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Why Do We Need to Get High?

Anthony Adelizzi, Author

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The great marijuana debate is high on the minds of many Americans. Though legislators have given the green light for states to allow physicians the ability to prescribe medical marijuana for patients, the real question still remains: should recreational marijuana be illegal?

Are recreational marijuana users are just looking for an easy way to get “high”? A quick fix that if legalized would be readily available? Teenagers do not understand the consequences that could result in the use of recreational marijuana such as heart attacks, significant abnormalities in the brain and permanently impaired cognitive functions that are irreversible.

Marijuana is extremely addictive for some people. Recreational marijuana use can lead to the use of more dangerous drugs. Studies by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration determined that marijuana is currently the leading cause of substance abuse other than alcohol in the U.S.

Teenagers are not the only ones at risk with the legalization of marijuana.  A 2016 report by Dr. Larry Wolk, a top medical official in Colorado’s public health department, noted that “people are getting violently ill from ingesting too much marijuana in edibles, such as candy bars.” There has also been an increase in children being admitted to the ER from accidentally ingesting edible marijuana-infused foods, as noted by Dr. Michael DiStefano, Director of Emergency Medicine Clinical Operations at a top level pediatric trauma center in Colorado. The scary thing is that edible marijuana is identical to its non-intoxicating marijuana treats that kids have no way of telling the difference.

Although recreational marijuana is legalized in 26 states and most recently Massachusetts; advocates claim it’s worth the high to generate state revenues in the form of new taxes applied to its sale and distribution. Supporters not only defend its effectiveness in treating a wider range of health issues but also view it as a personal freedom. Proponents argue that the legalization will provide police officers more money and time to pursue criminals committing violent crimes.

If recreational marijuana is legalized throughout the entire United States, strict and harsh penalties need to be developed and enforced for anyone impaired by the use of marijuana.  

The real issue is that marijuana is still a dangerous narcotic, a Schedule 1 substance that can lead to abuse; therefore, recreational marijuana should remain illegal due to serious public safety issues and health concerns.

Works Cited

Marijuana Leaf Illegal 15 Dec.2016. https://www.google.com/search?q=marijuana+leaf+illegal&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa =X&ved=0ahUKEwjl9KKztfXTAhVDj1QKHYQBC3gQ_AUIBigB&biw=1174&bih=480

Miller, Joshua. “In Colo., a look at life after marijuana legalization.” Boston Globe. 22 Feb. 2016

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/02/21/from-colorado-glimpse-life-after- marijuana-legalization/rcccuzhMDWV74UC4IxXIYJ/story.html

Newman, Tony. “Marijuana Legalization in Washington State: One-Year Status Report.” Drug Policy Alliance. 6 Jul. 2015.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2015/07/marijuana-legalization-washington-state- one-year-status-report

“Why We Should Not Legalize Marijuana.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services   Administration. 20 Apr. 2010.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/36267223

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