Say No to Pot

Eli McCalmont, Staff Writer

Marijuana has been an extremely tough issue, especially in America, for a long time. It was only until very recently when this issue became a normality for many, something ordinary. It was in December of 2013 when Washington State said yes to pot, joining only Colorado to legalize marijuana at the time. Since then, 17 states have joined them. It is a necessity that America prohibits cannabis; for them to say no to pot.

   One of the many downsides of the legalization of marijuana is the fact that mental health and the brain are greatly impacted by the use of marijuana. According to, “A British Journal of Psychiatry study stated, ‘There is good evidence that taking cannabis leads to acute adverse mental effects in a high proportion of regular users.’” A fair amount of the time, people who are taking this drug are trying to get away from their problems for a time. However, after the effects of the drug wear off, anxiety or other feelings of depression may kick in. A survey published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal discovered that 22% of cannabis users experienced anxiety and/or panic attacks after marijuana use and 15% experienced psychotic symptoms. Other effects of using marijuana include schizophrenia, Temporary psychosis, and other psychiatric disorders. Also, according to an article in The Liberty Champion, in the short term, marijuana use can affect thinking, coordination, movement, and time perception. The article also goes on to say that brain development, attention, memory, and learning can also be affected in the long term. It is not right to allow potentially clueless people about the symptoms to feel the repercussions. In some situations, teens are pressured into taking cannabis without understanding the full extent of the side effects.

         Using marijuana also vastly impacts physical health. Smoking marijuana can damage lung tissue along with respiratory issues. According to, “Research shows that smoking one marijuana joint is as damaging to the lungs as five tobacco cigarettes.” With cigarettes as damaging to health as they are, smoking one joint of marijuana equaling five cigarettes is incredibly dangerous, especially for many teens. Also, cannabis can hold three times as much tar and five times as much carbon monoxide concentration as tobacco. Are we willing to take all of these risks just to feel good for a while? This would be extremely selfish because traffic deaths involving marijuana rose 62% in Colorado after the legalization, according to They also record that “Jim Leal, former Chief of Police of Newark, California, said of legalizing marijuana, ‘You are commercializing a product that is just going to put more impaired drivers on the road, worsening a problem that we already have. What officers are seeing with THC levels being very high is they are seeing impairment being far worse than they have ever seen in the past.’”

         The use of marijuana needs to stop. The U.S government must prohibit the recreational use of marijuana so to make an effort at preserving the wellbeing of its citizens. If this does not occur, many people will continue to suffer from psychiatric illnesses and/or respiratory issues.