Legalization of marijuanaMarijuana is a product of the hemp plant also known as cannabis sativa. It is one of the most abused drugs in America despite being illegal. It is also very available and is known to have been consumed by persons from the age of ten. If marijuana is abused it can result to overuse which may induce lethargic behavior and short-term loss of memory.

The health aspects of marijuana need to be examined. Scientific research to an extent has found some health risks and problems related to use of the smoking pot. Once smoked, the effect is felt immediately and for up to three hours the effect is seen.

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While incorporated in brownies and baked cookies, the effect of marijuana may take long to be felt but it normally lasts longer. In short term effects, sense of sight, sound, touch and perception may be distorted besides difficulties in memory and learning. There is marked rise in the heart rate and subsequent reduction in blood pressure. Coordination becomes difficult and even problem solving and thinking is affected.

In the brain, there are cannabinoid receptors distributed and they pick the impulse of delta-9-Tetra hydrocannabinol, which is the active ingredient in the drug (Levinson M.H., 147).

As a result nervous transmission influences the brain areas responsible for pleasure, memory, sensory and coordination. As a result, hallucination, delusions and disorientation occur as high doses affect the thought, coordination and memory. On the heart, rapid beating and a marked blood pressure drop is realized within a short while.

The increase from 20 to 50 beats per minute may be recorded and especially where more than one drug of abuse is in circulation. Consequently, the increased heart rate coupled with a reduced blood pressure pose a risk to heart attack in marijuana smokers (Claire H.S.A, Harte Smith., 90).On the lungs, burning sensations are felt in the mouth and throat and the irritation can cause heavy coughing. Research shows that indeed dry coughs, productive coughs, chest illnesses, lung infections and obstructed airways are common in marijuana smokers as much as is the case of tobacco smokers.

  This is attributed to the fact that the lungs of marijuana smokers are exposed for a longer time to the carcinogenic properties of marijuana due to deep inhalation that holds smoke longer in their lungs. In conclusion, the scientific research indicates that there is higher risk of cancer of the head or neck on marijuana smokers to non-smokers and that it is very harmful to the lungs as compared to tobacco smokers (Levinson M.H., 147).The active ingredient is thought to compromise the immune system and increase the vulnerability disease agents into the body.

This is because; marijuana inhibits action of immune cells and risks bacterial infections and vulnerability to develop tumors. Though smoking of marijuana elevates mood and causes relaxation, the experience of hallucinations, anxiety, swollen eyelids, blood-shot eyes, paranoia, and impaired memory are hazardous effects. In fact, addiction is common. Increased crave and withdrawal symptoms make it hard to stop abusing the drug. The addiction is therefore a major point of concern since the intervention of group and individual counseling sessions are used to treat the behavioral effect of the drug. Furthermore, irritability, sleepiness and increased aggression are the effects that one experiences when they attempt stopping use of the drug.Children born of mothers who use marijuana have defects in the neurological response. They usually have difficulties such as trembling, loss of memory and poor problem solving skills.

Policy makers in the United States still rely on such findings and use it to prevent legalization of marijuana. They regard these side effects as very serious influences and effects of use of marijuana. The government also continues to enforce law and claim illegality of the drug.

In the United States many arrests are made on marijuana related offences either in possession, sale or consumption and as a result more than sixty thousand people are jailed on such allegations. This has cost £1.2 billion of the tax payer’s money annually. This shows that it’s not a worthy cause because there is more loss as compared to its growth, distribution and use in the United States.Apart from this economic aspect, Marijuana has fewer health related problems compared to those linked to use of tobacco or alcohol that have serious complication in one’s health. Furthermore it is hardly possible for death to occur primarily due to over-dose of the drug yet it does not even lead to addiction of harder drugs. Since marijuana does not affect the brain cells, it is rarely a danger to the brain and as a result long-term memory is not impaired. While tobacco and alcohol are associated to chronic heart problems, cancer, liver and reproductive health damage, marijuana barely leads to a decline in liver function.

In fact, it has a medicinal value and has been found to eliminate respiratory complications while ingested in foods that are baked or in vaporizers. It is not associated to genetic or immune damage at all.The law therefore needs to be reformed because those that are arrested are Americans who pay tax and even have responsibilities over their family. The drug is a choice for them to serve as a recreational drug and therefore should not be the basis of victimization and hence all the facts need to be discussed and analyzed so that the truth and issues surrounding the use of marijuana can be addressed. Stories and speculations have been discussed in the media; by politicians and prohibitionists.

The bases of these allegations do not justify the reason as to why the drug should not be legalized. Such prohibitions should be rejected because the mentality in the society is that marijuana is so damaging yet this is not the truth of the matter (Rasmussen S., 52).

