Legalized Marijuana with Age Limit

Back to Article
Back to Article

Legalized Marijuana with Age Limit

MacKenzie Hurd

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

People in today’s society think marijuana is unacceptable because it is a drug. These people don’t understand the positive benefits that can come from legalizing marijuana. Some  individuals who smoke marijuana use it for other purposes then “getting high,” this can be shown by a study viewed by Paul Armentano from Greenhaven press. With all the other harmful substances that are legal today, surprisingly, marijuana legalization hasn’t been more thought through. Sometimes misuse of this substance makes people unsure about it. But, I think marijuana helps us out so much sometimes that it should be legalized. And, with not being as bad as other drugs, it should have a chance.

 A person who has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy can smoke marijuana to take the pain away. Most people today smoke marijuana to take away pain, if that “pain” is anxiety, depression, cancer, major injuries, osteoporosis, glaucoma, and many more traumatic human occurrences. For the people that suffer day by day, medication can’t help them sometimes: from cancer patients suffering from nausea from chemotherapy to people with anxiety who can’t get calm and be happy any other way. Now medical use of marijuana is legal in some parts of the United States. Even some states have legalized recreational use of marijuana too. The feeling that comes from marijuana has definitely assisted a lot of people through rough patches in their lives.

If this substance was just legalized, then crime rate involving marijuana would go down tremendously. The United States has a high record for drug busts on cartels and dealers. In 2012 there was a record of around 40,000 arrests for containing this drug. It is in our human nature to rebel; for instance, the prohibition in the 1920’s. All the people drank alcohol behind the government’s back. History has shown us that when the government or a higher power try to interfere with decisions of the citizens, they fight back and prove they will make their own decisions.

Many normal people’s lives are turned upside down just for carrying a little bit of this substance on them. This charge is on their record for life and can affect different aspects of their way of living, such as getting a job that someone really needs. An employer is not going to hire someone who has a record, even if it just is carrying a harmless substance. The drug, marijuana, contains a psychoactive agent that plagues someone’s receptor system in their body to dull pain and induce happiness. This is what makes that substance horrible, for doing something to your body that is not supposed to happen on its own. Most people think that if a substance does something to the body that is not natural, then it is not morally right. But, medication does the same thing. Pain killers do the same act as marijuana but those are okay because it is medicine. Marijuana is medicine to some people.

The only scientifically proven effect marijuana has on the body is, if overused, the receptor connections to the brain can be altered, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA). Even though this alteration to the receptors for the brain is very slight, most people still think of it as horrible. I agree it is not the best for you to alter your receptor system for your brain, but it has also been scientifically proven that the change is not dramatic. A study was done by NIDA on twins with the same IQ and were under the age of 18, one had to smoke marijuana for a period of time while the other one didn’t. When tested for new IQ scores, the one twin that smoked marijuana had a slightly lowered IQ. To fully see how noticeable the IQ drop of the one twin was to the public, the researchers set up an interview with a group of people for the twins. They were interviewed separately but asked the same questions. The final conclusion was the group of the random public couldn’t tell one of the twins had a lowered IQ from marijuana.

A further study was tested by NIDA after the twins. This new study was to prove if marijuana could alter adult IQs rather than a minor. With several different tests done, the conclusion of this experiment was adults’ IQs were not changed, even slightly, when using marijuana for a long period of time. The study further concurred that no brain reception was changed for the adult by this drug. The reason behind the age and altering of the brain is development. For humans under the age of 18, the brain is not developed to its full potential yet. Therefore, the psychoactive agent found in marijuana causes slight problems with developing of the receptor system to the brain. But, for people over the age of 18, the drug does nothing to any system involved with the brain. The human brain at that point in their lives is already at its full abilities, so adults using this drug have no worry with it making them less smart.

I know that supposedly all drugs are bad; what if one drug can help you in a situation? According to NIDA there is no possible way to overdose on marijuana if it is the only substance used at the time. Also, it does less damage to a person’s lungs than cigarettes, so marijuana is not the worst thing out in today’s world. It is time to open our minds to new things, and we need to let citizens have the power to make their own decisions if that substance in their life is really worth it. Restrictions need to be set just like other risky things that are legal today. Let’s take the risk and see how an age limit on marijuana would work out, unless there are contradictions you would like to add.   

Works Cited

Armentano, Paul. “Marijuana Has Been Used for Centuries and Is Relatively Safe.” The Legalization of Marijuana, edited by Noël Merino, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Accessed 16 May 2017. Originally published as “Marijuana: A Primer,”, 29 Jan. 2013.

Drug Policy Alliance. “Marijuana Should Be Fully Legalized, Not Just Decriminalized.” The Legalization of Marijuana, edited by Noël Merino, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,  Accessed 16 May 2017. Originally published as “Why Is Marijuana Decriminalization Not Enough?”

NIDA. (2017, February 28). Marijuana. Retrieved from on 2017, May 16