how marijuana can help cure or lessen the effect of some diseases and that by legalizing the drug; the use of pot will actually decline. The fact of the matter is that marijuana is a drug that can be placed into a similar category as cocaine or heroine. Like these other drugs, pot (marijuana) smoking carries with it serious side effects that can effect the user forever, and sometimes-even cause death. Marijuana was first cultivated in America during the colonial time period and was used as a fiber for rope and even clothing. The plant was not used for its psychoactive properties until 1910, when Mexican farmers began smuggling it across the boarder for poor black and Mexican workers in the Southern states (Abood Me 202). By the 1930's marijuana was widespread throughout the U.S., before the Federal Government in 1937 outlawed the use of it. However, marijuana use continued to spread, even with these restrictions and in 1970 the Controlled Substance Act was passed. This act basically categorized marijuana as being a harmful and addictive drug. Presently, marijuana use, especially among teenagers is on the rise once again. Pro-marijuana advocates must ask themselves the question that if marijuana is so great, why is it causing so much damage to the body?

Marijuana is comprised of cured leaves and flower clusters from the hemp plant called Cannabis sativa. Cannabis sativa is known as a psychedelic drug because it creates a break from reality. The chemicals found in marijuana are actually much more harmful than chemicals found in other addicting drugs, such as those found in tobacco. The inhalation of any kind of smoke is unhealthy, whether it is in cigarettes or joints (marijuana). The particles found in the smoke of joints and cigarettes collect in the lungs and over time can cause damage. The marijuana plant has over 400 known chemicals that break down into some 4,000 when smoked (Solowij, 31). Only a few of these chemicals, such as THC, create the actual "high" that pot smokers look to for their enjoyment, but the many of the others are toxins, or poisons that have been proven to cause cancer. One such cancer-causing chemical is called a carcinogen. An average joint contains 30 monograms of carcinogen in comparison with an average cigarette, which contains only 21 monograms (Joy, 4). Carcinogen has been proven to break down a gene that controls the growth of cells and over time makes the lungs 70% more susceptible to lung cancer. The way that marijuana cigarettes are smoked- by inhaling and holding the smoke in the lungs creates an even greater risk for exposure to these poisonous chemicals. Other cases are quickly developing that show chronic marijuana users also develop mouth or larynx cancer. If such a drug can cause such devastating health problems, then why legalize it?

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