500 words APA format with references
It seems as if the topic of legalization of marijuana will never end. As discussed in “The Reefer Madness Effect,” the legalization of marijuana is still a hot topic up for debate. Its legalization scares the lives of part of the public, including law enforcement. Some of the discussion up for debate was whether the legalization is beneficial to the public the way people are saying it is. One of the news anchors in the film made a valid point about her tax dollars will have to go towards help supplying the drug that her and others do not approve of its legalization. Whether its use is medical or recreational, our tax dollars will be used to pay for the drug that not all approve of. Where is the fairness in that?
Another point that was made on the film sounded as if they were for benefiting the illegal drug cartels. Making marijuana, the sell and use of it, legal to the public will benefit the drug cartels. It will make it less dangerous for them and easier for supply and demand of the drug. They will benefit financially off its legalization but us as U.S. citizens will being paying for it will our hard-earned tax dollars.
With all this talk about marijuana, what makes it a drug? Marijuana is considered under the Schedule 1 drugs according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Drugs listed under this are considered to have high potential for abuse, the drug has no current accepted medical treatment us in the U.S., and there is lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision. This however is contradictory to the fact that marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been made legal for personal, recreational, and medical use in some states. This is interesting considering the other drugs listed under as Schedule 1 which includes heroin, LSD, mescaline, MDMA, GHB, ecstasy, psilocybin, methaqualone, khat, and bath salts (Anderson, 2014). With the long list of other Schedule 1 drugs, marijuana as being a part of it, there has not been any recorded accounts of someone overdosing on marijuana, like there has been for the others.
In terms of what we know about how legalizing marijuana, we do not know the exact affects it will have on society. We do know there are some medical uses that marijuana offers, but there are some harmful effects. Those harmful effects include: marijuana is dangerous and addictive (dependency), causes bronchitis and lung complications, harmful to brains that are still in development (younger individuals), increases risk of psychosis, serves as a gateway drug, its potency has increased, and dangerous for recovering alcoholics and addicts (Ventrell, 2014).
Many Americans have reached the point where they feel it is time to change the policy regarding marijuana. Majority of Americans are now in favor of legalizing and would be more likely to vote for it if it was listed on a ballot (Anderson, 2014). Thus far, twenty states, including Washington, D.C., have legalized the sale of medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington have legalized its use recreationally, but Washington has not implemented the law.
The use of marijuana is no longer a surprising epidemic for society. Society has socially constructed its views on marijuana as it being a norm now. You can walk by someone and smell marijuana on them and not think much about it. Regarding other Schedule 1 drugs, heroin for example, you would be appalled to see someone under the influence of it. When you think back to the 1960s, illicit drugs were just as socially acceptable as they are now. It is just a new generation expanding on its use and capabilities of these illicit drugs.
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