Is the Legalization of Marijuana Really What We Want?

by larth1 on September 11, 2013 - 12:37pm

Roxanne Khamsi discusses where medical and recreational marijuana has been legalized throughout the United States, how the drug has drastically changed over the years and the short and long term effects of marijuana in her article, Going to Pot. The legalization of medical marijuana has become more popular throughout the United States as eighteen states have allowed the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, while two states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. However, people fail to recognize that the potency of marijuana has increased drastically and from 1993 to 2008 the concentration of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, went from 3.4 to 8.8. Additionally, some experts say that the rise in cannabis can cause an addiction to occur, which leads to the effects of marijuana use. The short term effects of marijuana use include, a slowed reaction time, impaired distance perception, paranoia, irritability, poor attention span, a weakened working memory, delayed motor coordination, and it makes people more unaware of their surroundings. A few long term effects consist of impairment on a developing adolescent brain and an average decline of eight IQ points by the age of thirty-eight which was discovered in a study lead by psychologist, Madeline Meier of Duke University. Another aspect of marijuana use is that dealers price their product based on weight which can lead some dealers to add glass beads or sand to the marijuana and by inhaling these things can lead to inflammation and scarring of the lungs. Awareness may become more broadened due to the circumstances of excessive marijuana use and the fact that more states are legalizing marijuana.

Roxanne Khamsi really nails it when she discusses the effects of marijuana. Many people claim that marijuana is simply a relaxation method and has to harm, however, Roxanne Khamsi explains each effect and where it was studied. By stating that the potency of THC has gone from 3.4 to 8.8 in a fifteen year time span, reported by  The American Society of Addiction Medicine,  is frightening in a way. With the new technologies being discovered people may add on to the cannabis levels causing worsened effects as if what Khamsi has discussed is not already ruthless enough! A concern that arose in my head as I was reading is that there has been no study yet recorded that shows if daily use of marijuana has an effect on the lungs. Mark Pletcher makes a valid point when he says, "Somebody should do that study if marijuana is going to become legalized and prescribed.” Otherwise, once people are using marijuana more and more daily, they are not informed if their lungs are being effected or not. If someone is worried about that issue this research can help prevent them from unnecessary marijuana use. Lastly, a few keywords stuck out to me which include paranoia, slowed, delayed, and weakened. These are words that describe effects of marijuana use and if more people are going to be “medically” and recreationally using marijuana, production of society may be slowed and lead to simply more lazy citizens, as if we do not already have that enough as is.



Khamsi, R. (2013). Going to Pot. Scientific American308(6), 34-36.



You are right on most of your points , but even if all possible studies show that marijuana is bad for you, it still is not an argument strong enough if we take in consideration alcohol and cigarettes which studies have shown that they are more dangerous than marijuana. Moreover, illegal marijuana does not save lives, it does the exact opposite, taking all the organized crime gangs which fight for drug selling exclusivity in their territory, in consideration,that egenders death. The incomes from legalization will be a great way to get countries like the United States , out of their recession.
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You had well compared the two sides of this ethical issue. For instance, when you claimed: ‘’ Many people claim that marijuana is simply a relaxation method and do no harm, however, Roxanne Khamsi explains each effect and where it was studied’’. Also, he used a lot of facts from other countries and statistics. In addition, he used some good references to authority, like Madeline Meier of Duke University, a psychologist.However, many times you did not specify who was Roxanne Khamsi and Mark Pletcher therefore it makes your article vague and weak. Also it is true that some experiences about the effects of Marijuana on lungs have been done, for instance, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said that doctors have tested the lung function of more than 5.000 adults between the age of 18 and 30. After 20 years of research, to their great surprise, the researchers have found that marijuana smokers performed slightly better than people who usually don’t smoke or smoke cigarettes. The reason behind that is: inhaling marijuana and holding the puff as long as possible seems more like a pulmonary function test then when you do it for cigarettes. Therefore, it gives the marijuana smoker a greater respiratory endurance.

Your article really caught my attention. I do not believe that Marajuana should be legalized. I agree completely with you when you say that the words slowed, delayed, and weakness stood out. People focus so much on the medical and recreational part of marijuana that they try to ignore the possible health problems and physical problems that may arise from it. Also the paranoia part really puts me uneasy as well. Way too people smoke Marajuana to begin with , if it becomes legal and there no longer the fear of getting caught and going jail, there will be more people that smoke. And therefore there would be more paranoid people in society with a weaker memory and attention span. There are too many bad side effects for the government to just decide to make Marajuana legal for everyone.

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