Marijuana is one of the widely used prohibited drugs, with millions of users throughout the globe. Various policies have been put in place in various countries to deal with use of marijuana, but still the number of users continue rising over time (Thomas, Kloner and Rezkalla, 2014). The United States is among the leading countries with most marijuana users throughout the globe; a problem that has spread to its neighboring countries, especially Canada. It has been proposed that legalization of marijuana could have positive effects; but then, this is a controversial issue. On one hand, it is argued that marijuana should not be legalized because of the health complications associated with its use. However, on the other hand, it is asserted that the smoke of marijuana has many similar components as tobacco smoke, but it is not clear whether it has the same adverse effects on pulmonary function (Pletcher, et al. 2012). Besides, it is claimed that if properly used, its negative health effects are minimal. Nevertheless, because of its effects on the body systems and mental health complications, marijuana should not be legalized in Canada. To the end, the focus of the paper will be assessing why marijuana should not be legalized in Canada, citing nursing perspectives.
Besides, marijuana has been associated with cardiovascular effects, especially among users of 40 years and above. Although more research is required to shade more light on its cardiovascular effects, preliminary studies have indicated there is a connection between the use of marijuana and the degree of development of severe myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, and cardiomuopathy. On the same note, marijuana various studies have shown that marijuana has an effect on coronary microcirculation (Stephens, et al, 2007).
Various cases of cerebrovascular effects of marijuana use have been recorded in various parts of the world. Particularly, a number of deaths of during the use of marijuana have been put to record. Medical practitioners argue that there is a likelihood of strokes occurring during the actual inhalation of marijuana in intervallic and heavy users of marijuana. Moreover, marijuana use has been linked to peripheral effect. Particularly, the drug is said to be one of the causes of cannabis arteritis among the users (Thomas, Kloner and Rezkalla, 2014).
Over the years, cases of mental health problems among marijuana users have been increasing. People with mental disorders, particularly psychosis, schizophrenia, and depression are likely to use marijuana, or have used in the past for a long time. In fact, high cases of these problems have been reported among regular users of this drug, with about double the risk (Filbey, Dunlop and Myers, 2013). In particular, due to the fact that use of marijuana causes noxious psychosis, it is alleged that it would intensify the warning signs of schizophrenia. It is imperative to note that interest on the relationship between mental complications and marijuana use is growing with time. Although studies indicate that not all those who use marijuana suffer from mental health disorders, it has been shown that such individuals are at a higher risk of suffering from the same (Filbey, Dunlop and Myers, 2013).
Lastly, smoking marijuana is also associated psychological effects. Users often state that they tend to experience spiteful psychological effects such as paranoia, anxiety, or panic. In some cases, some users are likely to become confused, and start experiencing delusions or hallucinations. In addition, it affects fertility among men, especially the regular users. Medical practitioners argue that marijuana use leads to lower sperm counts, which could eventually lead to infertility (Johns, 2001).
In conclusion, as mention above, legalization of marijuana is a controversial issue. However, from my own opinion, as a nurse, marijuana use should not be legalized in Canada; citing the various points that have been discussed above. It is evident that that clear evidence linking marijuana with some of the above mentioned cases is yet to be found; but preliminary studies have indicated adverse effects of the drug on human health. Marijuana smoke has been found to be having similar components as that of tobacco. Studies have proved the nature of damage that tobacco smoke has on the respiratory system, as well as its connection with certain kinds of cancer. Therefore, considering the similarity of marijuana and tobacco smokes components, then it is logical to argue that marijuana is harmful for human health. Hence, marijuana should not be legalized in Canada.
Filbey, M.F; Dunlop, J; and Myers, U.S. (2013). Neural effects of positive and negative incentives during marijuana withdrawal. PLoS PNE 8(5)
Johns, A. (2001). Psychiatric effects of cannabis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 178; 116-122
Pletcher, M.J; Eric, V; Ravi, K; Joshua, R; Monika, S; Stephen, S; Feng, L; and Stefan, K. (2012). “Association between marijuana exposure and pulmonary function over 20 years.” The Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 307, No. 2; 173-181
Stephens, S.R; Roger, A.R; Stephenie, A.F; Carl, W; and Rabdy, S.B. (2007). The marijuana check-up: promoting change in ambivalent marijuana users. Research Report,Vol. 203; 947-957
Thomas, G; Kloner, R.A; and Rezkalla, S. (2014). Adverse cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular effects of marijuana inhalation: what cardiologists need to know. Am J Cardiol, Vol. 113, 187-190