Reportedly, 1/3 of Americans have admitted to trying marijuana on more than one occasion. Illegal drug production is a larger business than ever before. A big part of it is even produced right here in the United States (Nadelmann). Yet drug use is not necessarily drug abuse. Although it is not entirely safe, pot is one of the least dangerous psychoactive drugs.
In “Marijuana is Dangerous for Teens”, by Joseph Califano he states that, “nine percent of those who use marijuana become dependent on it”, although it is not a big number it is because that is not the biggest problem with marijuana. Along with all of the health problems that marijuana use causes it also opens up the debate over the gateway theory. A gateway drug is a substance taken that opens peoples’ minds up to taking other progressively more dangerous drugs. Millions of people who use marijuana use it illegally, at some point ma... ... middle of paper ... ... Sun- Times, December 24, 2006 Andrew Morral, Daniel McCaffrey, and Susan Paddock, “Reassessing the Marijuana Gateway Effect” Addiction, vol. 97, December 2002, pp.
A common phrase associated with marijuana is “gateway drug”. Michael T. Lynskey, PhD reports, “Individuals who used cannabis by age 17 years had odds of other drug use, alcohol dependence, and drug abuse/dependence that were 2.1 to 5.2 times higher than those of their co-twin, who did not use cannabis before age 17 years”. People believe that if one is capable of using one drug, what stops them from wanting to get an even more powerful high from drugs as crack/cocaine. Most of the cases studied shows that drug dependency among adults is related to drug exposure during the teenage years. Even the DEA stated that marijuana’s most deadly consequence is its ability to lead drug users to new experiments (Medical Marijuana).
These reasons include but are not limited to pharmacological, psychological, and social variables involved in substance abuse and are what lead to the association between drugs and crime. It is estimated that in the year 2010 anywhere between 153 million and 300 million people aged 15-64 used an illicit substance at least once (“World Drug Report 2012," 2012). The substances that are considered illicit drugs are ones that are illegal such as marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, and opiates. Although, the estimate’s minimum and maximum are quite spread out one must remember that some of these estimates come from remote countries and regions where there are either very unreliable or no statistical data available. None the less this number is very alarming because it means that anywhere between 3.4 percent and 6.6 percent of the world’s population between the ages of 15 and 64 have used illicit drugs.
Some jurisdictions treat the possession of very small amounts of marijuana (e.g., less than 1 ounce [28 g]) as an infraction, rather than as a misdemeanor. Infractions are minor offenses, such as traffic violations, that are punishable only with fines, not with incarceration. Drug laws are complex and can differ between jurisdictions. In general, the seriousness of an offense and the harshness of its penalty are based on the type and amount of drug involved and whether the offender possesses the drug for his or her own use or is a seller, manufacturer, or distributor. Other factors also play a role.
Yes, drugs are illegal. This very fact is what discourages many Americans from using drugs. However the illegality of the substances in question do not stop all people from using. Despite the severe punishment users of illicit drugs face if caught, illicit drug use is widespread in the United States. “According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse's 1992 National Household Survey, more than one in three Americans (36.2%) have used illegal drugs at least once in their lifetime, nearly 28 million Americans (11.1%) used them in the previous year, and almost 14 million Americans (5.5%) used them during the past month” (Skolnick 3).
Currently the government spends $47.8 billion a year on prohibition enforcement, according to a 2010 Department of Economics, Harvard University report by Jeffrey A. Miron. Yet despite the exorbitant amount of money being spent fighting this “war on drugs”, drugs are still prevalent on our streets. According to an article published on CBS News website in 2008 by Jennifer Warner, the US leads the world in illegal drug use with a whopping 42.4% of Americans admitting to having tried illegal drugs at least once. In 2009 a the federal Substance Abuse ... ... middle of paper ... ... York Times. 24 Mar.
In Craig Renarman's and Harry Levine's article entitled "The Crack Attack : Politics and Media in America's Latest Drug Scare," the authors attempts to expose and to deal with some of the societal problems that have related from the over-exaggeration of crack-cocaine as an "epidemic problem" in our country. Without detracting attention away from the serious health risks for those few individuals who do use the drug, Renarman and Levine demonstrate how minimally detrimental the current "epidemic" actually is. Early in the article, the authors summarize crack-cocaine's evolutionary history in the U.S. They specifically discuss how the crack-related deaths of two star-athletes fist called wide-spread attention to the problem during the mid-1980's. Since then, the government has reportedly used crack-cocaine as a political scapegoat for many of... ... middle of paper ... ...d substance.
In America, marijuana is the most used drug after alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana is used by millions of Americans, despite the harsh laws illegalizing the drug. Some states, such as Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Efforts to legalize the drug in other states have been unsuccessful such as Proposition 19 in California, which failed in 2010 despite uptight campaigns. Billions of dollars are spent at the state, local, and federal level to fight the use of marijuana.
Cardiovascular complications of cocaine use. New England Journal of Medicine, 345(5), 351-358. National Institute of Drug Abuse (2010). Cocaine: How is Cocaine Abused? Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/how-cocaine-abused on 24th March, 2014.