Exploring the Case for Medical Marijuana Legalization: Benefits and Comparisons

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The Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is an herbal plant. It is a psychoactive drug that comes from a plant used for medical or recreational purposes. Some doctors and Natural Paths use this herb as a natural remedy to treat chronic pain and anxiety, as well as many other things. Marijuana could be smoked or put into foods as edibles. Marijuana is nonhabit-forming, and no one has had withdrawal symptoms.

Marijuana should be legalized because not only is it an alternative to pain medication, but it also has much fewer side effects than alcohol and Tobacco when used recreationally. Alcohol and Tobacco are legalized and FDA-approved, yet hundreds of thousands died from these legalized drugs. There has been proven research that links alcohol and Tobacco to various cancers and heart, lung, and liver diseases. No one has died from Marijuana, whether they have used it for recreational or medicinal purposes.

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Comparing Marijuana to Legal Recreational Substances

Marijuana should be legalized because it helps people who have medical problems. It is also not as dangerous to use recreationally as alcohol and Tobacco. A positive effect of Marijuana is that it is effective in relieving nausea that has been caused by chemotherapy. “Marijuana can alleviate the spasticity of muscles that are affected by multiple sclerosis and paralysis.” Marijuana is a safer alternative to most Pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to treat most symptoms. Medical Marijuana could be used instead of opioids to treat chronic pain. Opioids are highly addictive and have proven to cause the death of many people.

Opioids don’t cure any medical issues. They’re meant to be temporary solutions rather than a permanent solution. For years, the number of drug overdoses each year has increased. Opioids can cause more medical problems than what they might originally be used to treat. Marijuana is a forming solution to pain meds, and no one has ever overdosed from it. “Studies show that smoking marijuana alone (without the concurrent use of tobacco) does not increase the risk of lung diseases.” Even if lung problems arise from smoking Marijuana, there is always an alternative to eating edibles that contain Marijuana. There would still be pain relief without the risk of harming lungs or livers.

Examining Arguments Against Marijuana Legalization

For every person who advocates for the legalization of Marijuana for medical purposes, other argues against it. Some of the arguments from the opposition include that the frequent use of Marijuana can seriously affect your short-term memory, but the problem with that reasoning is that research has been conducted on the subject, and it has been proven that most people who smoke weed-only smoke weed once or twice a month so there memory is not too affected. Another reason in opposition to legalizing Marijuana is that smoking anything, whether it is Tobacco or Marijuana, can seriously damage your lung tissue.

Tobacco has an alternative chewing form that has been researched and considered connected to mouth cancer. Marijuana can be put into food and drinks and has not been proven to be harmful to anyone. People claim that Marijuana is a gateway drug, but the problem with that reasoning is that thorough research has not yet been conducted enough to conclude that people who start Marijuana eventually start harder drugs. It has just been speculated that Marijuana leads to the usage of harder drugs. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, yet alcohol and Tobacco are both legal and have been proven to be linked to various health issues. There’s no pros list when it comes to Tobacco and Alcohol, only a lot of cons.

Why is alcohol legal when it has been the cause of many deaths, yet no one has died from Marijuana? “Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation that is preventable…. 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use.”(Vandergriendt) Binge drinkers of alcohol can have withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking, or they can die from alcohol poisoning.

“Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to multiple health problems, chronic diseases, neurological impairments, and social problems, including but not limited to Brain problems such as dementia because alcohol inhibits the brain.” Short-term effects may be difficulty walking and talking clearly. Alcohol targets a part of the brain that is responsible for motor functions such as talking and walking. Drinking can result in blackouts. When a person is drunk, it’s harder to think rationally and logically.

Car accidents can happen because of drunk drivers. Short-term drinking can have side effects such as blurry vision when a person has had too much to drink, but because alcohol impairs their thinking process, they think they can still drive effectively. This often results in fatality for drunk drivers or others. The overuse of alcohol can be linked to various forms of cancer, including but not limited to the liver, mouth, larynx, and esophagus. Liver diseases can also develop due to binge drinking. “Alcohol is processed in the liver, where enzymes help break down ethanol into acetaldehyde and acetate.” Alcohol is in liquor. It hits the bloodstream, and ethanol passes through the membranes of cells in your brain, heart, and other organs. If a person consumes too much alcohol, it has long-lasting damaging effects on internal organs, unlike the usage of Marijuana.