The issue on prohibition of marijuana is basically hindered by government powers, which have no right to control what a person uses on the body.These prohibitions neither stops its use nor reduce the money spent or its enforcement in fact, the resources used to enforce the law could be spent on more productive and pressing issues regarding major criminal offences such as murder, rape and on criminal fraud (Healey J.G.

, 11-14). Growth, distribution and use of marijuana have no major social implications as would be the case of murders and rapes that result due to drunkenness or use of hard drugs. However, it is important to appreciate the fact that in the war on drugs, it’s bound to be expensive in arresting and prosecuting those who are associated to these drugs. In Canada for example an economist by the name Stephen T. Gaston made an attempt of calculating how much the government would gain from tax revenue, if marijuana was legalized. Many entrepreneurs would make a lot of money but the fact that it is not legal; such a venture has not been attempted. If it was legalized then the taxes accruing from the trade would all go to the government as there would be more demand translating to more revenue for the government (Healey J.

G., 13). As a strategy, the government can legalize it then control its consumption by regulating the taxes on the product. There is a challenge when the taxes are increased or decreased on the product since the growers of the plant can opt for the black market as a means of avoiding the increased taxation.In 2000, a law was passed in eight states and marijuana was taken as a prescriptive drug to control pain in seriously ill patients.

It therefore beats logic to those who still term it illegal and prosecute those who grow, buy and use the drug in such a circumstance (Siegel, Larry J, Joseph J. Senna., 167).Marijuana should however be legalized since its prohibition leads to unnecessary taxes on law enforcement. The government should legalize the responsible use of the drug since its use is not as dangerous as that associated to hard drugs as cocaine, heroine among others.

Before the marijuana tax act of 1937, marijuana had no restriction on its use. R. Keith Stroup showed that at the time the law was passed, it was because marijuana was demonized for political interest and also the media.

The media under the influence of prohibitionists put the issues on marijuana in the limelight and gave hyperbolic claims that made the society disregard the use of the drug and the behavior of its users. Most of them were ridiculous as they claimed that users would hear light and see sound. They had claims on violence, insanity and increased sexual desires. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics made wrong declarations that changed the society’s impression on the marijuana users.The legal restrictions have further hindered investigations to the truth about marijuana.

More importantly, allegations that it alleviates nausea and suffering in certain medical conditions have not been carried out on its application as medicine.Resources are wasted in law enforcement and in judicial processes on crimes related to use of marijuana. It also creates an impression of having more danger than other addictive drugs as cocaine and heroine.

Keith Stroup sees it as a misuse of the police, courts, jails and time when marijuana offences are taken so seriously as though they are as dangerous as murder or any other serious criminal offences.Despite allegations of its illegality by the federal government, why should they not legalize it to give a chance for trial in the laboratory? The classification of marijuana as an illegal drug has been the main cause of delay in doing further research to discover the medicinal value of the plant and on which kind of patient it is most appropriate to use. Its application in adverse health conditions and especially under strict supervision has proven to be effective in preventing nausea in patients on chemotherapy. Pain is relieved in patients with glaucoma, eye debilitation and is used in boosting of muscle relation.

The federal government works on the laid down constitution and there is need for the federal drug prohibition to be revoked.Crime rate was also on the higher side and in the 1990s it reduced significantly and one among the reasons given was the strict law enforced on drug and criminal control (Jones D, John M., 218). The future of marijuana in America seems to be moving towards tougher penalties. However, its prohibition has not been effective in putting an end to its use and abuse. The prohibition has resulted to a criminal class of people who live in fear and mistrust due to harsh treatment by the police and the government as a whole.Civil regulation and taxation would be the only way through which marijuana can be managed.

Fair prices of marijuana would be discussed, age restriction on consumption especially on minors, sufficient health warnings being provided and with mechanisms that regulate availability of the drug. As a result, more tax revenue would be generated and the cost on criminal judicial systems reduced considerably. To the society, with a look at America, it would be better if marijuana was legalized since people would change use of alcohol and other hard drugs. This would be a better move that prevents harm to the society and to the user. However, the marijuana users would admit more openly on their use of the drug.

New users of the drug may be reported there is change in use of other hard drugs to marijuana. This is bound to be a relief when change occurs and so less harm and damage would occur.A responsible plan can also be used to control production, distribution and its regulation. This is because if this social drug is legalized, it is reasonably safe besides having not been associated to causing death due to overdose. Underage use should also be restricted. An identity card should be produces while selling and buying the drug so that minors are not involved.With legalization, it would mean that marijuana will not be a contra brand and therefore tax revenue used in the suppression and eradication of marijuana would be directed towards campaigning for its safe and controlled use. This means that such funds can be directed towards other drug laws that remain to be illegal.

