For the first time in America two states, Colorado and Washington, voted for the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use on the 6th of November 2012.
The Independent states that “personal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana would be legal for anyone over 21 years of age”. I personally found those limitations realistic and achievable. But isn’t it too late to be able to smoke marijuana legally? It looks to be a good idea as people will be mature enough to consume it but I think it will create the same problem as with alcohol. As you may know, alcohol in the US is legally forbidden under the age of 21. They can go under serious problem if they are seen consuming alcohol.
“Everyone knows that the 21 age limit hasn’t stopped minors from drinking. And now some experts believe it’s actually contributing to an increase in extreme drinking”, mentioned the CBS news.
Some young people manage to consume alcohol but they generally wait until they turn 21. When they are 21, most of them drink a huge quantity of alcohol! They don’t know their limit, they abuse of it, and that is why it is a real issue.
On Public Opinions, 75% of members think that the United States should lower its drinking age from 21 to 18.
Therefore, do you think it is ethically right to legalise marijuana from the age of 21?
Now, let’s have a look at the impact of cannabis on the body compared to other drugs.
We can clearly see through this graph, done by Dr. J. E. Henningfield and Dr. N. L. Benowitz in 1994, that Cannabis has far less health damage (intoxication) compared to alcohol. The withdrawal criteria (effect of being deprived of something) of marijuana is twice more important than nicotine but twice less important than alcohol. The cannabis’ intoxication is more important than nicotine or caffeine but less important than alcohol.
I found really interesting to analyse this graph as I didn’t expect to see such similarities with caffeine and such differences with alcohol.
Moreover, cannabis has been legalised in 18 states in the US for medical purposes.
An article on the BBC show the positive effect on cannabis for medical use. As they mentioned, cannabis “appears to be able to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy treatment”. Indeed, some “cannabinoids [substance in the cannabis plant] relieve nausea and allow patients to eat and live normally”. It can also help for the treatment of: migraine, headaches, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholism and insomnia.
Some people testimonials clearly show their improvement thanks to the use of marijuana.
I think marijuana should be legalise for medical use but also for recreational purposes. However, strict laws and regulations should be instaure, more strict ones than alcohol.
Personally, I rarely smoke marijuana but I think people should be allowed to do it if they wish to do so. It is NOT a hard drug, so let’s be realistic.
What do you think? Should marijuana be legalise for recreational use or just for medical purposes or both?