Marijuana: Debate on Good or Bad ?

There are different names to marijuana; namely some of the popular are joint, pot, cannabis, grass, dope, herb, etc., and many more local names according to the countries. It is widely found around the world. And it is widely used for recreational purposes.

The debate on marijuana has been well around the world for over half a century now. It was listed as the schedule-I drug by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. When the United States of America (USA) was under hysterics of the widespread drug use, the then president of USA Richard Nixon declared war on Drugs

What is a war on drugs?

During the 1960s there was a rise in the widespread use of marijuana as a recreational drug. Its widespread caused trouble to president Nixon and he addressed this issue by “If we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely in time destroy us”. He further added “I am not prepared to accept this alternative,” formally launching the war on drugs to eradicate the use of illicit drugs in the US.

He went to create the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1973 from the merger of three agencies, Office for Drug Abuse Law Enforcement, the Office of Narcotics Intelligence to consolidate federal efforts to control drug abuse, and the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The first and foremost task of this agency was to control the illegal use of drugs and smuggling in the US.

Jimmy Carter who succeeded Nixon as president was however running political campaigns to decriminalize marijuana. In his tenure, the Senate was able to vote to decriminalize the possession of one ounce of marijuana for personal use. The war on drugs was further carried over by Ronald Regan by launching the ‘Just Say No’ campaign. He further passed stricter penalties for drug-related crimes.

The policy of war on drugs had an impact all over the world. In almost every country possession of marijuana has become illegal with stricter punishments and fines. However, the times have changed. Many debates have come forward arguing the legalization of marijuana.

Modern perspective 

Over the years, various countries have researched and came to conclusions that marijuana has high medical values. Marijuana is even prescribed for a variety of medical reasons and pain relief. It is prescribed for pain relief of chronic diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. It can be the best alternative for the drugs like Valium, OxyContin which are proven to be far more addictive.  

Many countries have taken initiatives to legalize marijuana throughout the time. Countries like Canada, Netherlands, South Africa, etc., have some flexible laws regarding the use of Marijuana. Canada has made it legal for adults above 18 years of age to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana in the public. Interestingly, one can grow up to four plants of weed at home for personal purposes. One can buy marijuana from the licensed producer and retailers. Netherland has not made it legal to carry weed home.

However, one can enjoy it in a coffee shop where weed is left hanged around every shop. One of the cool countries regarding weed has to be South Africa. It has decriminalized the possession, growing, and usage of weed in private for adults. However, buying and selling are out in the public sphere is prohibited.

Before jumping to the conclusion for anything proper research should be done. The same applies in the case of marijuana. The benefits and drawbacks should be equally analyzed. Benefits should be utilized at the optimum while considering the consequences of its abuse.

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