Cons of Legilization
1. Harmful to Physical Health
Despite theories that Marijuana is "harmless" to users, or at least no more harmful then alchohal and tobacco use, some health experts believe that wide spread use of the drug that will occur if it is legalized will impact personal and public health. Dr. Eden Evins, a professor at Harvard, warns that the biochemical effects of marijuana on the central nervous system are bad for you. She says that smoking marijuana overstimulates naturally occuring cannabinoid receptors in the brain which influence memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception. Overtime, this overstimulation can alter cannabinoid receptors which can lead to addiction, withdraw symptoms, and effects on cognition.
2. Legalization Will Increase Usage
Whether a substance is legal or not will dramatically effect the usage of it in people throughout the country. In the last 30 days, 52% of Americans 12 and older have used alcohol, 27% have used tabacco, and only 7% have used marijuana. The lower use of marijuana can be linked to its illegal status. If marijuana is legalized then use will increase dramatically.
3. Increases Health Risks in Youth
Studies show that using marijuna has an effect on brain development, however the extent of that effect will take years to determine conclusively. The Center for Addiction Medicine have voiced conern that marijuana use, which effects attention and abstract reasoning, will effect young people's ablility to learn. Studies have also shown that marijuana usage particularly effects adolescents such as that on the onset of usage teens had significantly lower sustained attention rates, execution control, and abtract reasoning compared to adults who had started using marijuana at a later age.
4. Gateway Drug
Many addiction specialists believe that marijuana is a gateway drug that has the possibility of introducing more serious illegal substances, like heroin and cocaine. Research has suggests that that marijuana use may be linked to higher risk of perscription drug abuse. If the gateway theory of marijuana is true, then the legalization of the drug will increase financial costs for treating those who have been introduced to heavier drugs thanks to marijuana.
5. Lung Health
Often times marijuana and tabacco are compared to eachother for those who believe that marijuana should be legalized, however, marjuana have levels of carcinogens that are 50%-70% higher than tobacco smoke. This effect is amplified by the fact that pot smokers inhale more deeply than tabacco smokers, which means marijuana smokers lungs are exposed to cancer causing chemicals longer than tobacco smokers lungs.