If marijuana is legalized, people will think smoking marijuana is something we can do every day at anytime, which increases drug use. People are going to smoke marijuana without getting in trouble or getting arrested. Also there is going to be easier access to marijuana, and it will be cheaper to buy. These same things happened when alcohol was legalized. Also, drug dealers can grow marijuana without getting arrested, and make a bunch of money off of it. “Van Deventer, a news reporter, described how he and his friends used drugs casually for a while. He felt like he was growing closer to addiction. But buying illegal drugs wasn’t easy. Van Deventer and his friends feared being arrested. They worried about undercover cops posing as drug dealers, who often sold them fake drugs” (Legalizing Drugs, pg 67). According to this passage, Van Deventer stopped using drugs when it was illegal, because he didn’t want to get arrested. If drugs are legalized, he and his friends would use drugs casually again.
Increased drug use leads to negative health effects. For example people who are depressed use marijuana because they believe it will calm them down, and make them feel better. However, this isn’t true because marijuana worsens depression. Other negative health effects are respiratory illness, lung infections, and cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, and esophagus. Marijuana users have a higher risk of cancer then cigarette smokers. Also, after a few minutes of smoking marijuana, your heart beats faster and your blood pressure drops. Because of lower blood pressure and higher heart rate, researchers found that marijuana users have a four times higher chance of a heart attack within the first hour of smoking marijuana.
Legalizing marijuana would also lead to negative effects on families. Marijuana use at work and school lessens from 13.6% in 1988, to 3.8% in 2006, according to USA Today. Marijuana use basically got smaller after it was legalized. Also, younger teens will use it. Parents will use it and give bad example to younger kids and teens, and parents will use it and become high around their kids. Marijuana affects teens and their ability to concentrate in school, and drug-using parents will neglect or abuse their children. If marijuana stays illegal, these negative effects will lessen. “The more the barriers there are (cops or the hassle or the fear of dying from an overdose) the less likely you are to get addicted, ” according to Van Deventer (Legalizing Drugs, pg 68). He’s trying to make the point that because marijuana is illegal, there are more consequences when smoking marijuana, than if it was legalized.
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