This is a matter of personal opinions. Below are some opinions from Answers.com contributors.
Updated Answer (2012)
No. Marijuana should not be legalised. It is only within the last 2 years that we are fully beginning to understand the negative effects of marijuana. These are the reasons why marijuana should not be legalised:
Marijuana contains a very harmful substance called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolwhich is just one of the few variations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC for short).
THC attacks various sites and receptors in the brain, blocking them off and causing the "high" that users experience. Although a "high" person may feel good on marijuana, their brains are actually taking damage.
While "high" the THC causes:
- Distorted perceptions
- Difficulty thinking
- Inability to solve problems
- Memory and learning complications
The memory and learning complications can take days or weeks to wear off, depending on how much marijuana the user takes. So, someone who uses marijuana daily most likely operates at a below-normal level of intellect.
Heavy users can suffer permanent memory damage.
Marijuana is very addictive. Once addicted, the user will suffer further side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Uncontrollable urges or cravings
- Paranoia Syndrome
These effects may be with the user for a lifetime. Even after s/he has long given up the drug.
Users of marijuana or cannabis (any drug containing a variation of THC) will always suffer from paranoia side-effects, no matter how much they use. An addict may develop Paranoia Syndrome, which is mostly irreversible.
Because of the aggression and paranoia, users of marijuana find it extremely difficult to find and stay in a relationship, since their aggression and paranoia often drive partners away.
This causes a snowball effect, as the marijuana user will then use more of the drug to deal with the emotional effects of a negative relationship.
It's only recently that scientists are beginning to learn about the effects of THC-drugs on mental health.
It has recently been learned that marijuana can cause:
- Suicidal tendencies
- Anxiety attacks
- Paranoia Syndrome
While depression and suicidal tendencies can be countered with extensive therapy and counselling and anxiety attacks can be controlled to an extent with lifetime-prescription medication, the paranoia syndrome and schizophrenia, if the user is affected by either, is usually irreversible.
Marijuana effects the heart in a hugely negative way too.
When marijuana enters the system, the users heart rate increases rapidly, as the brain "orders" the heart to pump blood to the brain quicker to combat the effects of the drug.
This can cause:
- Permanent palpitations
- Damaged or split heart valves (causing internal bleeding then death)
- Permanent arrhythmias
- Cardiac arrest (heart attack)
The underlying heart problems can also be passed on genetically to any children the addict or former addict may have.
Marijuana smoke contains a gas called Carcinogenic Hydrocarbon.
This Carcinogenic Hydrocarbon is very "heavy" and can cause irritation to the lungs. In fact, they cause three times more damage to the lungs than tobacco smoke.
Other effects on the lungs are:
- Drop in growth of epithelial cells (leading to the growth of cancers)
- Regular to chronic cough
- Phlem blockages
- Chest-related infections - Respiratory illness
- Respiratory arrest (in long-term addicts)
Women who smoke marijuana during pregnancy or have a partner who smokes marijuana around her, will be passing on health complications to her unborn child. These include:
- Premature birth
- Breathing complications
- Genetic heart conditions
- Non-genetic heart conditions
- Brain underdevelopment
- Physical disabilities (deafness, blindness, etc)
- Mental disabilities (autism, schizophrenia, etc)
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
Marijuana has also been proved to complicate pregnancies and prolong labour. Many pregnant women who smoked marijuana during pregnancy have undergone emergency caesarean, often many months premature, for the sake of the child.
In some countries or states, it may be in the best interests of the authorities to remove the child from the mother in these cases, since she has put her child's life at extreme risk.
Medical And Law
Marijuana is often prescribed for medical reasons in some countries, including some states in the USA.
However, especially recently due to the advancement in knowledge of how marijuana effects people negatively, marijuana as a medical use is being hugely argued against all over the globe.
Many countries, particularly in Europe, have acted on the new research and toughened laws against marijuana.
Most notably in the United Kingdom, where previously marijuana use would get you a "slap on the wrist". Whereas nowadays you'd be sent to jail and ordered to attend drug-therapy sessions. If you refuse to attend the sessions, your jail sentence will just get longer, forcing the user into a "cold turkey" state.
Some European countries have tightened their requirements for prescribing marijuana for medical uses, while others have banned it completely.
Some underdeveloped and developing Asian, African and Arabic countries have gone to the extremes, raising the penalty of marijuana possession to the same penalty as cocaine possession. Life imprisonment.
