Is the Legalization of Marijuana Really What We Want?
by larth1 on September 11, 2013 - 12:37pm
Roxanne Khamsi discusses where medical and recreational marijuana has been legalized throughout the United States, how the drug has drastically changed over the years and the short and long term effects of marijuana in her article, Going to Pot. The legalization of medical marijuana has become more popular throughout the United States as eighteen states have allowed the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, while two states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. However, people fail to recognize that the potency of marijuana has increased drastically and from 1993 to 2008 the concentration of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, went from 3.4 to 8.8. Additionally, some experts say that the rise in cannabis can cause an addiction to occur, which leads to the effects of marijuana use. The short term effects of marijuana use include, a slowed reaction time, impaired distance perception, paranoia, irritability, poor attention span, a weakened working memory, delayed motor coordination, and it makes people more unaware of their surroundings. A few long term effects consist of impairment on a developing adolescent brain and an average decline of eight IQ points by the age of thirty-eight which was discovered in a study lead by psychologist, Madeline Meier of Duke University. Another aspect of marijuana use is that dealers price their product based on weight which can lead some dealers to add glass beads or sand to the marijuana and by inhaling these things can lead to inflammation and scarring of the lungs. Awareness may become more broadened due to the circumstances of excessive marijuana use and the fact that more states are legalizing marijuana.
Roxanne Khamsi really nails it when she discusses the effects of marijuana. Many people claim that marijuana is simply a relaxation method and has to harm, however, Roxanne Khamsi explains each effect and where it was studied. By stating that the potency of THC has gone from 3.4 to 8.8 in a fifteen year time span, reported by The American Society of Addiction Medicine, is frightening in a way. With the new technologies being discovered people may add on to the cannabis levels causing worsened effects as if what Khamsi has discussed is not already ruthless enough! A concern that arose in my head as I was reading is that there has been no study yet recorded that shows if daily use of marijuana has an effect on the lungs. Mark Pletcher makes a valid point when he says, "Somebody should do that study if marijuana is going to become legalized and prescribed.” Otherwise, once people are using marijuana more and more daily, they are not informed if their lungs are being effected or not. If someone is worried about that issue this research can help prevent them from unnecessary marijuana use. Lastly, a few keywords stuck out to me which include paranoia, slowed, delayed, and weakened. These are words that describe effects of marijuana use and if more people are going to be “medically” and recreationally using marijuana, production of society may be slowed and lead to simply more lazy citizens, as if we do not already have that enough as is.
Khamsi, R. (2013). Going to Pot. Scientific American, 308(6), 34-36.