Marijuana and legalization

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No matter who you are, you probably have an opinion on the debate about whether or not marijuana should be legalized. According to The Pew Research Center, support for recreational marijuana use, and for legalization, has nearly doubled to 61% of Americans since 2000, when support was at 31%. As more and more states start to legalize marijuana, we need to get informed and start deciding what would be best for our state of Minnesota.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is defined as the dried flowers and leaves of a cannabis plant. It puts you in a state of “high” by mimicking a brain chemical and latching on to your neuro transmitters, which alters the way your brain sends messages to your body.

Arguments against marijuana

  • People with pre-existing marijuana problems will have easier access to the drug
  • The industry will market too heavily to younger targets
  • It has been proven to contribute to long, and short, term memory loss
  • There isn’t a productive way to enforce driving limits like there is with alcohol
  • Indoor marijuana farms could use up a lot of resources, and outdoor farms could have a harmful impact on wildlife

Arguments for marijuana

  • The majority of the public favors legalization
  • Legalization could create new jobs and revenue
  • Marijuana has medical benefits such as reducing the size of cancerous tumors, lowering anxiety and depression, and it can reduce the chance of seizures
  • Studies have shown it is less toxic then alcohol, which is a legal substance
  • Legalization could reduce legal costs, including police enforcement and jail expenses

At HPSH, I asked 10 adults and 10 students if they were in favor of legalizing marijuana or against it. 5 out of the 10 adults were in favor of legalization, while 7 out of the 10 teens felt marijuana should be legalized for medical and recreational use.

There are good arguments for both sides, for and against, but before any decisions should be made, there needs to  be more research done. If marijuana is to be legalized, the pros should outweigh the cons.

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