More of the funds from the licensing fees would control production and distribution and later on the sales made on marijuana would be a government asset. As a strategy there can be safe drugs being made available as other hard drugs such as heroine are discouraged.There is so much money that is made from the illegal sales and so many pounds are lost due to lack of taxation of the drugs. The criminal justice system would be among the first areas where the impact of marijuana legalization would be felt.

There are numerous arrests made due to simply being in possession of marijuana and the subsequent enforcement of law. There is discrimination and selective application of law by policy when they arrest the youth and make judgment due to their political stand, ethnicity as well as the physical look of the hairstyle or color.Crime may not be directly related to be the influence of some drugs although there are reports that indicate a correlation of illicit drug use at the time of property crime especially due to heroine and cocaine consumption (Claire H.S.A, Harte S., 79, 83). Violent crime has also been reported again especially due to heroine, cocaine consumption as well as due to the use of alcohol. There would be a marked difference from changing use of other hard drugs and alcohol to using marijuana as this would reduce such crime incidents.

A point of concern would be to reflect on especially what happened after the legalization of alcohol. There were more deaths related to use of alcohol and especially cirrhosis. It got out of control and now it is the problem that most Americans have to face at home and at the work place.

Even with the marijuana, legalization should involve careful thought on ways to implement a law that boldly controls its use in every aspect. The law enforcers should have sound and profit producing ideas that influences towards having controlled use in terms of price, taxes and restriction on young people among others.The citizens also need to earn credibility in their effort to accomplish legal and safe use of the drugs as well as being able to accomplish high health standards by not over indulging in the drug.When the federal government has formulated the policy on marijuana legalization they should be empowered to make a difference to the society in terms of dealing with pressing criminal issues and offenders rather than on those in mere possession of marijuana.

 From the taxes and licensing fees, these can be funds that can be directed towards abuse prevention programs. These are programs that have the mandate to discourage illegal business transactions in the distribution and sale of marijuana (Claire H.S.A, Harte S., 115). A strategy would be used so that those that develop dependence problems can go through counseling sessions on safe use of drug. If there are any anticipated problems, they should be discussed openly so that it can discourages them on risking over dependence.When marijuana and its market are in control, quality can be monitored and maintained as well as standard purity of the drug.

Many prohibitionists though, give an argument on the danger of legalizing marijuana as stimulation to the use of other illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroine. They also show concern over the possible implication that marijuana is good and can be used and abused by young adults. Though these are legitimate points of concern, it is fundamental to understand that when the federal government is in control, there are limits to use and restriction on age among other strict measures laid down.

They should be ready to accept that an effort on the legal use, possession, distribution and sale of the marijuana itself will be under their strict supervision and control.  (Jones D, John M. 112).Most of the arrests in the United State are unjustified and interfere with the normal activities of those who are regarded as criminals for being in possession or using the drug. Statistical details are very contradicting and no reliable sources are available to show the actual number of users or new users. As a result, the government needs to direct its efforts to other worthwhile areas of concern in the country (Thomas Phelps 1). Lives have been ruined and unethical treatment witnessed on criminal drug arrests regarding marijuana yet these issues have not been addressed with keenness.Almost every country has a low regarding the cultivation, supply and use of marijuana.

Some of its products such as fiber and seeds are legalized in a number of countries and so, they may for this purpose, legalize its cultivation. In Portugal, for example there are restrictions on its sale, distribution and use with a restriction on 25-gram maximumIn the fight for legalization, people continue to suffer due to the draconian laws and so if legalized then the country can enjoy fundamental economic growth through genuine marijuana trade. Good role-playing by parents, ground rules and regulations will ensure that the youth do not engage in irresponsible use. Explanations about the risk also increase their awareness about the drug and consequently they can make their own choice on use of the drug. The issue then is on legalizing, commercializing and taxing on marijuana trade.

Federal legalization of marijuana is needed so that a bill is passed and puts to an end the expensive and time wasting prohibition on marijuana. It also needs to be settled because of the growing number that wants it legalized for medicinal as well as recreational use. It is of great importance that a bill is passed since the prohibition of marijuana is not scientific but rather rooted in greed, racism and fear. Legalization of marijuana has not only been a controversial issue, but it has brought considerable debate due to the influential force of a drug in a country.Since legalization has not been given chance, it should be implemented so that the drug control measures are put in place to regulate its trade and other issues of concern. It would also mean that legal force will not discourage use or sale of the drug but will promote better understanding on the use of the drug.Legalization will have a positive impact on the global economies. This is from the money used in the legal procedures and in wars against drug use and rehabilitation.

