Marijuana is a drug that is used by approximately 38% in the United States. Recently, there has been a movement to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use. Some states and communities have already passed laws to legalize marijuana and many more have plans to bring legalization to a vote in the near future. While there are many arguments for why marijuana should be legalized, legalizing marijuana is the wrong choice. Marijuana is addicting, can lead to usage of other drugs and has negative impact on society.

Marijuana can be addictive. Some people try marijuana because it is easy to obtain and has a reputation of being not that bad for you. In fact, this drug has such a high potential for abuse that it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Other Schedule 1 drugs include Ecstasy, Heroine and LSD. Marijuana can transform someone’s mood which is often why they will use it while hanging with friends. So while they think that they can use it harmlessly on and off when “partying”, instead, they find themselves becoming very addicted.

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Known as a gateway drug, marijuana has led consumers to other drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people who smoke marijuana are 104 times more likely to smoke cocaine, and other bad drugs, than people who don’t smoke marijuana. This is potentially very dangerous because these other drugs can have adverse reactions that are many times worse than marijuana. Cocaine, like marijuana is a stimulant, but unlike marijuana is many times stronger. Users will become addicted to cocaine much quicker and much more deeply. Plus, due to its strength, cocaine has much greater detrimental health effects. Cocaine is just one of many stronger substances that marijuana has been shown to be a gateway to the use of. Legalizing marijuana will multiply the already large problem with illegal drug use.

If legalized, marijuana could cause societal problems in many areas. First of all, the easy access to legal marijuana would mean that more of it would get into the hands of kids and teens. Police officers worry that we will see increased crime on the streets as marijuana lowers inhibitions and users will do whatever is necessary to feed their addiction. There are also problems with people who use marijuana and drive.

Marijuana should remain illegal in the United States, and states that have passed laws to make it legal should reverse those laws. Marijuana is addictive and a gateway drug. Legalizing marijuana will make it generally more available to the public, which will also make it more likely to be used by young adults and children that are not old enough to make smart decisions regarding drug use.