Why marijuana should not be legalized


Photo Credit: Mary Andreou

The number of teens smoking cigarettes compared to the number of teens smoking marijuana.

by Mary Andreou, Staff Writer

Weed, pot, grass, ganja, Mary Jane, are some of the many slang terms used for marijuana, a psychoactive drug used for medicinal use. Nearly 113 million people in the US  have tried this illicit drug or is in use of it, and over the years medical emergencies and deaths increased due to the rising number of consumption of marijuana. These are just some of the reasons why marijuana should not be legalized.

The legalization of this drug will lead to an increase in teenage use of marijuana. As of right now, the rate of teen drinking is lowering, while the use of marijuana is slowly increasing. Teens can become exposed to this from their friends and family. It starts out as just experimenting, and then it turns into a lifestyle. Some teens might say that marijuana isn’t bad, because it is “natural”, but natural plant substances like cocaine, tobacco, heroine also come from plants.Does that mean that these are not harmful?

When marijuana is being smoked or vaporized, a chemical called THC, found in Marijuana(cannabis), goes through you body into the bloodstream and then from the organs into the brain. The effects of this addictive chemical which causes euphoric highs lasts for 1 to 3 hours. Memory, concentration, and thought processing is dulled and the user is put into a trance-like state. Other effects like perceptions and mood, lack of coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and disrupted learning and memory can affect the choices made by those intoxicated. Imagine if you have a family or friend that got high and entered a vehicle and start driving while intoxicated would be very scary as the person would most likely get into a crash. Rational thinking goes out the window and the effects on the brain twist the way a person thinks. Personally, I believe that marijuana is not worth the high in the sense that a life is at stake. If an accident from taking this drug does not hurt a person, then the effects on the body will. Inhaling marijuana can cause chronic coughing and respiratory problems as well as depression and suicidal thoughts. Why risk so much for something that anyone could find by doing something else that gives you a euphoric feeling such as exercise and taking up a hobby.

This is an addictive substance and while some might think that they would not get addicted, people who try it under the age of 18 are 4-7 times more likely than adults to develop a marijuana disorder. Many people take the consumption of marijuana too lightly. Just like all the other ‘natural’ plants out there marijuana is the kid on the block that your parents warn you about. Stay away from marijuana as it should not be legalized.