In today’s rapidly changing modern world, there is a growing need for individualism and self-liberation which is largely due to society’s discontent with authoritative figures who conjur seemingly harsh laws. However, what is failed to be realized is that had these laws not been created, there would be a vast array of problematic situations. Such an example of this is the concept of marijuana decriminalization. With many people illegally using marijuana in the sixties and seventies, the question that arose was whether or not marijuana should be legalized (Hawley 59).
The result of these protests brought about what was dubbed the “new Prohibition” which made way for many laws to be passed that severely punished those who were connected with marijuana use. These laws, that are made to regulate society and its behavior, are causing a great strain in the American public, but it is obvious that the people need these laws to prevent a large drug problem from getting bigger. Through research and analytical observation of the decriminalization concept, I have based my findings on moral standings to arrive at the conclusion that legalizatin of marijuana would produce irreversable, negative effects on society.
One of the reasons is that marijuana is beginning to take the place of alcohol by claiming itself as the new social drug of modern day society (Smith 73). Also, even if the government was to allow for decriminalization, it would still be nearly impossible to eliminate all illegal marijuana for various reasons that will be further explained. Yet the most negative aspect is that making marijuana legal will most likely result in its addition to other harmful, legal drugs that cause physical and psychological problems.
It is my intention to argue that decriminalization is not the answer to society’s drug problem, and establish that doing so could be extremely harmful to the well being of our nation. With so many problems being generated by already legal drugs, why contribute to this by adding in another drug with unknown effects? What is discouraging is that people still find it easy to accept consequenses of drug use just for the pleasure of the moment (Hellman 58). A major contributing factor of this is that studies still have not been able to prove excessive long-term or harmful effects.
So people think that smoking marijuana must be safer than alcohol, and argue why they can’t have a drug that is safer. This is not a new issue by any means however. In 1919, people fought for their right to obtain alcohol and succeeded in their efforts, perhaps setting up what will become a major upset for marijuana prohibition today. The most disheartening finding of marijuana use today is that it has caused a wide spread epidemic among the youth of America, and is becoming a problem very hard to correct.
Children are very influenced by people around them such as friends and idols, even more so than their parents (Hawley 7). This lends to the fact that drug use is began at a young age, and is sometimes carried into their adult lives only to affect others around them. By legalizing marijuana, it will provide a way of transfering behaviors that were once forbidden, into public actions now acceptable to society. Even if marijuana was decriminalized, there would still always be an endless need for more potent product ( Mann).
THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that gives the user a high, and it is this ingredient that would be controlled. However, the level of THC would probably be set at a low level, and so the user would eventually not achieve a high. This would result in the user then seeking more potent marijuana, which still contributes to another aspect of the marijuana problem: drug dealers. As long as there are people who are willing to pay for something more, there will always be others who will give it to them, at a price.
In any market there is always room for profit, and the drug market has been found to be one of the most lucrative markets in history. Some people may be shocked and appauled to hear this, but the ones who are making drugs so succesful are the American People (Anderson 123). If there is possibly one thing that the history of drugs has taught us, it that drugs cause more harm than good. Making marijuana legal will most likely result in its addition to other harmful, legal drugs that cause physical and psychological damage.
Today there are many facilities that rehabilitate those with drug problems, and the most common drugs abused today are alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana (Smith 112). If marijuana is legalized there will inevitablly bean increase in the need for such facilities, and the cost to fund them will also go up. Another point to be brought up is that if marijuana is legalized, will that make way for the legalization of other drugs as well? It seems that if society wants something bad enough, they will stop at nothing to get it.
However, the most important aspect of decriminalization is the moral issue of society accepting drugs into their homes as a way of life (Hawley 23). Marijuana will provide society with another way to avoid the reality of daily problems, and allow people to close themselves off in a self-induced world of selfishness and greed. This will ultimamtely cause a greater strain on human relations because people will almost be segregated by the drug users and the non-drug users (Smith 107).
Many researchers of marijuana legalization have said that the drug can be taxed and large profits can go towards paying off the national debt. But is money really worth the damage that will result? Evidently so, because organizations such as NORML are dead set on getting pot into the mainstream. Marijuana should be recognized as a mind-altering, harmful substance that could be just another step in the ditection of societal ruin, and its use and distribution should stay in stage that it is at while there is still resistance against it.
Otherwise the problem will grow far bigger than anyone can imagine, causing harmful desensitisazation that will result in a great number of marijuana users (Hawley 58). Marijuana has put a great strain on our nation, and maybe the only way to get rid of the problem is to strike it at the source. Educating people and convincing them that they can go through life without drugs is the essential key to the healing process.