The Marijuana Legalization Movement

Subject: Public Health
Pages: 1
Words: 399
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

Finding its roots in medicinal, recreational and spiritual practices of ancient peoples, marijuana is widely known by most people. In today’s world, the stigma around cannabis use, as well as drug use in general, is being challenged. The growing recognition of the drug’s benefits, coupled with a changing view on countering addiction makes marijuana central to larger drag debates. It is highly used for medical and recreational purposes in the majority of states (Yu et al., 2020). Marijuana legalization, and the efforts to normalize its use has had significant impact on the youth of today, including both minors and young adults.

The way cannabis affects people’s health is bilateral, meaning that both proponents and advocates have sufficient ground for an argument. Even though it is one of the most commonly used drugs within the United States of America, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Marijuana relieves pain but can cause cognitive impairment, short-term memory issues, decreased feeling of satisfaction, and risk of using other psychotropics (Yu et al., 2020, p. 1). The COVID-19 pandemic affected the number of adolescents using marijuana. Maria Luisa Paul (2021) states that “forty-four percent of college students reported using cannabis in 2020, while it was thirty-eight percent in 2015” (para 5). It means that marijuana has become more popular among youth because of its legalization. Current research declares the fact that non-smoking adolescents are more successful in their educational outcomes and more likely to finish school or obtain a degree than their cannabis-using peers (NIDA, 2020, para 1). It is essential to mention that teenagers with low self-control, greater seeking sensation, and more externalizing behavior are more likely to try marijuana as well as young people with rebelliousness, risky sexual behavior, and delinquency (Berg et al., 2011, p. 101-102). In addition, cannabis is closely associated with an inability to think clearly, slowed brain function and other cognitive impediments following its use.

According to all the given information, it is possible to assume that the tendency of cannabis use to increase will continue because it has become more accessible for teenagers and young adults. In addition, the process of normalizing marijuana use for recreational and stress relief purposes creates a culture of acceptability, making the younger generations less hesitant to try the drug. It is vital for parents and educational institutes to provide information to young people about marijuana and its varied effects on health.


Berg, C. J., Buchanan, T. S., Grimsley, L., Rodd, J. & Smith, D. (2011). Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1(3), 101-108. Web.

NIDA. (2020). How does marijuana use affect school, work, and social life? Web.

Paul, M. L. (2021). College students reported record-high marijuana use and record-low binge drinking in 2020, the study says. Washington Post. Web.

Yu, B., Chen, X., Chen, X & Yan, H. (2020). Marijuana legalization and historical trends in marijuana use among US residents aged 12–25: results from the 1979–2016 National Survey on drug use and health. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1-10. Web.