Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

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Many believe that Marijuana is addictive, and for that reason, should not be legalized. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as marijuana use disorder, which in severe cases takes the form of addiction.” According to recent data, it is suggested that around 30 percent of marijuana users may suffer from some degree of marijuana use disorder and people who started using marijuana when they were younger than 18 are 4-7 times more likely to develop this disorder (“Addictive”). Similar to addiction, this disorder is associated with dependence to marijuana, which means that the user may feel withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. These symptoms can include irritability, decreased appetite, and sleep difficulties. These generally last about a week or two after giving up the drug (“Addictive”). This happens when the brain’s production of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters slows or stops because it has adapted to large amounts of marijuana (“Addictive”). Marijuana disorder becomes an addiction when the user is unable to stop using even if the effects of marijuana interfere with many aspects of their life (“Addictive”). In 2014, it was estimated that about 4.176 million people in the US, roughly 1% of the total population, abused or were dependent on marijuana, but it is hard to estimate the number of people addicted to marijuana because epidemiological studies of substance abuse use

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