Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?

Table of Contents


The issue of whether marijuana should be legalized or not has seen many states being plunged into heated debates over the matter. Precisely, there have been diverse viewpoints regarding its status with some groups supporting the idea of its legalization. In the same measure, there are those who oppose this position and argue that it should be banned. However, it is high time states, nations and governments should reassess and evaluate with a view of reviewing their stand over this issue. I find legalization of marijuana to be more beneficial than making it illegal. Its positive benefits far outweigh the negative ones and hence more efforts should be put in place to legalize it.

Main body

Marijuana legalization will draw benefit to a state in various ways. This is due to the fact that its legalization would first and foremost increase a country’s revenue base through taxation, while on the other hand reducing its expenditure as there will be no more chasing of its users or handlers Moreover, legalization of the drug would promote health and safety, ease congestion in prisons, in addition to reducing official corruption. Marijuana is known to have medicinal value thus its value in the medical field outweighs its probable abuse (Saitz 85). Furthermore, its legalization would crucially benefit the paper as well as clothing industries.

It is argued that making marijuana illegal does not in anyway reduce its consumption; instead, it only pushes it to underground usage which is more dangerous. One proof to support this argument is that states in the US that legalized its use in the seventies have not seen the use of the drug rise above those that prohibited it. Also Holland has legalized it but has the same levels of usage as compared to other countries like France and Germany which has made it illegal. Therefore, legalizing marijuana does not increase consumption as argued through various quarters.

Even with such diverse potential benefits on legalization of marijuana, there are those who oppose its legalization. According to the opponents, legalization of marijuana would lead to increased crime rates. They view marijuana as a harmful drug, with the potential of acting as gateway for other more serious drug abuse. Based on this tenet, they argue that legalization of marijuana for whatever reason would send the wrong signal to the youth. As far as those oppose its legalization are concerned, marijuana is harmful as it causes ailments like lung cancer.

The above arguments holds some water because there have been some reported cases of rampant abuse of the drug, especially among youth, hence increasing crime rates. Therefore marijuana should not just be supported in its wholeness. There is need to address some of the pertinent challenges that are raised by the opponents.

But all in all, however, opposing legalization of marijuana on the ground that it is harmful and causes lung cancer, fails the test of reasoning since, marijuana is less dangerous compared to alcohol, cigarettes and even some over the counter medicines (Reinarman 1997). Research indicates that marijuana is among the safest therapeutically active substances available. Hence through routine medical supervision, its use is safe. While marijuana has never been reported to have killed a person, alcohol poisoning and cigarettes are major causes of death yet they are legal. Quoting one researcher, “the only well confirmed negative effect of marijuana is caused by the smoke, which contains three times more tars and five times more carbon monoxide than tobacco. But even the heaviest marijuana smokers rarely use as much as an average tobacco smoker” (Cabral 2003).

Among the known qualities of marijuana in the medical field include its analgesic, anti emetic, anti inflammatory, sedative anti convulsive as well as laxative actions (69). It has been proven to be effective in relieving nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy treatments on cancer patients. It also lowers intra ocular pressure of the eye a crucial factor in treatment of glaucoma (Strang 2001).


Based on the number of its diverse uses as well as its economic benefits, marijuana deserves legalization. As seen, legalization of marijuana will boost a country economy, through cutting expenditure on the judicial system as well as in agencies concerned with its containment. It will also advance the medical field of a country in addition to revamping the paper industry. Precisely advantages of legalizing the herb outweigh the disadvantages.

Work Cited

Saitz, Richard (2003). “Is marijuana a gateway drug?”. Journal Watch. Web.

Strang, John. “Improving the quality of the cannabis debate: defining the different domains.” New York: Pocket Books, 2001.

Cabral, Guy. “Marijuana and cannabinoid: Effects on Infections, Immunity, and AIDS”; Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Vol. 1, No. 3/4, 2001.

Reinarman, Collins. “Crack in America: demon drugs and social justice.” Berkeley: University, of California Press, 1997

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