Of all the quasi legal drugs which are available on the market today, few have been debated as much as marijuana. While it is legal in states such as California, it is still prohibited in others, and while some wish to see it completely legalized, others are against it. Ultimately, some believe that it is science that should have the final say.
It Is Unknown How Marijuana Legalization Will Affect The Most Vulnerable
One argument for the legalization of marijuana among its supporters is that the drug doesn’t cause the type of damage that is seen with substances such as crystal meth, cocaine or heroin. They also point out that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from legal, prescription drugs over the last 20 years, yet no efforts have been made by the government to ban these substances.
However, it is unknown how marijuana will impact those segments of the population which are most vulnerable, such as the elderly, disabled or those who suffer from mental health issues. What research does tell us is that marijuana, like alcohol, can cause accidents when one is under its influence while driving. Scientists who have studied and analyzed marijuana have come to a number of additional conclusions.
What Scientific Studies Tell Us About Marijuana
Science has confirmed that marijuana is in fact addictive, and that its usage will impair cognitive function, to the extent that those who begin using it regularly as teenagers have an increased chance of IQ reduction. These results have been confirmed from brain scans which have been performed on users who begin using marijuana while young. The scans reveal that their neural development was impaired, largely because the drug disrupts the normal maturing of the brain.
These findings give fuel to those who believe that marijuana should not be legalized, as they feel it will tempt a higher percentage of youth to begin using it which will result in lower performance in school and employment. This is quite significant on a national scale, as the youth of today will be expected to compete with those of other nations and the U.S. has already fallen behind other countries in science and math.
Whether States Legalize Marijuana Or Not, The Decision Should Be Science Based
The trouble with marijuana is that too many people underestimate it. This is largely because it doesn’t cause the instant death which results from overdoses, which are common among most other drugs. However, just because one cannot overdose doesn’t mean the drug is not dangerous. At the same time, some feel it is hypocritical for the government to continue prohibiting marijuana while people die in large numbers from legal prescription drugs.
Whether states choose to legalize marijuana or not, it should be based on science, but the same standard should be applied to other substances, especially prescription drugs. Marijuana users have claimed for years that the real reason the government bans it is because they can’t tax and control it the way they can with prescription medicines, nor will the FDA make the hundreds of millions from marijuana that it gets from approving prescription drugs.