Speech – Legalising Marijuana

You have heard it on the news, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram you name it you’ve seen it, the legalisation of cannabis, is it time to change it?

Behind alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is now the third most popular drug in the whole world, and with that, the most common illegal one. So, is it time to legalise it? In my speech, I will discuss both the pros and (sigh) the cons of legalising Cannabis, and compare it to some other popular legal drugs. One of the biggest misconceptions of cannabis is the addictiveness to it. While it is considered a ‘gateway’ drug, cannabis leads to dependence in only around 9-10 percent of adult users according to the National Drug Research Institute, whilst cocaine hooks about 20 percent of its users, heroin hooks 25 percent and tobacco, the worst culprit, hooks 30 percent of its first-time users. Alcohol and tobacco are both legal drugs, yet have more significant and impacting health consequences than cannabis. For example, drinking heavily or binge drinking can cause potential death, and both of these drugs can cause numerous forms of cancer, commonly lung cancer from smoking tobacco and liver cancer from consumption of alcohol. Yet cannabis, an ILLEGAL drug, was once thought to have been a cause of cancer, but that has since been debunked, meaning it is HEALTHIER than these LEGAL drugs.When cannabis was first legalised in the state of Colorado as part of an experiment, many predicted that the crime rate would rise, however the crime rate actually lowered by 6%, leaving those predicting people to eat their words. Because of the drop in crime, police now have more time to spend on more important jobs and exercises like house robberies and assaults, rather than arresting someone for something as little as possession of cannabis. The crime rate has also lowered due to a cut in income for organised crime. Cannabis was commonly used by gangs and groups as an easy income to fund their criminal activities, so by legalising cannabis, it would cut their stem of income right out of their hands. Now we move on to the big kid in the room, the biggest reason people want it legalised. Medicinal Cannabis. Cannabis can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms. The drug has been used medicinally since 4000 B.C, where it was originally used as an anesthetic. But why use cannabis instead of other painkillers? This is because cannabis pain relief comes within minutes of use, while prescription painkillers, like panadol, can take longer than 45 minutes to take effect.

Now onto the cons, wait what did I say? “Oh onto the cons”, one of the negative effects that come with the use of cannabis has proved to be memory loss in young people under the age of 21. Even though cannabis can be used to help with pain, people under 21 shouldn’t use cannabis, even for medicinal reasons. It damages the developing brain, causing lasting memory damage and a lowering IQ. This has been proven by experts, who found that 35-year-old adults who were pronounced addicted and started smoking cannabis under the age of 18 did worse on an IQ and decision-making test than 35-year-old adults who were pronounced addicted and started smoking cannabis over the age of 18. Another effect from the use of cannabis is the increased risk of depression but don’t worry, this hasn’t been fully determined yet, and so far research has only shown that the risk is increased in young people who have already been genetically predisposed to depression. These are the reasons why legalised cannabis in other countries can only be sold to people over the age of 21. These all roll up my cons, leading to my conclusion, that cannabis is a very misconceived drug.

I personally think that the pros outweigh the cons of legalizing this drug and I feel that it would bring more benefits than harm to the world, this has even been shown through studies! Many people believe that as it’s illegal cannabis can harm you worse than alcohol and tobacco, however, this simply isn’t true.  The legalisation of cannabis will contribute money for the government, it will give police more time for important issues and crime, and will be used medicinally to help with pain relief and treatment for cancer. So in the end, why was it even illegal?

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