Recreational use of marijuana quickly became popular in the United States in the 1960’s and it has been used by millions of people over the last century. The drug known as cannabis was banned by the U.S. Federal Government in 1937, but it is estimated that 14.8 million Americans still use marijuana (How Marijuana Works, http://www.howstuffworks.com/marijuana.htm). Can a drug that is so popular really be bad enough to be illegal? The answer is yes: marijuana is harmful to users and those around people who use it. Recreational marijuana should not be made legal in the United States because of many important factors. Secondhand smoking is a very popular phrase used in cultures where tobacco is smoked, and there are many concerns that smoking marijuana can create the same effect as tobacco second hand smoking. Smoke can be inhaled by using tobacco and research has proved that you can inhale the smoke from being around someone using the tobacco. Inhaling this smoke can lead to many problems such as lung cancer.
Dr. Leslie Walker from Seattle Children’s Hospital said “There is no case were inhaling smoke would be a good thing. Especially for young children. There is no scenario where inhaling smoke would be a good thing for a growing child regardless of what is being smoked.” (Smoked out: Secondhand pot smoke raises concerns, http://q13fox.com/2012/12/13/smoked-out-secondhand-pot-smoke-raises-concerns/). Not only is there secondhand smoking that threatens health, but there is also substance abuse. Marijuana is the leading cause of substance dependence along with alcohol in the United States. Underage users make up a vast majority of illicit drug abuse, and in 2008 the use of marijuana accounted for 4.2 million of the 7 million people aged 12 or older (Why We Should Not Legalize Marijuana, http://www.cnbc.com/id/36267223/Why_We_Should_Not_Legalize_Marijuana).
Using marijuana causes a person to be under the influence, which means one cannot think clearly to problem solve and make clear decisions. Driving accidents happen very often because of those under the influence of alcohol and other illegal drugs. If marijuana is legalized the drug-impaired driving will also increase. In a recent national roadside survey of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.6 percent tested positive for marijuana or its metabolites, nearly four times the percentage of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 g/dL (2.2 percent).