Analysis of Positive and Negative Effects of Marijuanas

Cannabis, there are many bad perceptions that come to mind when a person brings the subject into a conversation. Marijuana has been a victim of the past just judgment by our older peers. Times have changed since the days of Marijuana being labeled as a class 1 drug by our former president Ronald Reagan. Everytime I've asked an older peer about why they don't like marijuana, they have given no critical fact of why it's bad. It may be hard to suddenly change the mindset of marijuana after a long time of judgement by the government, but weed finally starting to become recognized for more of its beneficial use. In positive and negative effects of marijuanas essay I will have a closer look at bith sides of this topic.

Cannabis is viewed terrible and get its bad wrap related to the criminalization of marijuana. When Marijuana use/possession was outlawed by the government, gangs started to underground with marijuana and more arrests started taking place. A man from missouri named Jeff Mckenzie with no gang related affiliation was sentenced to 22 years (originally lifetime) in prison for selling 6 pounds of marijuana to a drug dealer. When asked about his experience in jail he said “there's a lot of good people here that need to be out... and I agree there are people that don't need to be let out”. Laws have changed and yet there are still people who are stuck in a prison cell for marijuana use. College students smoke than 6 pounds on a regular basis. Your neighbors are using cannabis on a daily basis, but there are people who have spent years in prison for the same type of possession an average student has of marijuana.

There is this stigma with older peers that all marijuana use is bad and who could blame them? The baby boomer generation and their parents have been fed the idea that all marijuana use is bad by past presidents like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon when they fought the war on drugs. My father who is in his 50’s still has a stigma about marijuana but isnt open to the possible benefits of its use yet and instead insists alcohol is the better choice. When Richard Nixon was in office he banned personal marijuana use. reported “In 1972, the commission unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use... Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.” Richard Nixon was fighting against blacks (any colored skin) and hippies during his time in office. He had a solution to get rid of both by associating marijuana with hippies and heroin with blacks. The perception was placed nearly 50 years ago and the effects still lingers to this day. Our parents and their parents have instilled the fear towards cannabis without any factual evidence of why we shouldn’t use cannabis.

After the legalization of cannabis people were worried about cannabis stores in lower class communities attracting more crime. Kimberley Lawson stated “A separate 2017 study found that retail shops dedicated to the sale of alcohol and tobacco products attracted more criminal activity than medical marijuana dispensaries.” Whether its Tobacco, Alcohol, or Cannabis, Poverty has been a target for vendors to use. Not only vendors target these demographics but past presidents have targeted the lower class as well. The effects still lingered after Richard Nixons place in office. During the 1980’s and 1990’s incarceration rates increased. states in an article “nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997”. Poverty struck homes and communities was a target for most incarcerations. Blacks and colored skin was a target from association with marijuana that was made public by Richard Nixon. Marijuana was never the main concern for america. The war on drugs was more of a tactic used by Rich Nixon to target his own opponents by associating drugs with his opposers. A poll was taken by Hannah Hartig showing that a majority vote was in favor of legalizing weed by all parties besides republican who was almost even for in favor of legalizing marijuana. The vote has changed drastically changed since the 70’s and it may have not changed at all.

Gangs have been related to cannabis after the criminalization of possession of cannabis. When cannabis possession was criminalized in the 1970's it was placed in the most dangerous category of drugs, Schedule 1. Gangs were heavily related to marijuana when sales and distribution were brought to the underground scene. Cannabis was caught in the crossfire when gangs were fighting over distribution and hiding it from the police. Fear was attached to an older generation worried about crime rates increasing after marijuana legalization. More gangs were created after cannabis was put on as a schedule 1 drug, when that happened the black markets gained a new product to be sold. Thus began the rise of organized crime became among lower class communities over cannabis. By Richard Nixon declaring the war on drugs and criminalizing marijuana it curved the public perception of marijuana use.