All of these health effects will not happen all at the same time. And not every user will suffer all of these effects. It relies greatly on how much the user takes and whether the user is addicted or not.
Previous Answer (2009)
Marijuana is FAR more harmful than tobacco. So no.
Previous Answer (2009)
First off, yes, Cannabis should be legalized.
Second, not only is the prohibition of it irrational, but by keeping this commonly used "drug" illegal, we are placing more and more money into the hands of gang members and other criminals. The prohibition of Cannabis is very similar to the prohibition of alcohol. When alcohol was made illegal in 1920 after years of common use among society, people still wanted their booze. Gangs then decided to control the distribution of the illegal substance, giving them control of the streets and of most of the cities ( i.e. Al Capone made most of his money off of alcohol that he sold in illegal gambling houses ). The government realized how dangerous they had made the streets, and that it didn't matter what was said, if the people want their alcohol, they're going to get it one way or another. The government made alcohol legal again in 1933, and crime dropped dramatically. One can only imagine what our crime rate NOW would be like if we simply made Cannabis legal.
When marijuana was made illegal in 1937 by the racist and thick headed politician Harry J. Anslinger, his reasonings were that, "Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death." and also that, "Marijuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing." and that, "Marijuana is the most violent-causing drug in the history of mankind." but worst of all, "Marijuana makes darkies think they're as good as the white man." (Harry J. Anslinger, 1930's) It was statements like this that made all of society fear the use of Cannabis for any reason. This still did not convince a small portion of society to stop, and if not for those people, more people would not have continued to use Cannabis and discover that it doesn't make you crazy, and that it isn't addictive, and that it doesn't make one violent. So my only question is why is Cannabis STILL illegal after all of the reasons we made it illegal have been proven wrong?
Also, with the economic crisis we recently have experienced in the United States, Cannabis is a very useful cash crop that can be taxed to help the nation gain the money it needs. So again I ask, why is Cannabis still illegal?
It's time we stand up and make a change. If people are allowed to smoke harmful cigarettes, take extremely addicting prescription pills, drink overly intoxicating alcohol, and drink dangerously stimulating caffeine, why can't we use a relaxing, non-addictive, helpful both mentally and physically, and NATURAL herb?
There is controversy about whether legalizing marijuana would benefit society. On the one hand it would provide extra governmental income through taxation and serve as pain relief for chronic medical condition, but on the other hand it's potential to become addictive and the harm those under its influence can cause are the reasons that it is largely illegal in the first place. In certain places, for instance Massachusetts, while non-medical use is not legal, the use of marijuana has been decriminalized.
Marijuana will soon be legal in georgia and the law should have it passed by 2013.
Because you can overdose on a goodtime.
That marijuana should be legal.
In my opinion, marijuana should be OK. Considering the fact that alcohol has destroyed not only people who consume it, but whole families, and its legal, marijuana should also be legal. I have consumed both marijuana and alcohol, and trust me, you have way more control of yourself when you're high then when you're drunk. So if you see it this way (alcohol is legal and marijuana is not), then marijuana should totally be OK, and if you want to use it, think about it, but remember its no big deal compared to the effects of alcohol.
No, the use of marijuana is not legal.
Industrial marijuana is legal. Marijuana, that can be used for intoxication purposes, is illegal.
Marijuana will become legal when we have a legal system has county boys
It is legal to smoke marijuana in Uruguay. In the United States, it is legal to consume some forms of marijuana in Colorado and in Washington.
It already is in Colorado, Washington, North Korea, and the Netherlands. If it's legal in a communist dictatorship, then yes I think it should be legal.
Marijuana isn't legal in Jamaica, but it is widely tolerated.
No. Marijuana is not legal anywhere in Australia. Unfortunatley.
Medical marijuana is legal with a prescription from your doctor.
Marijuana is not legal in Australia, and driving under the influence of marijuana carries severe penalties.
Currently it should be, but marijuana is mostly legal there for medicinal purposes and is a bit safer.
yes it is illegal, but i think it should be legal
No. But it should be. Generally authorities are less punitive with tourists.
where is marijuana legal
No it is not legal
For medicinal purpose, Medical marijuana is legal in Arizona
Marijuana is not legal in any state but California so far.
it is legal and alot more stronger.
There is only one type of marijuana that is legal to have. This one type is medicinal marijuana and must be prescribed.