Marijuana: It’s a drug, but is it as bad as everyone thinks?

Emily Harris ’17, Circulation Manager

According to the United Nations, 158.8 million people around the world use marijuana. That’s more than 3.8% of the world’s population, yet it is still illegal in some states, such as Michigan.

Many arguments and protests have gone on discussing the issue of whether or not marijuana should be legal. There are various positive and negative effects to smoking marijuana, so it really depends on the person you ask, and his or her beliefs.

The creation of this substance dates all the way back to 7,000 B.C. and, it has only been illegal since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which banned its use and sales across the country. Since then, people have been trying to make this drug legal again, and many people just continue to use it anyways, regardless of the law.

There are some people who do not believe in the use of marijuana because of their religion or their opinion on it. The use of marijuana can definitely have some negative effects, such as panic attacks, anxiety, and mild hallucinations; however, it can also have some more serious effects as well. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can cause a dilemma with the balances in your brain. The cerebellum regulates your balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time, but through smoking weed, these can be slowed and cause you to be more clumsy.

Senior Jenna Herrington believes that cannabis should be legal, because it helps people with their medical problems. Herrington said, “I think it’s a really helpful medicine and it can help people with the little things, like insomnia or the bigger problems like cancer. It doesn’t necessarily cure the issues, but it can help slow them down and hopefully eventually stop them.”

The positive sides of this often frowned upon substance outweigh the negative ones. It can control epileptic seizures, slow Alzheimer’s disease, stop cancer from spreading, and even though it can adversely cause anxiety, it can also often help people relax and calm down. Marijuana is and should be .

There has been a total of zero deaths caused by marijuana. Take that statistic and compare it to the number of deaths caused by alcohol. The difference? 2.5 million people annually. So why is alcohol legal, but marijuana is not? Our government has decided to ban a substance that helps millions of people, but for some reason, a substance that kills millions of people every year is legal and is sold on almost every street corner you pass.

I believe that marijuana should be legal, but I do think it should have an age limit if it is not being used for medical purposes. In many states, marijuana is legal and it does have an age limit. It does not make sense to me why this substance is still illegal in some states.

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