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Marijuana which is also called weed is the dry byproduct of dried flowers of cannabis sativa which is usually smoked in pipes or rolled in cigarettes

Marijuana which is also called weed is the dry byproduct of dried flowers of cannabis sativa which is usually smoked in pipes or rolled in cigarettes. It is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the United States. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug use and Health, about 22.2 million people have used it in the past (National Survey on Drug Use & Health 2015). The common use of marijuana is among adolescents and young adults because of the belief that it is not harmful. Several large epidemiological studies have shown increasing trends on a number of indices of marijuana use among college samples (Dvorak, Raeder, Kramer, Sargent, Stevenson & Helmy 2018). For instance, college entry is associated with marijuana initiation and use of other drugs and alcohol and as a result leads to problematic outcomes.
Effects of Marijuana
There are many risks associated with the use of marijuana. It affects mental, lung and heart health. The regular use of marijuana during adolescence is of particular concern, since use by this age is related to an increased likelihood of deleterious consequences (Volkow, Baler, Compton & Weiss 2014: 2219). Addiction is caused due to long-term use of marijuana. Scholars have found that it can negatively affect academic achievement and decrease likelihood of high school completion (McCluskey, Krohn, Lizotte & Rodriguez 2012). Furthermore, it is associated with teenage pregnancy, delinquency and dropping out of school and increased car crash. Aside these negative effects, marijuana have some medical effects. It is used to reduce post-traumatic stress disease symptoms and also to stimulate appetite (Nickel 2018).
Marijuana Legalization
Majority of Americans have agreed with the idea that marijuana should be legalized. More than half of the US states have legalized medical marijuana and several states have legalized it for recreational use but it remains illegal under the federal law in spite of states’ actions (Donnelly ;Young 2018: 693). Research has shown that the 10 states with the highest rate of marijuana use among the youth all have legalized it recreationally or for medical use whereas the other states with the lowest rate of marijuana use among the youth hasn’t legalized it (Donnelly & Young 2018: 694). These other states legalized marijuana because of the tax benefits even though it overshadows the harmful effects of their use.
It appears that the legalization of marijuana may do more harm than good. The use of marijuana would increase among the youth which will lead to a lot of adverse consequences. There should be school- based educational programs to educate the youth about the use of marijuana and the effects and also discourage them from using it.