- Posted March 11, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Changed your mind about marijuana?
Marijuana & Health - Not Just About Personal Choice
The medicinal benefits of marijuana for reducing pain and symptoms associated with various diseases has been touted as a big benefit of grass to patients. Medicinal benefits, personal choice and human rights have been blended together to create a massive wave of support for legalization or at least decriminalization of marijuana in a number of countries.
Decriminalization is probably a good idea to unclog the court system from such petty crimes. Legalization carries with it other considerations especially the harm to health that occurs in chronic, heavy users. Grass, when smoked, carries with it the same issues as cigarettes regarding tar content and it's effect on various organ systems in the body, especially the cardiopulmonary system. However, marijuana is reported to have 10 or more times greater tar content than cigarettes.
Add to that, many chronic users may also smoke cigarettes and you have the makings of developing laws and policy for legalization which allow for greater personal choice for recreational drug usage while also exposing the user public to greater exposure to carcinogens and potentially greater incidence of cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases.
Changes to legislation lead to changes in public policy which carry both a risk and benefit. It may be worth considering decriminalization but greater caution should be exercised on legalization. Legalization could lead to la ess healthy but a happily buzzed populace. Responsible legislators need to consider all facets.