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Is the Government Morally Justified in Declaring Some Drugs Illegal?

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Is the Government Morally Justified in Declaring Some Drugs Illegal?

There are all kinds of drugs. Whether or not the drug is illegal or not depends on what drug we're talking about. It is important to look at both the bad effects and long-term effects, such as addiction, when determining legality. Certain drugs, such as prescription drugs like Ritalin, are illegal to the people who abuse them. They are designed for people who need the drug and can be dangerous if taken without seeing a doctor first. Other drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, are illegal to everyone. The government has put a block or law on these. These drug laws are supposedly for your own good. It is the type of drug and its effects that determines whether or not it should be illegal. When it comes to drugs, there are various aspects that need to be considered.

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug of abuse and is currently illegal. Individuals who have tried the drug describe it as a powerful experience that gave a "high" and a feeling of dominance. Because cocaine is so highly addictive, once someone starts taking it, one cannot predict the extent of drug abuse or the continuality. The ways to take cocaine include: sniffing, snorting, injecting, and smoking. Health risks are present regardless. Smoking has slightly higher health risks. It allows extremely high doses of cocaine to reach the brain much quicker, resulting in an immediate, intense high. If injected, the drug user has a risk of contracting HIV/AIDS if needles or other injection equipment is shared. Physical effects are what make this drug illegal, and so highly dissuaded. The effects include constricted peripheral blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It's also said that you will have a feeling of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety (both during use and in between periods). Once addicted, it is difficult to be broken out of the habit and death is very likely a possibility.

High doses of cocaine, or just lengthened usage, can trigger paranoia. Smoking crack cocaine increases aggressive behavior. Alcohol mixed with cocaine compounds the danger each drug poses and causes a complex chemical interaction within your body. The human liver combines cocaine and alcohol to produce a third substance, coca ethylene. This enhances cocaine's euphoric effects and possibly increases the risk of sudden death. When addicted users stop abusing the drug, many times, depression is followed. This then motivates re-addiction in the user to suppress the cravings. However, prolonged use has severe deteriorations on the body. Long-term effects include ulceration of the mucous membrane of the nose and can damage the nasal septum enough to cause it to collapse. Many cocaine-related deaths are due to cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest. When referring to cocaine and its legitimacy, the government strictly enforces the illegality of its use. Cocaine is not only highly addictive, but also deadly. In this case, the government is, for the most part, justified in declaring it illegal. The only argument is banning something that only affects the person at hand.

A more familiar, and highly debatable, illegal drug is marijuana. It doesn't have nearly the same health risks or addiction rates. The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocaccabinol). Short-term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning. There may be a difficulty in sight and problem solving, along with loss of coordination and increased heart rate. Researchers have found that THC changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by the hippocampus. This is vital for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations. It is a component of the brain's limbic system. Learned behaviors that depend on the hippocampus deteriorate.

Someone who smokes marijuana may have developed a cough, similar to tobacco users. Continuation of marijuana use can lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue, either injured or destroyed. Babies born to women who used marijuana during pregnancy have altered responses to visual stimuli, increased tremulousness, and a high-pitched cry. This all indicates problems with neurological development.

Marijuana's legality is highly argumentative because of the low risk fact that there is no physical addiction. It can be mentally addictive where you think you need it, but this is extremely different from the cravings experienced when desiring cocaine, or even nicotine in cigarettes. However, it is still a drug and this keeps it in the illegal category. Some states today are looking into allowing marijuana. It is about as dangerous as drinking milk. However, many studies have shown that it has lead to cocaine use along with other powerful drugs, thus giving it the name as a gateway drug and also reinforcing it's illegality. Though studies have shown loss in brain cells, there are many things in daily life that destroy brain cells, such as heading a ball in a simple game of soccer. Though a cough may develop, this is from heavy smoking and when inhaling, holding the smoke longer in the lungs.

Medication is also dangerous if used incorrectly. Ritalin, for example, is a medication prescribed to children with an abnormally high level of activity or with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is occasionally prescribed for treating narcolepsy. Ritalin stimulates the central nervous system, having effects similar, though less potent, to caffeine. Ritalin is the trade name for methylphenidate. It has a calming effect on hyperactive children and a "focusing" effect on cases of ADHD. When taken prescribed, and correctly, Ritalin is a valuable medicine. Research has shown that people with ADHD do not get addicted to their stimulant medications at treatment dosages.

However, it is considered illegal to people for whom it is not a medication. Its stimulant properties create cases of substance abuse. Some stimulant users mix Ritalin with heroin (similar to the hazards of cocaine), or with both cocaine and heroin for a more dramatic effect. Users in middle and high school crush and inhale the drug or take the pill orally. Another common case is parents abusing the drug from their children's prescriptions and having to be admitted into treatment programs. Because stimulant medicines such as Ritalin, and also others like Valium (a potent painkiller), have potential for substance abuse, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed stringent controls on their manufacture, distribution, and prescription. It is important to keep these drugs prescribed



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