Top Pro & Con Arguments


Marijuana has dangerous side effects.

The National Institutes of Health offers a litany of negative mental side effects, including “altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors), altered sense of time, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty with thinking and problem-solving, impaired memory, hallucinations (when taken in high doses), delusions (when taken in high doses), [and] psychosis (risk is highest with regular use of high potency marijuana).” [40]

Physical side effects include breathing problems such as “daily cough and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections,” an increased heart rate (which, in turn, increases the risk of heart attack), and Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (“regular cycles of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, sometimes requiring emergency medical attention”). [40]

Further, between 9% and 30% of people who use marijuana are at risk of developing a substance use disorder. And, with THC levels steadily increasing, the potential for addiction only grows as users need more and more marijuana to feel the desired effects. [40] [43]

Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000 and recreational marijuana in 2012. The state saw a 40% increase in cannabis-related emergency room (ER) visits between 2012 and 2014. Colorado hospitals have seen a 50% increase in marijuana-related cyclic vomiting syndrome. Burn admissions also increased. [44]

However, these are the known side effects. Because the drug has not been studied as thoroughly as other drugs, there may be unexpected consequences to medical marijuana use. [44]

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