Legalizing Marijuana

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Marijuana, which comes from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, is the most frequently used illegal drug in the U. S. About 4% of American adults smoke pot at least once a year. Roughly 1% of adults abuse pot, and one in 3 00 have a pot addiction. The rates of marijuana smoking in adults have remained stable since the 1990s. However, the rates of addiction to pot have risen significantly over that same period. And, according to recent government studies, as many as 30% of today’s teenagers are smoking marijuana.

There has been an ongoing argument about whether governments should legalize marijuana. Occasional marijuana use is rarely seriously harmful, but smoking pot has important medical effects. For the user, there are physical and mental effects involved in smoking marijuana. A physical danger of marijuana is the potential for lung damage, such as possibly lung cancer. A negative mental effect could be a lack of motivation in the user. However, marijuana also has positive effects. For example, it relieves stress and nausea.

It can be used medicinally, to help ease the pain of cancer, or recreationally, which is often safer than using other popular drugs such as alcohol. When used in moderation, the drug is no more harmful than legal drugs, such as tobacco or alcohol. Cannabis is known to ease pain disorders, including the side-effects cancer patients experience throughout treatment. Marijuana has been proven to help with several common conditions, afflictions and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Epilepsy, Multiple sclerosis, Glaucoma, Arthritis, and Hepatitis C to name a few.

Marijuana, itself is not addicting. However, the risks of smoking marijuana go up with heavy use. Although the link has never been proven, many experts believe heavy pot smokers are at increased risk for lung cancer. Heavy marijuana use lowers men’s testosterone levels and sperm count and quality. Pot could decrease libido and fertility in some heavy-smoking men. Although marijuana does not seem to produce addiction by itself, some evidence suggests that there are similarities in the way marijuana and drugs such as cocaine and heroin affect the brain.

Even among occasional users, one in 12 can feel withdrawal symptoms if they can’t get high when they want to. Symptoms of withdrawal from pot might include: aggression, anxiety, depression and decreased appetite. Among heavy pot smokers, the rates of dependence are higher. Reducing marijuana use is essential to improving the nation’s health, education, and productivity. New policies can greatly improve current performance of prevention strategies which, far from failing, has protected millions of people from the many adverse effects of marijuana use.

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