Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

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The topic of the legal use of marijuana in Canada is a highly debated issue, and with the incoming Liberal government pledging to consider the legalization, much debate is taking place among Canadians. The legalization of marijuana in Canada can benefit one’s health in a variety ways, which this paper will discuss. In Canada marijuana should be legalized provided that one is an adult, mentally sound to make one’s own decisions, and is living in a civilized society. This paper will provide background information on marijuana and it’s uses and benefits, discuss the current marijuana policies in Canada, and then use utilitarianism and libertarianism ethical theories and principles to defend this claim, including paternalism, the harm…show more content…
There are over seventy psychoactive compounds in cannabis, which are called “cannabinoids”, one of them being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Greenwell, 2012). THC accounts for the majority of the psychological and physical effects of cannabis, and is often used to measure the potency of the drug (Greenwell, 2012). These cannabinoid compounds connect to cannabinoid receptors, and alters the way that the brain or nerve cell functions, often leading to a reduction in the intensity of pain that the brain interprets (Greenwell, 2012). This interaction leads to the variety of benefits which cannabis offers (Greenwell, 2012).
Cannabis can be used to help treat many symptoms and diseases, such as neuropathic pain, which is present in 3% of the population (Lake, Kerr & Montaner, 2015). Although many users of cannabis use it recreationally, many others use it to help treat health problems, such as pain, psychiatric disorders, troubles sleeping, gastrointestinal issues, multiple sclerosis (MS), arthritis, HIV/ AIDS, and neurological disorders (Fischer, Murphy, Kurdyak, Goldner & Rehm, 2015). Cannabinoids can also stimulate one’s appetite, treat nausea, act as a sedative, and reduce anxiety (Ault, 1999). Many of these users report improved health outcomes from using cannabis, which can as a whole result in lower strain put on the Canadian health care system, should the incoming Liberal Government legalize marijuana in Canada (Fischer et al., 2015).
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