There are arguments in favor and against the legalization of marijuana citing its harmful effects. The long-held notion about marijuana being harmful to the brain reducing the intelligence of the user is now being disputed. Many doctors are joining the campaign for the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. For many years, patients who really needed the drug had to obtain it clandestinely from the underground markets and criminal gangs.
The cannabis effects on health
There is slowly emerging the medical benefits of cannabis. Latest polls show that 85% are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. However, the lawmakers in the Capitol Hill and many conservatives in the country continue to believe that marijuana is an extremely addictive drug that has serious side effects.
In truth, marijuana is only as harmful as alcohol and tobacco. In fact, many marijuana activists like to compare the current federal laws on marijuana to the old Prohibition law in the US, which was repealed in the 1930’s depression era earning the state much needed revenue in the form of taxation.
The gateway drug theory has long been disputed. Many experts have pointed out the wrongly drawn correlation between marijuana use and other drugs. Since the drug is illegal, the only way people can get hold of marijuana is through the illegal traders and criminal gangs who are the source of other addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. This is how most of the marijuana users are introduced to other drugs, which will not happen had the drug been legal.
The claim that marijuana causes a decline in the cognitive abilities of the user is hard to prove, especially when you are talking about the long-term use of the drug and its effects on the brain. However, there is no dispute about the effect of an early exposure of the psychoactive drug on the not yet fully developed brain of a teenager. However, this is not an excuse for the complete ban on the drug. Instead, a legal age limit for marijuana use can be stipulated, again just like alcohol and tobacco products.
The growing support for legalizing medical marijuana proves that the marijuana activists and campaigners have been successful in dispelling these rumors about the harmful cannabis effects. The federal government too should wake from its long stupor and decriminalize as well as legalize the use of marijuana.