The perception of marijuana harm to the youth. The elder generation must be concerned about the safety of their children and their own future with a legalized marijuana world. Marijuana on the streets raises eyebrows to multiple generations of human kind, not just the baby boomer generation. The thought of having marijuana being sold to almost all ages raises a concern as to how marijuana would affect a younger generation. It is shown that alcohol is currently more dangerous than cannabis use. Even though marijuana is still in its early stage of legalization, Joe Brownstein from reports “alcohol has been linked to some 88,000 deaths per year, according to the CDC”. Whether it's drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, or other alcohol related death it's more than cannabis use deaths despite not having accurate numbers. Cannabis should still be taken responsibly much like alcohol. Alcohol is always a talk of subject surrounding car accidents and marijuana being legalized is no different. Lauren Villa from reports “marijuana increased the odds of being in a car accident by 83%... when alcohol was involved, the odds of being in a car accident increased more than 2,200%”. It's been happening since cars were first invented, that people have one drink of an alcoholic beverage and they drive home. Drinking and driving should not be taken lightly and neither should smoking cannabis and driving. Both are equally not responsible but it shown that you are more likely to be an accident from drinking than compared to smoking marijuana. A parent should be concerned about marijuana legalization for their child's sake, but is it really any better to be sharing alcohol with your children of age that can drink? It is a different circumstance for a child who is below the age of 21. Children do not have the ability to walk into a cannabis store and purchase from a vendor, as they shouldn’t. Adults worry about how easy it is to access weed now worried about whether their children will get hands on cannabis. It may cross a child's mind to try cannabis but what can really drive the motive for cannabis use in adolescents. Kerry M. Green and Margaret E. Ensminger reports “According to problem behavior theory adulthood effects are a result of selective recruitment into adolescent marijuana use of nonconforming individuals.” From someone who has grown up in a neighborhood filled with poverty i can see a relation with kids who have trouble at home and marijuana use. Personal experiences with my little cousins who have used marijuana because they don't academically excel or don't stand out in an extracurricular activity. Ive seen it first hand when a child isn’t getting the correct guidance from parents that lead them down a path to substance abuse. Parenthood plays a big part of the reason why children use marijuana. Substance abuse is a bad escape from the reality they live in. Much like alcohol, no child should be using marijuana under the age of 18 whether you're for or against cannabis use.

Some adults and teenagers are already smoking marijuana. The marijuana use of college students are already at its peak. Michigan news graphic states “38 percent of full time college students aged between 19-22 used marijuana at least once.” Not to mention that 41 percent who graduated from highschool have also used marijuana. In my personal life I know more than a handful of people who have and still smoke weed. Ive asked countless IVY league college students if they smoke weed, from Cornell university students to Duke university students. Some of the most hardest working students that go to college and almost all of them smoke weed. Ive met an IVY league student named Nadir Pearson (featured on forbes as entrepreneur/activist) who graduated from Brown university that endorses smoking weed for a living. Smoking marijuana in college is at its peak and there isn't a significant amount of evidence to show that it will lower college students chance of graduating. Some parents worry about their child using marijuana and some parents have a child who is worrying about people being misinformed about marijuana use.

They are still a lot of research that is considered to be done to find out if marijuana is more harmful to the body than good, but how much worse is it as opposed to tobacco and alcohol. As opposed to alcohol and tobacco there is research/findings that marijuana can be used for medical purposes. First off I recognize, there has also been research done for the findings of the negative effects of marijuana use. Research claim that marijuana has harmful adverse long term effects to the respiratory system. Short term adverse effects are very noticable when first using cannabis such as short term memory problems, paranoia, and lowered reaction time. Despite these findings, there is research done that marijuana serves as a positive medical benefit. Marijauna is a small benefit to HIV and AIDS patients. Marijuana reduces nausea, eases the pain for patients, and helps build an appetite for those who don’t want to eat. It may not solve the big problem but gives patients a small remedy for negative symptoms.

Research shows that Marijuana use can be beneficial to mental health. People can detach themselves from a stressful situation by using marijuana. Marijuana has been linked to peaceful positive vibes shown from history. In the 1970s Hippies who were linked to using marijuana. Hippies expressed themselves as loving and positive individuals who opposed the Vietnam war. Personally, my uncle is a man who served in the Vietnam war. He himself was a hippie-like individual before being drafted into the war. He came back with PTSD and later was prescribed marijuana for treatment ever since. I have seen the positive effects first hand. My uncle is now able to have conversations with me about his past Vietnam war stories and he no longer has random shake symptoms from bad thoughts about the war. Even if does have positive effects on illnesses and disabilities it should not be considered an excuse to abuse marijuana. Personally familiar with the substance, I have a childhood friend who abuses weed and mental health as an excuse to abuse marijuana and other drugs. Marijuana is not a cure all drug and people with serious mental health problems should see a psychiatrist. There is more to be learned about medical marijuana and doctors are finding more cure diseases and illnesses that can be cured by Marijuana.

Last but not the least, the most significant finding is that Cannabis is linked to help finding a cure for specific cancer. Hall, Wayne, and Macphee state in an article “Studies of animal cells suggest that THC can produce alterations to cell metabolism… These changes, however, are more likely to delay or stop cell division rather than to produce cellular changes that may lead to cancer”. An estimation of 606,800 deaths will occur this year alone from cancer. I can personally name handful of people affected by cancer that I know personally. Despite the criticism marijuana gets from each generation of people, research may continue to lower the number of cancer deaths.

08 December 2022
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