Cons of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Use

The legalization of marijuana, used both medicinally and recreationally, is left up to individual states to decide whether it should be decriminalizedMJBizDaily reports, “California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Since then, the medical use of cannabis has been legalized in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Recreational or adult use of cannabis is also legal in D.C. and 19 states.”

Despite the growing acceptance, decriminalizing marijuana should be a federal issue, and it should not be legal to use recreationally.

Although researchers differ in their stances on whether marijuana is considered a “gateway drug,” it has every ability to be one and opens the door for those who use marijuana to transition into heavier substances.

National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a research report on marijuana as a gateway drug, says, “ … a study using longitudinal data from the National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Disorders found that adults who reported marijuana use during the first wave of the survey were more likely than adults who did not use marijuana to develop an alcohol use disorder within three years … Marijuana use is also linked to other substance use disorders including nicotine addiction.”

Picture this: You start eating an apple every day. At first, because it’s a new addition to your diet, it’s going to taste good, and you may even look forward to eating one daily. However, the more apples you eat, the more undesirable they become — forcing you to look for alternative snacks.

Now put marijuana in the place of the fruit: The more frequent it becomes, the less satisfying it’s going to be, and the more likely you will want to try something else to experience that first-time high.

The CDC outlines the short- and long-term effects marijuana has on the brain as well as how it affects one’s mental health.

According to the CDC, the use of marijuana within 24 hours “has an immediate impact on thinking, attention, memory, coordination, movement, and time perception.” Long-term, the drug affects brain development (most notably in those who are under the age of 18) such as attention, memory and learning. 

The CDC also suggests that frequent use of marijuana can cause disorientation, unpleasant thoughts, anxiety, paranoia, depression and even suicide. Temporary psychosis and schizophrenia are also more likely to be developed by those who use marijuana. 

Most of all, as Christians, marijuana should remain a criminalized drug because it is not biblical. The Bible does not specifically reference marijuana, but it does give warning to the dangers of drunkenness — both of which have mind-altering compounds.

Ephesians 5:18 says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” and 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 

Thus, like drunkenness, using marijuana inhibits your mental and physical state. It puts you in a vulnerable position that takes your dependency off God and in a temporary place where you rely on worldly things (marijuana) to feel good. But in the end, that need to “feel good” will leave you empty when the high wears off and you’re still left with the same problems as before.

Time and time again, Scripture says to flee from the flesh, for you will only find full satisfaction in life through the love of a perfect Father.

To conclude, the recreational use of marijuana has an impact on society through its ability to be a “gateway drug,” its harmful side effects and the moral issue of altering one’s state of mind.

To which are the reasons I can’t stand by its legalization — I don’t see the benefits, only the harm.

Shank is the Editor-in-Chief. Follow her on Twitter

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