When the use of the drug is legalized, safety measures, hygiene and sterility of the hypodermic needles used are also guaranteed. This would ultimately reduce the number and spread of HIV/AIDS virus and hepatitis.  The knowledge of marijuana as being one of the very safe therapeutic substances should make it legalized as it has a wide range of application and cannot cause death (Inciardi, J.A 26-31). Marijuana is a preventive measure to epileptic seizures and during injuries it has eased pain. It has also been known to treat arthritis, migraines, ovulatory and menstrual cramps and depression. Instead of putting the patient in a dilemma of persevering pain or acquiring the drugs and consequently suffering in the hands of law it should be legalized.

Since it has been falsely criticized, the fact is that despite criticism from the beginning of the century, it should be associated to positive aspects and effects. Due to the evidence that it is less likely to cause crime and the medicinal value are among the issues that need critical and creative approaches into solving the situation. It is rather a difficult step seeking to understand why it is illegal yet tobacco and alcohol are legal and why it is that specific plant said to be illegal?Its legalization will also stop illegal drug trafficking organizations and hence even purchasing from gangsters will be long forgotten. In fact taxing marijuana is likely to produce an estimated $37 billion as tax revenue and this can be used to improve quality of life and improving the economy as well.Marijuana makes a large count in American cash crop that can produce so much money as compared to other plants. Under the current operating regulations the market is left on criminal organizations since they are neither regulated nor taxed.

  The false information has to a large extent frustrated efforts to have it legalized.Those that advocate for its legalization should put forth their honest information and not act to deceive those that want it illegal. Legalization is not after its abuse but rather to have controlled and manageable markets for the product. It does not aim to give a go-ahead in the use of other illegal drugs and trying to justify their need to be legalized. The weight on marijuana is that it has been used by very many people besides governments committed in door-to-door search of those who possess or use it.The government should embrace change through strategic planning and implementation of the rules and regulations that operate in the policies that are laid down.Having it illegal does not at all prevent its cultivation, distribution and use (Siegel, Larry J, Joseph J.

Senna. 84-89). Apparently, its use even in the medical field is still going on despite the fact that there is not much research done to justify claims of its medicinal value.

In fact, delay in its legalization is an idea meant to frustrate the efforts by scientists to do research on its applicability and the response that is seen in the patients. While it is not legalized, it denies rights to life, liberty and happiness. Very many institutions have not opposed it and so Americans should be able to have equal opportunity to enjoy marijuana as those from Europe, Canada and Mexico.

Public opinion has had more strength than ever before and so this would be the appropriate time to push for legalization of marijuana on the U.S congress.According to Siegel, Larry J, Joseph J. S.

, 85, its prohibition has not been able to handle and control its use and domestic production. This has been attributed by failure in trying to put harsh penalties on those using it. It also seems that the law enforcement is biased on arrest between blacks and Hispanics. In this the whites have lower risk of arrest and having a penalty for crime. Since marijuana is still an illegal product, the youth see it as valuable and hence can venture into making easy money in sales. Legalization would cause a reduction in criminal sale and fraud. Misinformation is the basis of its illegalization but however if the truth can be unmasked, it can be evident that its legalization is far much better than having it illegal.

ConclusionMarijuana is not lethal and has attributed to medical value and as a recreational drug. Justice should be given since the users and citizens of America believe in values of American society and therefore will continue to demand for justice. Legal systems should be swift in addressing this issue and having control on the course that legalization is going to take. Legalizing solves the many problems associated with marijuana and it will stand out to be a venture through which Americans will be knowledgeable from the experience of alcohol and tobacco and in so doing, they will monitor closely all social and legal concerns to ensure better profit, change of behavior, social responsibility and growth of a society. This is a healthy decision that all against its legalization should embrace as it affects them directly or indirectly into their daily life.

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Drug control Senna J.J (2005). Introduction tocriminal justice: Thompson, 1999.Siegel, Larry J, Joseph J.

Senna. Introduction to criminal justice. Thompson Wadsworth,2005.Rasmussen S. Addiction treatment: Theory and Practice. SAGE. 2000Jones D, John M. Marijuana early experience with four states law that allows use formarijuana.

Diane Publishing, (2003).Levinson M.H.

The drug problem: A New view using the General semantics approach.Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002Healey J.G Statistics: A tool for social research – Thompson wads worth, 2004Claire H.S.A, Harte Smith. Drug Culture. Black Rabbit Books, 2004http://wwwopenpolitics.ca/legalisation+of+marijuana (legalization of marijuana).Accessed on 2008-04-15Thomas Phelps – Marijuana – The legalization issueshttp://www.ezinearticles.com/?marijuana—the-legalization-issues&dd=991089 Accessed on 2008-04-15http://www.chillpharm.com/legalization.html Decriminalization and legal movement2004