WATTERS: Legalizing cannabis in the United States

Cyra Watters is a sophomore mass communication major from Chicago.

Personally, I feel that marijuana should not be legalized because it causes you to have memory loss, trouble thinking, increased heart rate, which can lead to a heart attack and can cause cancer. 

Marijuana is a drug that comes from the plant cannabis that people use for recreational or medical purposes. Marijuana should only be used for medical purposes because there are so many components in it that only benefits people who have a medical issue. People who use marijuana for other reasons put themselves at risk of forming an array of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. 

According to verywellmind.com, people who use marijuana prior to the age of 12 are twice as likely to experience a serious mental illness compared to those who first used marijuana at age 18 or older. When smoking marijuana, it goes directly into your bloodstream, and it flows to the brain and other organs. This causes a “high” that consist of increased heart rate, memory loss, hallucinations, increased appetite, bloodshot eyes and slowed coordination. 

In addition, marijuana can be addictive. According to verywellmind.com, about 1 in 6 people who start using as a teen, and 25-50 percent of those who use it every day, become addicted to marijuana. 

  Further, marijuana can be very dangerous for teen drivers. According to verywellmind.com, 19 percent of teen drivers have driven under the influence of marijuana. Studies have also shown that driving under the influence of marijuana affects the way you drive, causing your perception, balance and coordination to become altered. According to the GHSA’s “Drug-Impaired Driving” survey, 43.6 of drivers tested after a deadly car crash had drugs in their system. 

I feel that if marijuana was safe to use, it would not need to be legalized, it is not safe like we all believe it is.