Why Is Marijuana Still Illegal?

Nowadays we face many debatable questions that allow nobody to stay indifferent. The notion of crime and the things that are considered to be legal or illegal are some of the most popular topics for discussions that set the cat among the pigeons. The question of legalization of marijuana in the United States definitely belongs to this list, as we have heard opposite opinions on it for years. I believe that this issue is relevant to every citizen of the United States. When we were children, we heard adults repeating that marijuana smokers are “junkies” and they have to be punished or put away, as they set a bad example to everyone. But when we have grown older, we become clever enough to compare facts and realize that marijuana is not equal to hard drugs, and in fact, is even less dangerous than alcoholic beverages. As for me, I would classify myself as a supporter of marijuana legalization because I am sure that leaving the situation as it is will bring more problems than legalizing it.

To begin with, remember what we often hear about marijuana from those who are against its legalization. They all tend to see it as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, making an erroneous impression by seeming to be harmless. They claim marijuana to be a drug that causes addiction and slowly eats away at a person’s body and mind; or they might consider it to be an essential transition between smoking cigarettes and taking hard drugs. I would not say that there is a grain of truth in it. I have many acquaintances, and those who have tried smoking marijuana are never classified as “junkies” because everyone knows that it does not cause physical addiction; it may cause only a psychological one, but the same is true for sweets or television series.

Why do we not make such things illegal, then? On the contrary, there are people who are potential drug addicts, who are not afraid to put their health and mind at risk. The feature that stands out is that they never consider marijuana to be appropriate for their experiments, as they believe it to be “a drug for children.” These two types of people live in parallel worlds; they have nothing in common, so I believe mentioning marijuana in the same breath with hard drugs to be a type of doublespeak. Many people share this point of view, claiming that the majority of those who use marijuana “never progress to using other illicit drugs or even to becoming regular marijuana consumers” (Nadelmann par. 4). Those who are against its legalization say that it causes a permanent injury to our brain, but there are many credible sources saying that marijuana does not lead to an overdose and there is no evidence that it is somehow connected to cancer (Boffey 1).

What is more, it is possible to be put in jail for buying or selling marijuana, and in this case, you risk your health or life in being kept with the real criminals. It is not a secret that there are malevolent police officers who do not miss a chance to turn the law to their profit by extorting a bribe from marijuana smokers, promising to release them. It is an undeniable truth that smoking marijuana is not able to lead to a fatal overdose, but we continue punishing its smokers and sellers on an equal basis with those who sell hard drugs, the kind that make people addicted and can lead to serious brain damage or death. Moreover, prison should be a place where only actual dangerous criminals are kept. Unfortunately, there are lots of those, and this is why a space in a jail should not be wasted on marijuana smokers. Far more shocking, the so-called designer drugs keep capturing an underworld market. If smoking marijuana involves a risk of being detained, new designer drugs are synthesized with little more than a glance to the law banning certain chemical species. In addition, there is no doubt that designer drugs cause a serious health risk.

Their side effects are unstudied, but the way that designer drugs influence the mind is not safe at all: They may cause hallucinations and make a person jump out of a window or stab someone with a knife. However, I am one hundred percent sure that there have been no cases even approaching these but connected to marijuana smokers. Drugs can influence people’s minds in many ways, such as making them aggressive and offensive, and it becomes a key component of future crime. Moreover, we know plenty of crimes are committed in a state of alcoholic intoxication: alcohol makes people fly off the handle and lose clarity of perception, drunk drivers get into car crashes that often claim lives of innocent people, and drunk men rape women and start fights. Yet we see that alcohol is legal against all odds, whereas marijuana is not. Members of legislative bodies should ask themselves why a legal substance causes so many problems, and why it is still legal. As for marijuana and its impact on one’s state of mind, remember characters from television series and films who smoke weed. We are shown people who are at peace, who wear bright clothes and laugh very often, and this image has nothing in common with the image of a real drug addict who will stop at nothing to get a new fix. Of course, some of these features seem to be exaggerated for the sake of fun, but overall, these descriptions are not far off the mark.

There is still a debate over legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Some people believe it to be a crazy idea, but there are certain places where it is used as a medicine that allows people to steady their nerves and pour oil on troubled waters. According to some scientists, medical marijuana can be used even as a treatment for children suffering from epilepsy. “Beneficial effects included increased alertness, better mood and improved sleep. Side effects included drowsiness and fatigue. Our survey shows that parents are using cannabidiol-enriched cannabis as a treatment for children with treatment-resistant epilepsy” (Porter and Jacobson 575). In addition, it can be used as a medicine to relieve pain due to its unique chemical properties. Washington Medical Center claims that an efficacy of cannabis for treatment of chronic pain was proven in the course of medical experiments.

“Research further documents the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain. Cannabis has no known lethal dose, minimal drug interactions, is easily dosed via oral ingestion, vaporization, or topical absorption” (Carter 800). If we try to discuss this question from the angle of the economic development of our society, it will be obvious that making marijuana unlawful leads to expanding an underworld market and consequently to cash outflow from the state budget. Moreover, legalizing marijuana is helpful for attracting more tourists from countries and states where it is considered to be illegal and dangerous. If a place becomes popular among tourists, its budget starts growing, and this is why legalization may be good even for the sake of economic growth.

All in all, I would vote for legalization of marijuana in all states, but in any case, consuming marijuana should be subject to certain rules just as alcohol and cigarettes are. To minimize possible negative consequences, it should not be sold to minors, nor smoked in public places. I believe that making marijuana legal will help us to solve many problems listed above.


Boffey, Philip M. “What Science Says About Marijuana.” The New York Times. 2014: 16. Print.

Carter, Gregory. “The Argument for Medical Marijuana for the Treatment of Chronic Pain.” Pain Medicine 14.6 (2013): 800-801. Print.

Nadelmann, E. “Fears of Marijuana’s Gateway Effect Vastly Exceed the Evidence.” 2016. Web.

Porter, Brenda and Catherine Jacobson. “Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy.” Epilepsy & Behavior 29.1 (2013): 574 – 577. Print.

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