In the year 1937, the United States government made the drug marijuana illegal. This ban had little effect on people until the mid 60's and 70's. This was a time where many mind altering drugs where experimented with and widely used. During this time was also when marijuana research took place. Early researches was vague and bias, but in the years after many legitimate studies have been conducted, and both sides of the issues have been revealed. While looking at these studies with an open mind, one can conclude that marijuana should be legalized. Even though there are some health risks associated with marijuana, it is no different than legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco. .
Marijuana does have negative health aspects. The main hazard linked with marijuana is the smoke inhaled by the user. This is an interesting point because most marijuana users are not exposed to as much smoke as a tobacco user, and only smoke as much marijuana as necessary to reach their desired effects. Also recent studies show that the marijuana produced today is much more potent than it was thirty years ago. This only makes the hazards less because it will be safer to the user since less volume of smoke will be required to reach the same desired high. Marijuana smoke is very similar to tobacco smoke, and tobacco smoke has been found to cause lung diseases like cancer and emphysema, but marijuana users typically do not smoke anywhere near the volume of marijuana as tobacco smokers smoke tobacco. .
The other major effect marijuana is said to have is psychological harms. There was a time that marijuana research made it appear as if there was a structural change in the brain of heavy marijuana users, but modern research has disproved those studies (Co and Goodwin 1229). While a person is intoxicated they tend to perform poorly in auditory functions, and this is due to reduction of blood flow to the temporal lobe of the brain (O" Leary and Andreasen 422).