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Argumentative Essay Sample on Use Marijuana Drug



Introduction

The flowers and leaves of Cannabis Sativa, which is a hemp plant, are known by many names: marijuana, pot, weed, bhang, and ganja among others. Debate on the use of this drug has been raging for a long time and the results vary among the different countries. The argument has been whether marijuana is good or harmful for human consumption. With respect to this argument, I believe that marijuana should be decriminalized.

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Background

First, many people currently use this product. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services stated that in the year 2008, 75% of 21.1 million Americans used marijuana. This percentage is equivalent to 15.825 million people, who use this product either for medical or recreational purposes. Moreover, this prevalence exists in spite of the increased attempts to control the herb’s use. Actually, these attempts started back in 1925 with the Opium Convention, which controlled the trading of marijuana. Further, the United States declared the product as being illegal in 1937. This declaration meant that if someone was found either using or being in possession of the product, he/she could be arrested and prosecuted. In the event whereby people are told that a certain product is poisonous, naturally they will stop using this product, especially when they see the effects of the poison. However, marijuana does not seem to scare people away and the more regulations there are, the more people tend to use it. This is definitely a result of the product not having the claimed negative effects. In support of this theory, fourteen states passed the laws in 2010, which allow patients to use marijuana under the prescription of a doctor. If this drug was harmful, such laws would not be passed, irrespective of the circumstances.

Secondly, marijuana should be decriminalized, because it is not addictive. This means that the people, who use the drug, can quit at any time they like and at their will. This is because using marijuana does not make someone’s life dependent on the product. Actually, addiction is defined in terms of making an individual, who uses a product, incapable to function without it and being unable to quit using that product. However, someone might wonder why there are many marijuana users in the drug treatment facilities, if it is not addictive. Well, such a person might be justified to ask such a question, because a few people encounter challenges in quitting the use of marijuana. However, this percentage can only account for 30% of the people in the treatment facilities. This is because 70% of the individuals are taken to the treatment facilities after being found guilty of a marijuana violation.

Unfortunately, different groups have been misinforming the public about marijuana addiction. For instance, the mainstream press across the world had a recent headline that claimed the withdrawal of marijuana rivaled that of nicotine. However, the study supporting this headline was based on a sample of 12 individuals. Consequently, such a study is not scientific, since it does not represent the situation of a large population. Similarly, big pharmaceutical companies would want people to believe in marijuana addiction. As a result, they would benefit by providing psychoactive drugs, such as Lithium, which help people in quitting hardcore smoking.

Even though science shows that marijuana is not addictive, some people believe otherwise. For example, the director of National Institute on Drug Abuse provides some statistics to prove his belief. He says that in 1979, 60% of the children in twelfth grade had used marijuana at least once. He also continues to state that this figure had changed to a constant of about 50% in the period between 1997 and 1999. In supporting the idea that this product is addictive, the director claims that marijuana produces unwanted changes: physically, mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally. However, even though this might be true, the writer says that the director adds an extra statement to make his claims relevant today. The director adds that the current marijuana is 5 times more potent than that, which was available in the 1970s. This way, he hopes to convince people that this product is truly addictive. Unfortunately, he does not provide any proof for the increased potency.

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Still on the lack of addiction by marijuana, the issue of withdrawal symptoms arises. If these symptoms are of a high degree, an individual may encounter challenges in quitting the use of a substance. However, the withdrawal symptoms associated with marijuana are mild. This claim is supported by the Institute of Medicine. This institute goes ahead to state that tobacco and alcohol have worse withdrawal symptoms that marijuana. Therefore, if we do not criminalize these two substances, why should we criminalize the use or even possession of marijuana? Actually, it has been shown that people are able to voluntarily stop using marijuana, and in doing so, they encounter minimal challenges. On the contrary, most cigarette smokers, especially the ones, who started smoking when young, do not cease the habit in spite of their willingness and efforts to quit using cigarettes.

Thirdly, policy makers need to consider the above factors, as well as use common sense, while making policies regarding marijuana. The current laws make marijuana look like a demon. Nonetheless, these laws have actually made a seemingly bad situation worse. This is because the laws lead to persecution of the substance users and they are oppressive. For instance, the Supreme Court in 2005, found a woman, who was suffering from chronic pain, guilty of growing marijuana in her basement. This judgment was despite the fact that the marijuana was used for medical purposes. This action is wrong for two reasons. First of all, the woman is from Californi,a and the state had legalized marijuana use for medical purposes. Unfortunately, the federal laws contradicted this state law. Secondly, the moral reasoning behind the judgment is wrong. As a result, it would be great, if the judge applied common sense in ruling the case. This way, he would have considered the merits of the growing the plant, which would outweigh any demerits.

Another example that would have required the use of common sense is the proposed congressional bill by James Sensebrenner. The bill proposes at least two-year prison sentence for an individual, who knows about marijuana use or sale within a college campus or in homes that have children, and does not report the issue within a day. In this current age, where people mind their businesses, this bill is totally out of place. In any case, in the event, whereby a child sees his/her parent use marijuana for either medical or recreational reasons, would be risking losing his/her guardian for some time by reporting him or her. No one would wish such fate for a child, because such an action would definitely ruin the child’s future. Therefore, it is the high time that we revised our policies with a sober mind. Decriminalizing marijuana would have several advantages. Moreover, since we are in a free society, everyone should be able to decide what to consume. Such an action would reduce profits in organized crime, as well as reduce terrorism.

Fourthly, studies have shown that marijuana has a component called cannabinoid, which helps in pain reduction within human bodies. This study provides hope to the people, who suffer chronic pain, since they might be able to go back to their normal lives soon. However, the study regarding cannabinoids has indicated that effectiveness of the drug is dependent on its delivery route. Inhaling or taking this drug orally is discouraged, since the drug does not give the expected results, and it can lead to the unwanted results. An example of an unwanted result is sudden rise and drop of blood levels. Nevertheless, there is the option of taking this drug in a brand called Sativex, as an oromucosal spray. This drug has been tested in alleviating pain due to cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as multiple sclerosis, with positive results. The drug was able to reduce chronic pain in patients, where opioids had failed. However, the patients, who used these drugs during the study, complained of side effects such as bad taste, nausea, and fatigue. Anyway, almost every drug has side effects and the advantage of having a patient’s chronic pain eliminated overshadows such minor symptoms.

Finally, let us consider the effects of both alcohol and marijuana on the emotional intelligence. Prior to looking at these effects, it would be important to understand that emotional intelligence abilities include perceiving, utilizing, understanding, and regulating a person’s emotions. In a study of 199 students, it was found that marijuana negatively affects emotional intelligence. This is a serious revelation, especially considering that 55% of the students, who took part in this study, had used marijuana at least once. On the other hand, similar results were observed in terms of alcohol use, which resulted in low emotional intelligence. Therefore, considering the two substances and their effects, none is worse than the other is. It would be unjustified, if we continue to criminalize one substance, marijuana, whereas the other is legalized.

Conclusion

In conclusion, many people seem to use marijuana despite the existing regulations. It is not addictive and it has mild withdrawal symptoms. The policy makers demonize this substance, but common sense suggests otherwise. Marijuana contains a substance responsible for alleviating chronic pain; however, it affects emotional intelligence in a negative way, just as alcohol does. It is unfortunate that our governments have had noble intentions that are misguided. Luckily, we can still correct our policies and ensure that we can decide what to consume, since we live in a free society. In order to do this, the government should decriminalize marijuana.

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