Free write marijuana legalization section 2

To summarize Paul, legalization of marijuana can serve as a boost to the economy and a good medical resource, but from the viewpoint of the conflicting side, marijuana is a gateway drug, it contributes to rising crime rates, and it effects the health of the user as well as the people around them.
First, while marijuana may not be explicitly dangerous, it leads to harder drugs like heroin, cocaine, or prescription medicine abuse. This is the gateway hypothesis. In 2010, the National Institute on Drug Abuse stated, “marijuana users use it thinking it is harmless, but it causes a high and then a bigger high is needed to have an effect, so people turn to harder drugs.” Once a smokers’ tolerance builds up, they want to find a stronger buzz and are more likely to transition to something more intense. But they continue to smoke pot as well. The need for a stronger use of drug is more likely if the smoker starts at a younger age. A National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported 16.7 million people ages 12 or older are current marijuana users, which means they had been using the drug for at least a month. A reason for the high number is because many people don’t see a great risk in marijuana smoking since people they look up to in the Hollywood industry indirectly advocate for its use whether it be in songs, movies, or speeches.
Second, marijuana plays a role in the rising crime rates. Legalization of marijuana would lower the price people have to pay leading to a rapid rise in the user rate, which means a higher number of people addicted. Because of this higher number, drug impaired driving, domestic violence, and robbery rates will rise as well. Alcohol and tobacco have been legalized, taxed, and been given age limits, but this has not stopped crimes from happening because of their impact. What makes people think the same won’t happen for marijuana legalization?
Third, marijuana not only affects the health of the person smoking, but also affects those around them. UCLA conducted a study that states, “The daily use of 1 to 3 marijuana joints appears to produce approximately the same lung damage as smoking 5 times as many cigarettes.” The way a smoker inhales the chemicals of the marijuana smoke increases the physical effects on the body. There are short term side effects when smoking marijuana, which include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, slowed reaction time, and blurry vision. Ruben Baler, who is a neuroscientist with the National Institute on Drug Abuse stated, “The active THC chemical in marijuana hijacks and corrupts the ability of the brain to mature and grow.” This has a high affect on not only young adult smokers, but also children that start at a young age, and as I mentioned before, the youngest marijuana smoker taken in the poll was about 12 so by the time they reach adulthood, their brain will be impaired. Studies have found a connection between marijuana and schizophrenia; Cardiff University’s School of Medicine in Wales found that daily marijuana use among teens and young adults increased their risk of, “developing a psychotic illness, like schizophrenia, later in their lives by more than 40 percent.” The more a person smokes, the higher the risk. Now, all of these are affects on the smokers’ body, but marijuana affects the people around the smoker. Bystanders are able to “get high” off of second hand smoke, and tracks of THC metabolites can be detected in urine if they inhale enough of it. So marijuana smokers need to be aware of the people around them while smoking.

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