The Stoners’ Republic: Leah’s side

Leah Ulatowski , Copy Editor

The utilization of marijuana for recreational purposes is absolutely unnecessary. Legalizing the drug would only lead to health hazards, the endangerment of innocents and further experimentation in the hellish world of illegal substances. The pleasure of a select few should not be put above the social chaos that would ensue as a result of legalization.

In terms of health concerns, there are widely known links between brain damage and marijuana abuse. In addition, various health hazards arise from mixing marijuana and alcohol. The results of this combination are often unpredictable, but some people have reported psychotic symptoms. Furthermore, marijuana is an anti-emetic, and the body is far more prone to alcohol poisoning when it cannot expel excess liquor.

Some argue that marijuana only poses risks to the user and should be legalized because it is a victimless crime, but this is untrue. Secondhand smoke poses health concerns to others, and losing one’s inhibitions opens the gateway to crimes like sexual assault, battery and reckless driving—the victims of marijuana are very real.

Perhaps the greatest victims of marijuana’s decriminalization would be the nation’s children. Unfortunately, legalization would make the drug more accessible to children who are too underdeveloped mentally, physiologically and emotionally to withstand its effects. We have seen the influences of alcohol, cigarettes and pornography on the development of children, and it is not pretty. Many are grappling with addictions that are detrimental to their health and ability to function in society. Adults should sacrifice their own pleasure for child safety and refuse to add marijuana to the equation.

Finally, it is naïve to believe marijuana users would be satisfied with using one drug for the rest of their lives. Realistically, they will eventually seek something with a greater kick, which could be deadly. While some alcoholic beverages are more potent than others, graduating from champagne to whiskey doesn’t have the potential to kill you like moving from marijuana to heroin. The biggest argument for marijuana legalization is that it will preserve law enforcement’s resources. This will not be the case when marijuana users fall prey to the slippery slope of drug abuse and create a more booming illegal market than ever before in seeking harder substances.

 

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