Custom «Marijuana Prohibition» Essay Paper Sample
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Medical practitioners have in the recent past used marijuana as a pain repellent. However, questions are being raised about its medical value. Originating from the cannabis plant family, this drug has received negative publicity concerning its usage. The drug acts as a gateway to the use of other harder drugs. However, there are a number of debates raised as to whether this is true. This paper provides a clear explanation of the relationship between marijuana and the use of other drugs.
Marijuana is popular for being more harmful than cigarette smoking. It contains an insoluble component, which stays in the human body for long. This eventually weakens the immune system and makes the person vulnerable. Other studies show that marijuana smothers the functions of the ovary in women and at times disrupts the menstrual cycle (Boire & Feeney 93).
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The government has, in the recent past, targeted the use of marijuana. Measures have been taken to control its use. This was after reports of violent behaviors, associated with its use. For instance, there has been an increase in criminal cases involving the youth; weapon possession has also been on the rise. The Narcotic Control Act was formulated to ensure the introduction of penalties for the possession and use of marijuana (Judicial Committee 143).
However, in other countries, the use of marijuana is legal. This is in line with the claim that making marijuana legal will reduce the use of other drugs. In Netherlands, for instance, marijuana is legal for any use. This seemingly arose from the argument that legalizing marijuana will discourage the purchase and use of hard drugs. That is, by controlling its purchase, individuals will not be involved into use of hard drugs, which are usually sold secretively (Earleywine 54).
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According to various researches, the use of this drug has supposedly led individuals to the use of harder drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. These implications are drawn from the assumption that marijuana generates an outcome, which biologically leads to the consumption of other drugs. Individuals engage in substance abuse for various reasons. Whereas some would want to escape from reality by being eluded with the drugs, others use it for the purpose of adventure that is trying something new. Marijuana has been reported to trigger selective desires in individuals to use other drugs. Research has shown that majority of hard drug users have taken marijuana prior to hard drugs. This shows a distinctive basis that marijuana acts as a first step for the use of hard drugs (Bonnie & Whitebread 62).
In other cases, marijuana can be said to initiate the use of other drugs in the sense that individuals, who smoke it, tend to consider themselves illegitimate drug users. Identifying oneself as an illicit drug user increases the chances of one trying out other drugs. When individuals view themselves as drug users, they work towards maintaining these claims and, thus, take other drugs. Adapting to harder drugs makes them believe they are tough and unstoppable, capable of handling hard drugs (Boire & Feeney 56).
Moreover, this claim can be ascertained, where individuals get exposure to other drugs in the process of buying marijuana. Individuals who supply the marijuana are most likely in possession of other hard drugs. This makes them available for those who have never used hard drugs before. Eventually, they are introduced to these drugs and consequently, marijuana leads to the use of hard drugs. Suppliers market these drugs to the consumers and usually tend to exaggerate on information. This attracts the individuals who eventually try the new drugs (Bonnie & Whitebread 62).
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The aspect that intoxication from marijuana can make one vulnerable and unable to decline the use of a hard drug is another concept. During intoxication, an individual’s judgment is clouded, and the probability of one trying a hard drug is high. Studies show that one is capable of taking a different drug after using marijuana. This is advancement among drug users, taking pride in trying out harder drugs.
However, other researches show that these claims are baseless. Marijuana tends to affect individuals differently from other drugs. It alters different receptors in the body as compared to heroin or cocaine. In essence, not all individuals, who use marijuana, take the hard drugs.
For there to be a correlation between marijuana and other drugs, there has to be a clear association between the two, where an effect is resultant from a cause, a temporal antecedence, whereby a cause is noted before an effect is felt, and isolation, where substitute causes are eliminated (Earleywine 60).
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In other cases, individuals, using hard drugs, have reported using marijuana after the hard drugs. This excuses the claim that marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs. For example, the famous poet, Allen Ginsberg, admitted using heroine before using marijuana. The instigation of using a certain drug is independent of others. In essence, using a specific drug depends on its availability and accessibility to an individual. This is usually in line with an individual’s motivation to using it.
Efforts to Curb the Situation
In an attempt to prohibit the use of marijuana, various programs have been set up. First is the scare campaign. This was to create fear in people and to discourage them from the abuse of drugs by highlighting the various consequences, accompanied by their use. Despite these efforts to discourage people from using marijuana, the scare campaign was seen as a challenge by the young. The exaggerated information provided brought about doubts. Eventually, majority took to trying out drugs and this raised the number of individuals using drugs. This made the campaign invalid (Judicial Committee 140).
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A number of studies claim that individuals abuse drugs in an attempt to boost their self-esteem. In relation to this, a program was designed to help individuals enhance their esteem. This however, failed, as higher esteem is paradoxically associated with an increase in drug use. For example, the youth gain more respect from their mates if they are known to use hard drugs.
Drug education came in to curb the negative response from the scare campaigns. However, in providing people with more information on the drug seemed to encourage them to become informed users. With the exposure to information on drug abuse, individuals became more equipped and seemingly raised their curiosity. This led to a majority starting to try new drugs, which were seemingly harder than the ones they were used to (Maer 2009).
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Banning the use of drugs also could be adapted. However, this will only avail other drugs for consumption. For example, discouraging the use of marijuana makes cocaine and heroin available for use. Research has shown that when one drug is banned from the market, individuals introduce themselves to a new one, which will play the role of the later (Lowinson 671).
Even though there is no clear relation between the use of marijuana and other hard drugs, steps can be taken to ensure a reduction of the same. Programs that include social influence have seemingly worked to produce positive results, bringing the youth together to share on their experiences and help each other overcome their addictions. These programs, unlike the ones previously tested, relate to drug and substance abuse. Therefore, they will ensure a working solution. Other steps could include the government adapting the Dutch approach in order to discourage the youth from introduction to other hard drugs.