I commonly hear people discussing and debating whether the drug marijuana should be legal or illegal and the effects it has on the human body. Marijuana is one of the most controversial drugs across the nation. There has been an excessive amount of research on marijuana, but many facts and myths are still unclear on what may be true. It is only legal to use it recreationally in four states across the nation; however, many states are on the borderline of legalizing it within the next couple of years. I want to know what it is about weed that makes it beneficial or detrimental and why it is legal in some states but illegal in the majority of the country.
There have been many studies that show that marijuana has slim to no harmful effects to the physical health of the human body over long-term periods. However, there have also been studies that have shown possible negative consequences to our health. There was a study done in New Zealand where a little over a thousand people were monitored from ages 18-38 on the effects heavy marijuana use has on the physical health of the human body. The results of this study were rather fascinating. The only negative effects weed had were on the teeth of the sample group. Discoloring of the teeth may be annoying, but can be fixed easily with any teeth whitening, dental care or cleansing. Other than that, this study showed no signs of damage to the lungs or any internal organs that may affect the lifetime of human beings.
There is a common term known as the “munchies” that refers to the desire to eat after smoking. Another study across the United States showed that marijuana smokers as a whole were less obese than those that never smoked. Studies of over 50,000 people revealed that 22-25 percent of the group who didn’t smoke was overweight while only 14-17% of the group who smoked a weekly were obese. Although these studies show that smoking may result in being less obese, it doesn’t directly prove that this is true.
Several tests have been done on marijuana yet, the evidence of a solid conclusion remains unclear of whether this drug is a detriment to the human body. For the most part, the main reason marijuana is illegal in most states is due to it being the gateway drug for the surplus of other more intense drugs. However, a study was done in Sweden where more than 50,000 men were put to the test. The results were rather shocking for those who believed marijuana had no harmful effect on our bodies. The study showed that marijuana users doubled their likelihood of experiencing schizophrenia and have an increased chance of getting a heart attack. This study also showed possible hallucinations and sporadic thinking in the future.
Medical marijuana is a highly important remedy when it comes to relieving pain. Many chemotherapy patients use medical cannabis for this reason, but not many studies can fully support that it’s beneficial for these users. Thanks to Christopher Ronkainen’s suggestion in my comments, I went back and researched the beneficial uses medical marijuana had on the people who are suffering from epilepsy. One telephone survey stated that 21 percent of medical marijuana users claimed that it had positive outcomes when, those who suffered from these seizures, were asked about the effectiveness it had on epilepsy patients. There was another study released claiming that there was a 57 percent increase in seizure regulation and 33 percent of the experimental group said that there was a decrease greater than 50 percent in seizures as a result of medical marijuana use.
- Pain reliever
- Reduces stress
- Less Obese
- Recreational use is satisfying
- Gateway drug
- Discoloring of teeth
- Heart attack
- Sporadic thinking
Overall, Marijuana has been studied many times and remains one of the most controversial drugs across the nation. It’s been completely legalized in four states, and I believe it will continue to be completely legalized, gradually across the United States. This drug may have positive medical effects, for example, it may relieve stress or even decrease obesity as a whole but could also potentially lead to a heart attack and maybe even schizophrenia. After comparing and contrasting the positive and negative effects of this drug, did your opinion change on marijuana? Where do you stand in this debate? Should marijuana be legal?