Certain people always abuse intoxicating substances. Heavy marijuana users could experience lapses in short term memory, and a general lack of motivation from the after effects. There are also other subtle health effects (see link below). I imagine legalization would lead to more work absences, which I don’t think as of that big of a deal. When you think about it it’s clear why employers put coffee in the break room instead of a bong. Coffee encourages productivity while marijuana just tends to promote socializing, which is “unproductive”. However, even when marijuana is abused, it doesn’t create the same mental state as alcohol. I don’t think that members of the Grateful Dead ever got violently beligerent from marijuana!
Depending on who you ask, negative effects of legalizing marijuana will vary. Some people will try to argue that it is a “gateway drug” and it will lead to more and more people becoming addicted to heavier drugs. I disagree with that, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I suppose people may complain about the smell. Chances are good that it will be heavily taxed, which is good for the government since they need all the funds they can get. So people may be upset by that, but they’ll probably just be happy they can smoke without the risk of being arrested.
I would think that just as with the smoking of cigarettes, there will have to be specific guidelines and limitations when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. For instance, I think that companies will have to include policies that do not allow the smoking of marijuana during working hours, especially in the labor or service industries. I also think that there should be mandatory education in the schools specifically about marijuana, the chose to partake in it, and the effects, both good and bad, that it has on the body.
Aside from health, educational, and economic effects, the legalization of marijuana could be detrimental to our environment. Illegal growth of the plant has already destroyed public lands and forests, and it would only become worse if legalized. Growers of marijuana typically cut down trees and plants, ultimately destroying the nature and animal life. It also increases pollution, as toxic pesticides, fertilizers, and insecticides leak into waterways. If legalized, there would be an increase in pollution and destruction of natural land, for people would simply grow more.
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