For many years now, marijuana has been outlawed in many countries including India and many states of the USA. Although many pot legalization advocates have been trying to get marijuana decriminalized, here are the top 8 reasons why was it made illegal in the first place.
1. Linked to Fashionable Criminal Lifestyle
Cannabis is associated with criminal activities. Moreover, there is a social stigma attached to the consumption of weed. Marijuana is associated with stoners or potheads who do not have much to do in their lives. This is one of the reasons why was it made illegal in the first place. Although India opposed the classification of weed under hard drugs, it had to buckle under pressure and eventually, criminalized it in 1985. (See How much is a pound of weed?)
2. Harmful for Respiratory System
There is substantial evidence of the harmful effects of marijuana on our respiratory system. Marijuana is associated with lung diseases and lung inflammation. Its heavy usage is also suspected to be associated with reduced pulmonary function. Furthermore, its use results in an increased risk of lung cancer.
3. Social Safety Implications
Another reason why was it made illegal in the first place is due to social safety implications. Marijuana impairs your ability to judge time, distance, and speed. It also slows down your reaction time and reduces the ability to track moving objects. So, it has a negative effect on social safety of the individual consuming it as well as those around him. Studies show that marijuana is most likely an impairing factor in as many fatal driving accidents as alcohol. Hence, its ban or status as a controlled substance seems justified.
4. Deemed Addictive
Controlled Substances Act of 1970 has classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This means that this drug has potential abusive properties. Pot advocates argue that weed is not as addictive as the government perceives it to be. However, this addictive perception continues to be one of the reasons why was it made illegal in the first place. (See What is the difference between a blunt and a joint?)
5. Lack of Proper Advocacy
Pot advocates claim that marijuana cures all diseases and even facilitates creativity, moral progression, open-mindedness, and a closer relationship with God. Citing these reasons, they have been trying to get marijuana decriminalized. But, all of these arguments sound very unrealistic and insufficient to fight for the decriminalization of weed.
6. Lack of Acceptable Medicinal Use
For many Americans, marijuana has yielded many medicinal benefits, including alleviating diseases ranging from glaucoma to cancer. But these benefits are not accepted by health institutes on a national level. Hence, its use in medicine still remains open to debate.
7. Association with Heavy Narcotics
Another reason why marijuana is illegal is its association with hard drugs. Although marijuana is not a narcotic, it was included as such in the anti-drug laws written earlier. This association stuck on and even now, weed is considered to be one of the abnormal recreational drugs along with cocaine, heroin, and others. So, this is one of the reasons why was it made illegal in the first place. (Also read Narcos Summary: Descenso – Episode 1 Season 1)
8. Inertia in Public Policy
The ban for any activity/substance is unstable if the same has been prohibited only for short periods. However, if the ban has existed for such a long time, it usually goes unchallenged and takes a lot more time & effort to be unbanned. Legislatures and voters naturally accept the status quo and do not challenge the ban. This is yet another reason that marijuana is illegal and remains to be.