Does Legalized Marijuana Pose A Threat To The Youth?
It has been years since people have started demanding legalization of marijuana. The reasons they put forth included that it is a medicine and relatively safer than alcohol, tobacco, etc. Over the years, people seem to have realized that the prohibition on marijuana has failed in effectively curtailing the use and proliferation of this drug. The common belief among the people now is that legalizing marijuana does not pose any harm or threat to the people at all.
The lobbying efforts of the marijuana advocates have proved to be successful. As of now, there are 15 US states lined up behind Colorado and Washington, supporting legislation allowing the use of marijuana. In all of these states, using marijuana is not treated as a criminal offence. The two states, Colorado and Washington, have paced towards legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana use. They still have to wait for a green flag from the federal government to move forward.
In the wake of spreading demands for legalized cannabis, many other states, cities and counties have started campaigning and propagating for it. This includes St. Louis in Missouri, where lobbyists are trying to pressurize the government into decriminalizing cannabis. Similarly, in Jefferson City the authorities have proposed a bill to legalize pot. The bill is to be voted on soon.
Having heard of different campaigns and propaganda, one would wonder whether it makes any clear distinction between legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing marijuana. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in St. Louis does not demand legalization of marijuana. However, it demands the authorities to decriminalize the act of possessing or using a specified quantity of the drug. Letting the citizens use a limited or small quantity of the drug for medical or recreational use has been the agenda of most of the marijuana advocates.
Nevertheless, it is worth attempting to gather some of the facts about marijuana. It is a severely addictive drug. Youths are more prone to get addicted to marijuana and face side effects, than adults. The side effects of marijuana include both physical and mental problems. Teenagers below the age of 16 develop a fixation to the drug immediately after one or two rounds of taking it in. Other shocking facts about marijuana include that it is an entry or gateway to other addictive drugs.
In short, the negatives to marijuana outweigh the positives. Regardless of the collective demands from the lobbying groups to legalize, the authorities should try to ensure that risks involved as part of legalization are reduced to a minimum.