Marijuana Legalization: Are We Ready for the High?

Marijuana or cannabis is a psychoactive drug that comes from a plant called Cannabis Sativa. Available in different forms across the world, the plant is known for the ‘high’ that is caused mainly by the chemical THC. People consume in various ways that include smoking in cigarettes, smoking it in a pipe, smoking it in a blunt, drinking it in the form of tea, consuming it as an edible in a brownie, cookies or even candies. Marijuana is mainly used for medical and recreational purposes and is wildly popular around the world. Cannabis has been a part of Indian culture since ancient times. Bhang is one of the most popular drinks in the northern part of India and is culturally consumed at the time of celebration of the Holi festival. However, in 1985 the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was passed and it made use of cannabis in most parts of the country, illegal. Bhang was not included in the ban. States like Orissa and Gujarat have lifted the ban on its usage and people are often seen smoking it through chillum openly. In recent years, the movement to legalize its use has rekindled in the youth. But are we ready for the high? We can figure it out by analyzing the following Pros and Cons:

Pros

1. Legalizing the use of Cannabis will help the government regulate the supply of the drug. Not only that, but it will also greatly help boost the economy.

2. Marijuana is currently being supplied to the public in the black market. This increases the risk of criminal activities and gives control to the Mafia. By legalizing the product, the government will be able to dismantle its black market.

3. The medical use of Cannabis is another reason why it should be legalized in the country. It helps the patients relax and get through the pain. It also has a lot of health and physiological benefits for people who suffer from mental stress and diseases.

4. Studies have shown that people are less likely to engage in criminal activities if they are using cannabis products. It is a drug that subdues peoples’ impulses, unlike alcohol that makes them more aggressive. It is also believed that the number of car accidents also reduce when marijuana is legalized.

Cons

1. It is still not 100% confirmed but it is widely believed in the scientific community that cannabis is an addictive drug. One in every ten users is believed to have been addicted. Abruptly stopping its consumption can cause withdrawal symptoms.

2. Second-Hand smoke from cannabis products is more harmful. It has an adverse effect on non-smokers. It can cause problems like lung cancer and asthma.

While countries like the USA and Amsterdam have already legalized the usage of marijuana, the world still needs to wrap its head around the idea of legalizing this drug in their country. It has to be done with serious considerations to its positive and negative implications and right now, we still have a long road to go.