Mason Gupte English 10118 Paper 3 The recreational use of cannabis should remain illegal in the United States of America.

Cannabis, or marijuana, is a highly dangerous and addictive drug that not only leads to physical harm, but is a drug that if legalized, would inadvertently encourage the use of drugs among teenagers and adults all across the country. In recent years, the country has witnessed an increase in popularity in what is known as “medical” marijuana.Although it’s viewed today as a medicine and something that is offered to help patients in America, the positive aura being created around the drug is something that should be considered extremely alarming. The more people become accustomed to the idea of marijuana being acceptable, the more likely it becomes that a serious push for the narcotic to become legal could happen.

Legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes would be detrimental for numerous reasons.Scientists have discovered enough about the active chemical in marijuana called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to allow us to understand that is a substance that should not be tampered with. When a person burns marijuana and starts to inhale the smoke, the THC in the plant quickly passes from their lungs into their bloodstream, which transports the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. THC acts upon specific parts of your brain, called cannabinoid receptors, which then triggers a series of cell-based reactions that lead to the dangerous “high” that user will experience (www.DrugAbuse.

Gov). These receptors are found in parts of the brain that affect pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory, coordinated movement and time perception. While a user is under the influence of marijuana, they are prone to chronic overeating and tend to show little to zero effort in any activity they attempt. The use of marijuana can also lead to distorted perceptions, impairments, difficulty solving problems, and further complicate the person’s ability to learn new things and hold memories.Research has shown that, in chronic marijuana users, the drug’s adverse impact on the subjects learning and memory can last up to days or weeks after that person has allowed the effects to wear off (www. DrugAbuse.

gov). The majority of marijuana users who are asked about their habit will respond with something like, “There’s nothing wrong with it. ” However, if studied closely and observed for a period of time, it is no challenge for one to see that the effects are not just physical.The mental harm one will encounter when they inhale the smoke is something that is not just temporary, users can and will suffer long-term from the drug’s effects.

This is one clear reason why medical marijuana is a contradiction to what is healthy and beneficial to patients. Doctors and patients will claim that it is the only way to cope with diseases in particular cases, however, harming oneself does not help cope with anything in the long run.Although research details for the long-term effects of marijuana haven’t been completely ironed out, scientists can see that there are consistent similarities between two users who have used the drug their entire life. A person that smokes the plant for a large amount of time consistently will observe a noticeable connection between that and their impaired cognitive functioning. A person who does not use the drug will notice less of a fog in their cognitive functioning, where as a marijuana user who has experimented with the drug since a young age will have trouble thinking of things quite often.Another troubling fact about cannabis is that when used in the long-term, can lead to physical addiction.

Estimates from research suggest that roughly nine percent of all marijuana users become addicted to the drug; this number is likely to increase for those who start young or are daily users (www. DrugAbuse. Gov). People who were daily marijuana smokers and attempted to quit, report that they have experienced withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, sleeplessness, trouble getting their appetite back, anxiety, drug-craving, and depression.All of these symptoms are likely to begin within the first one to two days of quitting smoking.

Numerous studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the long-term use of cannabis and increased anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. However, at this time, it is not clear whether marijuana use causes mental problems, exacerbates them, or reflects an attempt to self-medicate symptoms already in existence (www. DrugAbuse. Gov). What is clear is that high doses of marijuana can lead to psychotic reactions within the subject; also, use of the drug may trigger or lead to relapse of schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals.Other effects of smoking marijuana include issues with the heart such as increased likelihood of a heart attack as a result of an increased heart rate.

Irregular heart rhythm, palpitations, and arrhythmias also are commonly observed negatives for marijuana users whether they’re frequent or occasional smokers. If one is greater in age or has cardiac vulnerabilities, the risk is much greater. The heart is not the only area of the chest impacted negatively by smoking marijuana, the lungs are forced to work much harder when marijuana is inhaled.Numerous studies have shown that the smoke created when marijuana is burnt contains 50-70 percent more carcinogens than what tobacco smoke holds (www. DrugAbuse. Gov).

Since marijuana users typically inhale much deeper and hold the smoke in their lungs for a longer amount of time than tobacco smokers, they further increase their exposure to these carcinogens. Another dangerous thing one should keep an eye on is the fact that marijuana users show potentially cancerous growth in epithelial cells.The list of reasons why marijuana should remain illegal is a long, but concrete list and something everyone who has used the drug should be encouraged to look at. While it is currently legal within states for medicinal purposes, the government has done well by keeping this substance illegal as far as recreational use. Nothing good can or will ever come out of legalizing such a dangerous narcotic. Works Cited Page November 2010.

Drug Facts: Marijuana. November 4th, 2012. http://www. drugabuse.