Legalizing marijuana What are your thoughts/feeling on making marijuana legal in the United States?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I'm not an expert, but I think marijuana is fairly harmless. Look at the damage cigarettes and alcohol do, or even junk food. Compared to hard drugs like cocaine or meth, marijuana is not nearly as dangerous and should not be treated the same way.
wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Personally, I put marijuana in the same category as tobacco or alcohol.  I can't agree that we should make all drugs legal.  After all, some drugs, like PCP or heroine, can cause serious harm not just to the drug user but to those around them.  If marijuana was made legal, some problems would be solved.  Marijuana could be regulated and safer to use.  For example, tobacco products are strictly regulated in terms of what types of chemicals and additives are permitted.  Marijuana users would benefit from the same type of regulations.  Marijuana also has medicinal purposes which are being ignored by law makers.  The bottom line is that marijuana is really in the same class as tobacco and alcohol.  Since we legalize those drugs (with regulations of course), I see no reason not to legalize marijuana.

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

All of the previous posts (aside from #2) offer excellent points. Tobacco and alcohol are far more dangerous and deadly, and I once read that there is not one single death ever attributed to an overdose of marijuana. As a previous post mentioned, black market drug activity and the crime associated with it would disappear. As for Holland, that nation takes a strong stand against harder drugs, while allowing its citizens to purchase marijuana in shops, just as one would buy cigarettes or beer. Considering the fact that marijuana is used medically, one wonders how and why it was ever made illegal in the first place.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree with post 5.  Somehow I think that fully legalizing marijuana would open up a pandora's box of problems that we may not (or could not) have planned for.

On the other hand, as an illegal drug, I often question the argument that marijuana is more unsafe than many prescription drugs that are completely legal.  I think of the number of fraudulent vicoden, hydrocodone, and oxycodone prescriptions that are reported as written, and how many people are said to be "addicted" to pain-killers.  I know what the side effects of vicoden are on me, and they seem as unhealthy (arguably worse, even) than the side effects of marijuana.  I wish there was a way bring more scholarly research to light on the potentially positive medical effects of marijuana when used under supervision.  16 states and Washington DC already support it.

vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In attempting to answer this question, it would be interesting to know what the consequences of marijuana legalization have been in other countries.  I assume Holland would be the most relevant test case. I suspect that if marijuana legalization had led to a massive increase in the use of "harder" drugs in Holland, we would have heard about it.

enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

If one decides to not ingest drugs, that's his or her business. It is not someone's business to dictate to others whether they can or cannot ingest what they choose.

If all drugs that are now illegal became legal, the black market and associated crime would vanish, and the prison population of the US would decrease.  The lessons of the Prohibition of Alcohol in the 1920's still haven't penetrated.  One cannot legislate human behavior; doing so merely pushes it underground and creates a social nightmare.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I don't really agree with the previous post.  I wonder if the fact that alcohol is legal (or that tobacco is legal) makes more people use them than otherwise would.  I tend to think not.  Alcohol is legal, but I don't drink.  Tobacco is legal, but I don't smoke.  If marijuana were legal, I wouldn't smoke it either.  I think most others would have the same reactions.

At the same time, surely legalization would help to reduce the power and wealth of drug dealers.  It would reduce the amount of crime connected to drug smuggling.  Overall, I'm a virulently anti-drug person who thinks that it might be better if we legalized them.

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I am against drugs in general. While they have their place for some, I hate even taking aspirin. I know that some drugs are completely necessary (I have had children and would not have survived without the epidural.) I think that if marijuana were legalized, the problems we already have with the drug would compound.

lbrede's profile pic

lbrede | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In attempting to answer this question, it would be interesting to know what the consequences of marijuana legalization have been in other countries.  I assume Holland would be the most relevant test case. I suspect that if marijuana legalization had led to a massive increase in the use of "harder" drugs in Holland, we would have heard about it.

I think researching marijuana use in other countries would be a great jumping off point for the United States. If the US decided to legalize marijuana, we would have to completely revamp our entire framework regarding drug use and drug education in schools. Personally, I think if alcohol is legal and taxed, marijuana should be as well, as more deaths are caused each year by alcohol than marijuana. Nevertheless, how do we teach our children that drugs have many terrible consequences, but they also can be used if you have cancer or another serious illness. There definitely is a fine line that must be walked and somehow, if we are to legalize it as a country, we need to create a new framework regarding drug use.

a-b's profile pic

a-b | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

At this point there are too many studies available that show that marijuana is not harmful for it to be classified in the same league as heroin, cocaine, and other drugs which cause serious damage to the body and brain.

Whether or not it should be completely legal is a harder question. There are limits on alcohol, taxes on cigarettes, and some drugs are prescription only. Based on medical studies, marijuana makes a good medicine for a vast array of medical conditions, so at the very least it should be freely available as a prescription drug. I've included some links below on recent medical studies.

UK Study: Marijuana safer than alcohol

Study: Marijuana may prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

THC Improves Appetite in Cancer Patients

Marijuana Fights Cancer Cells

Marijuana Promotes Brain Cell Growth

 

 

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