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Pros and Cons

Issue Statement
Biological Background
Pros and Cons
Fun Facts
Marijuana is legal in Canada for personal use.  As a result, Canada has a higher risk of addiction to marijuana and the medical implications costs the Canadian government millions.  Although a natural substance marijuana is associated with ulcers,COPD and lung cancer.  In addition, you have a mental health population that is more likely to use marijuana and it has brutal effects on the mentally ill.  Although it is a good anti - anxiety it affects the frontal lobe of your brain to where you can have a drop in your IQ, your motor skills and you can also aquire symptoms of ADD. 
Unfortunately for some of the mentally ill it will exacerbate psychotic hallucinations and suicidal ideation.  For the mentally ill these are side effects that are not acceptable and can be deadly.
Not to mention that for a healthy person there are also a number of health risks, including memory impairment, loss of coordination and the potential for withdrawal symptoms and hallucinations.  And, like cigarette smoke, inhaling burning marijuana exposes you to substances that may cause cancer.
Data from Memphis TN, shows that while driving "high" a person has the same lack of coordination on standard "drunk driver tests" as someone who has had too much to drink.  Out of 150 reckless drivers who were tested for drugs at the arrest scene, 33 percent tested positive for marijuana.

Heather Ashton, a professor of clinical psychopharmacology, who led a study of marijuana use, told BBC News:  "If you use a mixtue in the right dose and the right proportions, you might very well be able to help people with biopolar disorder."
Below is a chart explaining what diseases marijuana can treat.

Cancer Chemotherapy
often causes extreme nausea and vomiting
With marijuana
Active ingrediant THC reduces vomiting and nasea, alleviates pretreatment anxiety.
AIDS-related wasting
Low appetite, loss of lean (muscle) mass
With marijuana
Improves appetite.
Pain and Muscule Spasms
Associated with epilepsy and multiple sclerois
With marijuana
Reduces muscle spasms; may ease incontinence of bladder and bowel and relieve depression.
A progessive form of blindness due to increased pressure inside the eyeball
With marijuana
When smoked, it reduces pressure within the eye.  But it may also reduce blood flow to the optic nerve, exacerbating the loss of vision.

  • Legalizing marijuana means we can treat the problem of drug abuse as a medical problem and not a criminal one.
  • The United States spends millions of dollars a year to get drugs off the streets which could all turn into a profit if marijauna is legalized.  The US could put a tax on it and the revenues could be used for awareness of the drugs effects and treatment.
  • Legalization will result in a decrease in deaths related to drug deals.
  • Scientists have proved that marijuana is not a lethal drug.
  • The record speaks for itself:  American adolescents use marijuana twice as much as their counterparts in Holland where the drug is legal.  Furthermore, the only drug that causes traffic fatalities and violence in Holland is the same that causes problems here - ALCOHOL.


Coralyn Alexander, Child and Adolescent Pyschiatrist, Twin Falls Idaho