62 percent. That is the increase in the number of fatal accidents in Colorado involving marijuana since its legalization in 2012.
Given that intaking marijuana can impair thinking, memory and body movements, it seems counterintuitive to allow this behavior in our community. Legalizing marijuana sends the message that an altered state of mind as a result of substance use is acceptable.
The detrimental effects of marijuana on an individual’s mind and body should provide a compelling enough argument against marijuana usage and legalization. A New Zealand study reported that chronic marijuana use starting in adolescence resulted in an average of an 8-point drop in IQ in mid-adulthood. If marijuana can be legally marketed to young adults, there will be serious intellectual impacts on future generations.
Physically, marijuana use can affect an individual’s posture, coordination, balance and reaction time. Furthermore, smoking marijuana irritates the lungs, leading to breathing problems and a high risk of lung infections. Marijuana use also increases the heart rate, leading to an increased risk of heart attack. In fact, since marijuana legalization in Colorado in 2012, marijuana-related hospitalizations increased by an average of 30 percent each year.
No, marijuana does not have any directly fatal side effects, but perhaps that is the exact reason why recreational use of it should be illegal.
The lack of side effects causes users to believe it is safe, when in reality they cannot go about their life under the same conditions as if they were not under the influence of marijuana.
Unlike alcohol, which can be tested through the use of a breathalyzer, there is no definitive way to test individuals under the influence of marijuana. As they get into their car or attempt to go about their normal lives, it is difficult to prevent accidents from occurring.
Supporters of marijuana legalization often compare the effects of alcohol with the effects of marijuana. However, there is one key difference between the two: with the exception of medical marijuana, every time someone smokes marijuana, they are abusing the drug, whereas alcohol users are not.
When a marijuana user starts smoking, his intention is to get high. This is abuse.
Alcohol consumption, on the other hand, provides the option to the user whether or not they want to get drunk when they start using the substance; many people drink alcohol simply because they enjoy the taste but have no intention of getting drunk. This is simply use.
As a result, it makes sense that drugs that gives users the option of abuse are legal, whereas drugs that force all users to abuse them should remain illegal.
No society is better off with marijuana use. The mood changes and hallucinations that marijuana provide contribute to strained relationships and detachment from society. In order to maintain engaged members of society, marijuana must remain illegal.
Ultimately, marijuana should not be underestimated. While it may not have the same severe side effects as drugs such as cocaine and heroin, it still causes detrimental effects to both the individual and society.