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Marijuana Legalization Pros and Cons

I thought I would get onto a topic that has a little more interest in the youth and something that I'm sure more readers will "sort of" agree with me. I'm going to do a post on marijuana legalization pros and cons. I know how people tend to be on the internet about this, especially since the crowds tend to be younger and social sites tend to show a very pro decriminalization of marijuana opinion. I thought I could get an opinion in on this and see who can agree with me.

I want to first start out by saying that I used to support legalization of all drugs. This is an opinion that I've been questioning lately. It's probably something I can go into on another post since I would take up way too much time to go into here. Marijuana legalization is something that I would probably legalize, but it would be the last thing on my list if I had the authority to do such a thing.

I want personally state that I don't think drugs should be taken and this includes marijuana. I think they're bad. I run into people who were right into pot when they were in high school and today they have a dazed look in their eyes. I don't think they're good. I think they create intellectually slow, stupid and lazy people. I know I'll get a handful of comments from people that don't like me saying that, but it's the way I see it. Anyway, on to the marijuana legalization pros and cons.

Pro: Readably and Easy Available Medical Marijuana

I'm actually a big supporter of medical marijuana since it can help a lot of people and I think the benefits outweigh the problems. When you consider a person who has cancer that is going through chemo and radiation, they'll be sick and nauseas all the time. Marijuana is a way for them to get relief from the worst feeling they'll ever experience. And considering that people will battle cancer for years it is something that I want to see more people using.

I know there are other areas where medical marijuana has important uses. I couldn't possibly list them all, but they are out there. Steve Kubby is someone that has adrenal cancer, which I believe means he has tumors growing right inside of his bones. It is supposed to be quite painful and causes his blood pressure to skyrocket. Marijuana helps him control his cancer and has been believed to keep him alive longer than any doctor thought he could. But onto more marijuana legalization pros and cons.

Pro: Eliminates the Black Market

The black market is where the bad stuff happens and I think Mexico is a prime example of what is happening. The reason why the black market always becomes violent is that all economies require a police force and a court system. When there is a disagreement and you can't work it out, you go to court. When someone does you wrong (fraud, stealing, violence) the police are there to stop this and catch the bad guy.

The black market doesn't have the courts or the police, so they have to come up with their own system. This is why you have rival gangs and the mafia heavily involved. If you're selling drugs you join a gang. It offers you protection, turf and other benefits that allow you to sell your product. At the same time you're paying a cut to the violent gangs. And this is inevitably what creates the problem.

At least if marijuana become a legal commodity it could be sold by legit businesses. When this happens you have full access to the real legal system and the gangs and mafia are no longer needed. Since they are no longer needed they lose many important funding sources that allows them to recruit members and load up on weaponry. It is essentially a way of removing the funding and taking it away from them. There are many marijuana legalization pros and cons, but I think most people view this as the most important one you can mention.

Con: Marijuana Causes Increases in Psychoses

I know I'm going to get the people that will come in and claim that marijuana is completely healthy and blah blah blah. It's not. It's not good for you. I want to point out that these conclusions aren't coming from correlated data. Correlation is the process of looking at two different variables and looking for similarities in them. It isn't the most scientific. So it would be the equivalent of noticing that people who smoke marijuana are more likely to suffer from some sort of psychoses.

I'm actually referring to longitudinal studies that are just coming out recently because we've finally had the chance to test them out. Longitudinal means that people are examined before they ever touch marijuana and then they're checked in later in life after using marijuana and seeing how they're doing. Someone left a comment on a previous post about me leaving comments with studies and that I should give them in posts, so I will.

Cannabis use in adolescence and risk for adult psychosis: longitudinal prospective study

"Using cannabis in adolescence increases the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia in adulthood."

Am J Epidemiol 2002; 156:319-327
Cannabis Use and Psychosis: A Longitudinal Population-based Study

"Results confirm previous suggestions that cannabis use increases the risk of both the incidence of psychosis in psychosis-free persons and a poor prognosis for those with an established vulnerability to psychotic disorder."

The Lancet, Volume 370, Issue 9584, Pages 319-328
Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review

"The evidence is consistent with the view that cannabis increases risk of psychotic outcomes independently of confounding and transient intoxication effects, although evidence for affective outcomes is less strong."

I think that is enough studies to show you, and I'm sure some libertarians are wondering what exactly is my problem with people that choose to screw up their life. I actually don't care if people screw up their life. What I'm worried about are people that can't live their life in a rational manner. That has always been a concern of mine and I'm going to say it in my post on marijuana pros and cons.

Con: Marijuana is a Gateway Drug

I know I'm going to get a lot of flack about this. I think people that use marijuana for the purpose of healing themselves are not going to view this as a gateway drug. The simple fact is that they have the purpose of health in mind while they're taking it. The fact is that the "casual use" of marijuana is to get high. Let's just call a spade a spade. People are looking to get high, escape reality and feel good. All the other hard drugs out there create those feelings. And like any drug you get less and less effect every time you use it.

If your goal is to get "high", then there really isn't a logical reason why you wouldn't move onto harder and more dangerous drugs. And yes, I'm going to post studies to help back up my claim that marijuana is a gateway drug.

Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?

"Results provide strong support for the gateway hypothesis, indicating that marijuana use in 1984 increases the probability of cocaine use in 1988 by 29 percentage points for respondents who have never used cocaine by 1984. The implication is that cocaine use can be more effectively deterred by redirecting some enforcement resources from cocaine to marijuana."

DOI: 10.1080/09595230500126698
Is cannabis a gateway drug? Testing hypotheses about the relationship between cannabis use and the use of other illicit drugs

"Animal studies have raised the possibility that regular cannabis use may have pharmacological effects on brain function that increase the likelihood of using other drugs."

I think that is enough studies on that. I have a lot more marijuana legalization pros and cons to go into. And yes this is turning into one long monster post.

Pro: Able to Tax and Regulate

Having the power to regulate such an item gives a little more power back to the people since drug dealers aren't checking the ID of a teenager to see if they're over the age of 18. But at least we can regular it that way and prevent underage kids from getting it. I know they still can technically get it, just like teenagers can get their hands on cigarettes, but at least it is something a little more difficult. I don't think it would be possible to regular the quality grown. I know some government official would think that they could force growers to make a lower grade type of marijuana, which would only create a new black market.

Taxes is an okay argument. I know that it would solve a lot of budget problems in states like California, but I doubt that really would matter over the long run. Marijuana taxes aren't going to save states that are in money troubles because they'll just spend it all and be in another mess. And you couldn’t tax it too highly because if you do that it creates another black market, which we are starting to see with cigarettes. The black market of cigarettes is actually much more apparent in a place like Canada because the taxes are much higher there.

Con: Increases in Welfare and other Forms of Social Assistant by Users

I think one of the main things that annoys me is that people who use drugs are burn outs for the most part. I find them lazy and unmotivated. I don't really care if you disagree, but it annoys me that druggies can collect welfare. All I want to see from people rational thought and rational states, but when you choose to do drugs you deserve what you get. And you deserve no safety net. I walk over bums on the street shooting up heroine and I could care less about them.

That's not to sound mean, it's just the honest way I think about it. Everyone knows drugs are bad and when you throw caution to the win it's your fault. This con could easily be averted by requiring drug tests from people that want to receive any sort of assistance from the government.

I think this is enough marijuana legalization pros and cons for now. I could probably go on and on with this, but the post is getting a little too long now. But I'm going to go into one more thing because I know that many people are going to ask why I didn't talk about it.

It is the subject of personal freedom.

I'm very conflicted on this concept of drug use and the freedom to do it. And the reason boils down to your rational state. Most people in society (I hope 99.9%) agree with keeping drinking and driving illegal. If you think you have the personal freedom to take drugs than you must also believe you have the personal freedom to drive drunk. It's just as simple as that.

I don't believe people have the right to drive around drunk because you can't function in a rational manner. You cannot operate your vehicle rationally and therefore you're not allowed. Simple as that. And the question of rationality outside of the vehicle is debatable. Will marijuana create enough irrational behavior to warrant it being illegal? That is up for debate with people. But I hope most people can see that hard drugs like heroine cocaine and methamphetamine are drugs that make it incapable for a person to rationally control themselves. This is why we find more criminal activity among those that take hard drugs

That is why I didn't bring up personal freedom because I don't think people have the freedom to endanger my life, within reason. All I ask from society is rational thought and drugs are the anti-thesis of that. I guess that conclude my post on marijuana legalization pros and cons, so I hope you enjoy it. And I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of lippy comments for some of my positions too.


Anonymous said…
This is, by far an imperfect world. HAVE A NICE DAY.
Anonymous said…
I think you have great points. i have used and quit because it really does have long term effect. it changes your additude. I know people who have been using for 2 years and people for 30. some people really dont act that weird but some seriously just changed and now are not the same friend i enjoyed before. I completely believe it could cause mental issues.
Anonymous said…
I dont think it should be regulated by states and or federal agencies.I think it should become available to all markets in a free capitalist society.Rules and regulations will cause the black market to boom not cease.If the market offered it to the adult population much like tobacco,there would be no need for strict regulatory systems.But the conditions would be much the same as they are for all other industry today,regulated to death.Better to leave it illegal than let gubment stooges make their riches off of it.We need a free market.That of regulation by corporate and congressional interests.Let the small businessman prosper for once,and forget all the bogging down of capitalism by gubment chicanery.
Anonymous said…
"If your goal is to get "high", then there really isn't a logical reason why you wouldn't move onto harder and more dangerous drugs. "

just to comment on that...there is actually a logical reason why people dont move onto harder drugs and thats because most people know that hard drugs are much more dangerous and can have serious side effects and addiction..i can almost guarantee that a larger majority of people choose to smoke weed then take any other hard drug, of course you get the small few who decide to take others but you cant associate the two. marijuana and hard drugs shouldn't even be in the same room together, their not similar..if you were to label anything as "gateway drugs" you should mention tobacco and alcohol, look how much harm they cause..
Anonymous said…
I like everything else you said though! Including your post about occupy wall street, i do agree it's stupid

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