Government Opinion: The Positive and Negative Aspects of Teen and Adult Marijuana Use

The question of whether or not marijuana should be legalized has sparked passionate debate on both sides for many decades now. This debate often involves many elements, from health concerns associated with smoking, to the economic impact of legalizing cannabis. There is also the matter of how smoking marijuana impacts different demographics – the effect on young people versus adults.

The complicated nature of this debate is reflected in the lack of consensus when it comes to government policy on the matter. Laws that control access to marijuana vary drastically from country to country, and from state to state. In China, for instance, possession of marijuana is regarded as a most serious criminal offense. Places like the Netherlands, however, allow the sale of marijuana to those over 18 from stores, as if it were tobacco or alcohol. In the middle of these two extremes, there are places such as Portugal, in which the drug is decriminalized but not necessarily legal. Many countries do not allow the sale of marijuana for recreational use, but permit its prescription in a medical capacity.

The contested nature of marijuana’s benefit means that it is often presented as a topic to be debated. Many university students will turn to the topic when asked to write an essay or persuasive argument. Writing a paper on the topic of legalizing marijuana and make a sort of a study is in fact a great way for students to inform themselves of the risk and benefit of using cannabis. As the use of marijuana is often very common among young people, it’s important for college assignments like this to involve the youth in the conversation.

Writing a good essay about legalizing marijuana requires students to investigate a number of topics and weigh up the good and the bad through current studies. Students interested in doing research on the cannabis debate for their own education can turn to examples of  catchy marijuana essay topics for inspiration since digging deep into the topic is a great way to write interesting papers, while also informing yourself! Here are the basics of arguments both for and against the use of marijuana.


Especially since its association with the counter cultural hippy movement in the 1960s, many governments and conservative groups have campaigned to suppress the use of marijuana. The drug has been portrayed as dangerous and even sinful, and any health benefits it may offer have been denied. Those who smoke marijuana have often been characterized in the media as being deviant or lazy.

While many understand that this negative portrayal of marijuana might be the result of bad press or paranoia, it’s important to remember that cannabis is in fact a psychoactive chemical. Any drug with psychoactive properties can induce states of anxiety and distress in users. There are many famous cases of users having a negative experience, including uncomfortable levels of paranoia, after smoking. Many also argue that using such substances at a young age can impair growth and brain development. And, of course, there’s the argument to be made that smoking any substance has a negative impact on the respiratory system!


The cannabis plant has demonstrated a lot of potential for use in medical treatment. In countries like Germany and Israel, it is prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, and a host of other afflictions. When it comes to reforming legislation regarding marijuana, many are quick to point out that the illegality of the drug doesn’t prevent its use. Rather, legalizing cannabis gives government oversight over the regulation of its sale. What’s more – the government can make a lot of money from taxing the sale of marijuana and take that income away from gangs and drug dealers.

The only way to change attitudes towards the treatment of marijuana use in society is to steer the conversation away from fear-mongering and lecture and towards a balanced debate. Students can contribute and turn their universities into centers for this debate by choosing to research, write about, and discuss the topic!