Contrasting Legal Status and Health Effects

If Marijuana cannot be legalized in all states and no one has died from it, why are Tobacco and alcohol legal when those drugs have been proven to be the cause of many deaths? Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves, which are dried and fermented before being put in tobacco products. Tobacco contains nicotine, an ingredient that can lead to addiction, which is why so many people who use tobacco find it difficult to quit. Tobacco companies have added a lot of harmful chemicals that have been proven dangerous for people’s health in the long term and short term.

Almost all drugs enter the bloodstream and affect adrenal glands, such as epinephrine, and increase the level of the chemical messenger dopamine. Most drugs enter through the bloodstream and affect dopamine and reinforce rewarding behaviors, which can end up messing neurotransmitters up from the brain. This then unbalances the brain temporarily, maybe even permanently, based on how long a person has been smoking.) “Nicotine in any tobacco product readily absorbs into the blood when a person uses it. Upon entering the blood, nicotine immediately stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline).”

Adrenaline can be overly stimulated by drugs, causing the central nervous system to increase blood pressure, inhaling, exhaling, and pulse. Smoking can lead to lung cancer and chronic bronchitis, among other breathing complications. It increases the risk of heart disease, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.” Smoking has also been scientifically linked to various types of cancer. For many who use Tobacco, long-term brain changes can be brought on by continued nicotine exposure, resulting in addiction. When a person tries to quit, he or she may have withdrawal symptoms, including irritability, problems paying attention, insomnia, or powerful cravings for Tobacco.

These can occur because smoking for a long period of time causes the brain to get used to the chemicals that are in Tobacco. Brain receptors end up getting screwed up for people who have smoked for a long period of time. Tobacco is the only drug known where if smoked repeatedly around another person, they could get secondhand smoke. A person’s lungs and livers could get messed up because a person decided to smoke around them. The unpleasant smell of Tobacco can also seep into clothes and walls, which is an exposure to harmful chemicals.


In conclusion, Marijuana should be legalized because it helps people medicinally, and it has less dangerous side effects when compared to legal drugs like alcohol and Tobacco. Alcohol and Tobacco are legalized and FDA-approved, yet hundreds of thousands die from these legalized drugs. There has been proven research that links alcohol and Tobacco to various cancers and heart, lung, and liver diseases. Alcohol is also a known substance that is legal and is linked to hundreds of deaths, yet there are still commercials that come on TV that promote alcohol. No one has ever overdosed on Marijuana, and it’s never given anyone cancer, unlike Tobacco.

Research hasn’t concluded if Marijuana is a gateway drug. People who smoke marijuana smoke less a month than people who drink alcohol or smoke daily. For the people saying that smoking anything causes lung and liver problems, there are alternatives like edible Marijuana. No one has died from Marijuana, whether they have used it to be recreational or for medicinal purposes. Marijuana is a natural treatment for resolving chronic pain and anxiety. People cannot get addicted to Marijuana, and they cannot have withdrawal symptoms from Marijuana. Not only can Marijuana be used as a treatment for pain and depression, but it can also be used for recreational use without having the same harmful side effects that alcohol and Tobacco have. The pros of having Marijuana become legal are far greater than the cons of whether or not Marijuana should not be legal.


  1. Morrow, A. (n.d.). The Benefits of Medical Marijuana: Alleviating Chronic Pain and Spasticity.
  2. Vandergriendt, C. (n.d.). Alcohol-Related Deaths: The Impact of Excessive Alcohol Use.
  3. Wilcox, J. (n.d.). The Effects of Alcohol on the Brain and Neurological Impairments.
  4. Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products. (n.d.). National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Exploring the Case for Medical Marijuana Legalization: Benefits and Comparisons. (2023, Aug 28). Retrieved from https://edusson.com/examples/exploring-the-case-for-medical-marijuana-legalization-benefits-and-comparisons

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