Most people are motivated to reach their goals. They will work hard to get what they want and to build a more prosperous future for themselves and for their families. However, there are a variety of factors, both physical and psychological, that can skew people’s incentive to succeed. Among these are depression, physical illnesses, and addiction. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, cannabis, also know as marijuana, can affect all three of the above factors and even the brain itself. Legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes would have negative impacts on personal health which is also bad for society. It would also increase underage use, decrease the amount of tax revenue, and enlarge the number of illegal drug dealers.
Despite these negative effects, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States (17.4 million past-month users) according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. More than 29 million Americans ages 12 and older — 11.5% — reported using marijuana within the past year, a significant increase over numbers reported each year from 2002 to 2008 (NSDUH). Although no deaths have been recorded due to the use of cannabis, effects of long-term use are detrimental. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, "hijacks and corrupts" the natural process of endocannabinoids, a key family of chemicals that help guide the brain in proper maturation, says Ruben Baler, a neuroscientist with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). These chemicals "play key roles in memory formation, learning, decision-making," says Baler. In addition to effecting brain formation, marijuana usage can also cause impaired short-term memory, slow reaction time, impair motor coordination, reduce judgment and decision making ability, increase heart rate, and lead to addiction, respiratory problems and decreased motivation. This decreased motivation may, however, be more than just a side effect. Decades ago,...
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