The effects of Marijuana

In this the last week of our three part series ‘Effects of (Insert Drug Here),’ we as a staff decided to close by showing you the effects of marijuana.

Before we dive into the controversial topic of marijuana, however, let’s recap part one and two of the series.

In week one, we looked at the short and long term effects of meth. We also shared a personal story from a member of our news staff.

Then in week two, we looked at the short and long term effects of alcohol, as well as recent stats from alcohol related crashes in Oklahoma. We also shared another personal story pertaining to alcohol as well.

Now for week three, we decided to take a look at not just the short term and long term effects of marijuana on a person, but economically and publicly as well.

Marijuana is considered to be one of the most commonly used drugs on college campuses, according to dualdiagnosis.org.

In a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, 47 percent of college students have tried it at least once.

Looking at its short term effects, however, students who partake in the use of marijuana should refrain from doing so.

According to drugfreeworld.org, marijuana smokers would experience sensory distortion, panic, anxiety, poor coordination of movement, lowered reaction time and an increased heartbeat as a result of short term usage.

For long term users of marijuana, they would oftentimes experience a suppression of their immune systems, growth disorders, rapid destruction of lung fibers and permanent lesions (injuries) to the brain.

They would also experience apathy, drowsiness, and lack of motivation, which would result in difficulties in studying as well as personality and mood changes.

For a person, the use of marijuana could prove detrimental, and for an economy, it could prove just as problematic.

According to the article ‘Marijuana Legalization’s Costs Outweighs its Benefits’ by David Evans, special advisor to the Drug Free America Foundation, the argument that we can tax and regulate marijuana and derive income from it is false.

This statement comes as a result of the legalization of marijuana controversy that is currently buzzing throughout the United States.

“The increased use will increase the multitude of costs that come from marijuana use,” Evans said. “The costs from health and mental wellness problems, accidents and damage to our economic productivity will far out strip any tax obtained.”

Other economic issues that arise from the legalization of marijuana pertain to the public safety side of the economic spectrum, for example, in that of drugged driving.

Studies have found, according to another one of Evans articles, ‘The Economic Impacts of Marijuana Legalization,’ that drivers under the influence of marijuana typically exhibit reduced reaction speed, frequent lane-weaving and they are twice as likely as unimpaired driers to be involved in traffic accidents.

Also within that article, Evans said the legalization of the drug presents issues with current and long-term fiscal costs exceeding the tax revenue from marijuana due to the variation in regional demand for the drug, future demand of the drug, revenue allocation among levels of government and regulatory compliance and enforcement.