AntiLegalization Thesis Essay Research Paper Ben EvenchikLegalization — страница 4

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also indicates that students have trouble remembering what they have learned while under the influence of marijuana ( When students were questioned about their memory after smoking marijuana, they replied by saying “from the time I [originally smoked] until I start coming down from my high, I can’t remember a thing. We could have a really deep conversation about something ridiculous and, hours later, I’d have no clue whatever we talked about.” (2001) Furthermore, marijuana impairs thinking, reading comprehension and verbal and mathematical skills ( Getting the proper education is difficult enough for most people. Does it really make sense then, to give students the opportunity to further impede their

academic progression with the legalization of a substance that would be nothing but detrimental to their overall success in school? When students were asked if using marijuana decreased their ambition to attend class, to participate in extracurricular activities, et., they responded by saying “Its terrible! When I’ve been smoking, I don’t care about anything. No joke! Its so easy just to say ‘fuck it’, about work, about school, about everything.”(2001). It is a well-known fact that the use of marijuana can lead to lowered ambition. Furthermore, an “amotivational syndrome” can develop in heavy, chronic marijuana users. This syndrome is characterized by decreased drive and ambition, shortened attention span, poor judgment, high distractibility, impaired

communication skills, and diminished effectiveness in interpersonal situations ( The legalization of marijuana would undoubtedly create a much larger user base, thus also decreasing the overall ambition of the American people. In this sense, the aftermath of marijuana legalization in America would be quite similar to Amsterdam, with the streets flooded with high school dropouts, beggars, pickpockets, drug dealers, and other men of the “black market” trade, much more so then there are now. It has been a popular pro-legalization tactic to assert that the legalization of marijuana would actually lower the crime rate because it would consequently put many drug dealers out of business while also reducing prison populations and creating a source of perpetual

revenue (Tonry & Wilson, 1990). Although legalization could indeed result in a lowered crime rate, this would only be due to the fact that most of the once illegal activity would then become lawful after legalization. But would legalization necessarily reduce other drug-related crime like robbery, rape, and assault? Presumably legalization would reduce the cost of marijuana and thus addicts might commit fewer crimes to pay for their habits (Tonry & Wilson, 1990). But, because marijuana would be extremely cheap under legalization, less expensive cannabis would feed their habit better, thus allowing for a greater amount of consumption. This however, would mean more side effects such as paranoia, decreased ambition, and possibly violence (Tonry & Wilson, 1990).

Suggestions that redefining the law can somehow eliminate crime are spurious. Simply by changing the definition of what a crime is does not in any way decrease the overall ubiquity of the crime. The extent to which individuals commit “drug-related crimes only” is overstated. Most incarcerated “drug” offenders violated other laws as well. It was found that only 2 percent (700) of those in federal prisons were convicted of pure drug possession (Tonry & Wilson, 1990). They generally committed other violent crimes to earn a sentence. However, 70 percent of current inmates were on illegal drugs when arrested and, if drugs become cheaper, violent crime could reasonably be expected to increase (Tonry & Wilson, 1990). In Amsterdam, the legalization of marijuana has

resulted in an increase in crime as well as a rise in addiction to other drugs like heroin and cocaine (Leuw & Marshall, 1994). The city currently has over 7000 addicts; a number that still grows with each passing day (Leuw & Marshall, 1994). With so many drug users in such a concentrated area, crime is inevitably going to ensue. These addicts have been blamed for 80% of all property crime in Amsterdam, while giving the city a burglary rate which is twice that of Newark, New Jersey, a city that has one of America’s highest crime rates (Leuw & Marshall, 1994). Furthermore, since the Opium Act was amended, shootings rose an astonishing 40 percent, car thefts increased 62 percent, and hold-ups rose 69 percent (Leuw & Marshall, 1994). Legalization in America would