Marijuana should not be Legalized- An Article for the Commonwealth publication

Marijuana should not be Legalized

Most of us have either seen or smoked marijuana, either in a recreational or medical setting. What is common about the drug, locally and internationally, is its illegal status. But this has not discouraged some people from partaking of the drug and the consequences for this legal disregard is socially and economically catastrophic. There exists a divide on opinion regarding the legal status of the drug with some loudly calling for its legalization especially in major powers like the US. The debate on the legalization of marijuana is not new and has raged for several decades with both the proponents and opponents of this motion using emotional appeal and factual evidence to back their claims. Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs across the world and the call for its legalization has a significant impact on governments and individuals. This has informed my opinion that marijuana should not be legalized since doing so will lead to increased addiction, social evils like crime and additional burdens to the world’s health care system through treatment of this addiction and drug induced accidents.

Marijuana is addictive and one of the most abused illegal substances in major cities across the world. Legalizing the drug will just increase addiction by making it readily available to the users and tempting non users to engage in its consumption. This will in turn lead to reduced productivity and increased social evils in form of crime since drugs reduce inhibitions. Education might also be affected either through teens dropping out of school or their performance being greatly affected by marijuana use.  Those who have had the privilege to study in public universities here in Kenya will attest to the extent which student’s abuse the drug which they have ascribed nicknames like weed, bush, kush and “ndome.”This abuse leads to risky behaviors like experimentation with alcohol, other drugs and reckless engagement in dangerous sexual activities. Needles to say sustaining this addiction requires money and student’s who have no ready source of income result to dangerous behavior like robbery or prostitution to get cash for basic needs and marijuana. The side effects include increased AIDs prevalence, unwanted pregnancies and an increase in the rate of abortions.

Those calling for marijuana legalizations have citied taxation of the drug as a way for government to control its use and increase its revenue. However, statistics have shown that legalization of drugs does not increase its effective control or add revenue in relation to social cost as demonstrated by the two legal drugs; alcohol and tobacco. For instance, in the United States, the federal cost of attending to alcohol related conditions amounted to $185 Billion as compared to alcohol related revenue totaling $14.5 billion. Medical data collected in trauma wards have shown that most deaths and major injuries on our roads are caused by marijuana smoking drivers. Marijuana, like alcohol, impairs the judgment of the driver and the resultant effect is unnecessary carnage. Innocent lives are lost simply because a few people chose to engage in illegal fetish. What would happen then if the drug was made legal, how many innocent lives would the world lose under the hands of a few hedonistic individuals. How many more resources would we need to assign to treatment rather than focus on other welfare programs meant to make this world a better place? No, legalizing marijuana is not just impractical; it’s downright immoral.



17 responses to “Marijuana should not be Legalized- An Article for the Commonwealth publication

  1. pitzevans, I agree with all of what you say but also Marijuana has been used in the treatment of Cancer patients especially to help them deal with the pain. Medical Marijuana I suppose. Legalising it is wrong but these sick people should be allowed to use it legally. Infact they already do.

  2. As Peter Tosh once said…Legalize it and I’ll advertise it. Criminalisation of Kasumba has not worked. We smoke the weed more tahn ever before. Otherwise law-abiding people who would never lie on their tax returns or jump a red light are turned into criminals because the like a little bit of ganja, now and then.

    I would rather it was decriminalised. We could use the resources saved in educating young people about the dangers of abusing drugs…all drugs and here I hasten to add that tobacco and alcohol kill and destroy more lives than the humble Kaya. If the this noble herb was freely and legally available like fags the GOK would find a new source of serious revenue and destroy the criminal gangs who peddle drugs and gain from the misery of others. There would be no need to meet up with dodgy dealers to buy poor quality hash at over-inflated prices and KEBS would be there to insure a standard quality product. At the moment Kamshtundunduu is illegal. It is readily available and it is the drug barons and corrupt officials who are enjoying the benefits.

    Legalize Marijuana!

  3. There is no doubt that this is an open debate where all kinds of views are welcomed. This is to the full credit of Area51. All I ever asked for was an open debate based on facts.

    @Ghafla! Thanks for your support. The mood is slowly changing. Cigarettes and booze are far more harmful than the noble weed. The only reason that mary-jane is illegal today is because of control. We do not need a Jicho Pevu style expose to tell us who the main beneficiaries of illicit drug dealing are. When trade in forex was illegal black market extortionists were fleecing the public. Sometimes people bought fake USD in dark city alleys – because of currency restrictions. Where are those black-marketeers today?

    • woolie n Ghafla i have to agree with you on one point, that the major beneficiaries of the marijuana ban is the drug cartels. But don’t you think that the way to deal with them is to strengthen and retrain our enforcement agencies as opposed to legalizing it, since in my humble opinion, legalization will allow the same burgers to expand their operations while most non users will be tempted to join the few who indulge.

  4. @pitzevans….Our law enforcement agencies (police) are involved in the drug trade judging by the recent Jicho Pevu videos so strengthening them wouldn’t be of much use. Yes a few people will be tempted to have a hit if it is legalized but anyway whether it is legal or illegal a curious soul who wants to find out will!!

      • pitzevans, after indulging in some weed over the holidays I now get your line of thinking. No consensus can ever be reached, this is a bad drug. It keeps lying to you that you are in control but you are just destroying your life. Happy new year! 🙂

  5. I beg to differ on the crimes part. You seem never to have felt the effects of the Herb. If you plan to say rape or steal and smoke the Herb before doing it, you will not do it! Herb is the healing of the nation. You smoke it and have a conversation with yourself. You ask yourself, is what am doing right, including smoking the Herb! Why do you think RastaMan is always singing Love, peace, harmony? Its the effects of the Herb!

    Like someone says up there, it should be decriminalized, not legalized. Why should people legally kill the unborn in the name of abortion while I cant smoke the dried leaves of a plant manufactured by God with no additives?

    Herb is the healing of the nation!

  6. False. Weed is not the most abused drug, alcohol is. Alcohol by far kills more people than weed. Come to think of it, no one has ever died from a weed overdose. Alcohol causes serious diseases, it is WAAAYYY more addictive than weed, causes deaths through drunk driving and is a cause for many domestic violence cases.

    The reason weed is illegal in many parts of the world is historical. Read this brilliant article if you have time:

    Let’s talk cigarettes. Don’t get me started with the sheer amount of harmful chemicals a single stick of cig has. Na cancer nayo?

    Check out this BBC graph showing how harmful alcohol is against weed and other drugs

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