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Marijuana Legalisation: Positive and Negative Effects of Marijuana

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Legal Status and History of Marijuana in New Zealand
  3. Negative Effects of Marijuana
  4. The Benefits of Marijuana
  5. Conclusion
  6. References


Around half of young people have taken marijuana and in the years since, there is a rising number of people using cannabis (Abel & Casswell, 1998). One of the key drivers of this situation is that an increasing number of countries have legalised cannabis. Experts and society hold opposite opinions. Several people support the legalization of marijuana. On the contrary, some disagree due to the effects of using cannabis. This essay will first discuss the history of cannabis, then examine its negative effects, and then look at the benefits of marijuana on economic and medical.

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The Legal Status and History of Marijuana in New Zealand

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 prohibits marijuana consumption in New Zealand. This Act makes the use of marijuana constitute a crime without permission. According to United national office on drugs and crimes (2006), cannabis is one of the widely used illegal drugs. Approximately four million populations in New Zealand, which was ninth of marijuana utilization in the world. This act was revised since December 2018, Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act(2019) allow wildly use medical marijuana. Cannabis should reach far back into their history. Marijuana was used to textiles at that time. Then this used to analgesics. In 1927, New Zealand passed the law of the Dangerous Drugs Act, whose schedule listed, among other controlled drugs: ‘(a) Resin obtained from Indian hemp; (b) Preparations of which the resin from Indian hemp forms the base; and (c) Extracts and tinctures of Indian hemp.’ In 1965, New Zealand passed the law of Narcotics Act (1965) prohibits cannabis.

Negative Effects of Marijuana

The biggest controversy over cannabis is the health hazard. A number of researchers support that Cannabis has negative effects on the brain. Smoking marijuana can significantly change the mental state, the serious consequence of using cannabis will change the state of consciousness, which is characterized by euphoria, relaxation, changes in perception. However, when changing consciousness leads to short-term memory loss. The use of marijuana can cause memory disorders because tetrahydrocannabinol changes the way the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory formation, processes information. Most of the evidence supporting this claim comes from animal studies. For example, rats exposed to THC in the womb, shortly after birth, or adolescents show significant problems with specific learning/memory tasks later in life. In addition, cognitive impairment in adult rats is associated with changes in hippocampal structure and function caused by adolescent THC exposure (Iversen, 2018).

Increasing evidence showed that cannabis used people to cause potential mental illness and contribute to personality disorders in patients with confirmed schizophrenia. According to Caulkins, Hawken, Kilmer, and Kleiman (2012), the definition of schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized by detachment from reality, usually auditory, strong false beliefs, abnormal thinking and behavior. Whether smoke marijuana causes the effect of mental health, such as schizophrenia and depression or not. For example, research showed Acute exposure to cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids (Spice / K2) can cause various transient psychotic symptoms, cognitive deficiencies and psychophysiological abnormalities, very similar to schizophrenia. In people with mental illness, cannabinoids can worsen symptoms, cause relapses and negatively affect the progression of the disease (Radhakrishnan, Wilkinson, & Souza,2014).

The Benefits of Marijuana

Medicinal marijuana can efficiently reduce physical pain for patients, especially for cancer patients who have nausea or vomiting after chemotherapy. Therefore, A great number of people believe that the legalization of recreational marijuana should delay its implementation. The immediate priority is to promote the legalization of medical marijuana. After all, Several media have reported that medical marijuana is relieving cancer patients’ pain and treating HIV infection, chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, neuropathic pain, and multiple sclerosis spasms (Hill, 2015). Chronic neuropathic pain, depression caused by AIDS or other chronic non-cancer diseases, pain caused by insomnia or cancer, and palliative treatment can be improved through the use of medicinal cannabis. A recent study found that high flavonoid cannabinol products were used to treat seizures in children, 11% of which stayed as normal, 42% had a seizure frequency of more than 80%, and 32% had a 25 to 60% Frequency of seizures (Porter & Jacobson, 2013). There are many research institutions on the medicinal properties of cannabis. Most of them are related to THC, one of the cannabinoids in cannabis. THC makes people feel ‘high’ and gives cannabis a specific medicinal effect. The body produces cannabinoids, the natural form of cannabinoids. Studies have shown that the endogenous cannabinoid system helps regulate the body’s response to a variety of stimuli. The body produces endogenous cannabinoids as needed, but this effect is temporary. Endogenous cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body but are particularly prominent in the brain. Cannabis cannabinoids bind to these receptors and have multiple effects. You may also feel uncomfortable with certain medications, such as relieving pain and anxiety. In addition to the medical uses listed above, research has shown that cannabinoids can delay the onset of certain cancers (Andreas, 2011)(Nugent et al., 2017).

In addition to the health benefits of cannabis or pain relief, the legalisation of marijuana also brings considerable economic benefits. The government can impose a consumption tax. When legalizing cannabis, the most important economic benefit is tax. Taxation and revenue generation are some of the major arguments for legalizing recreational marijuana (Miron & Zwiebel, 1995). For example, the Secretariat estimates that this market may conservatively generate annual tax revenues total $ 1.3 billion at the state and city levels, which is a combination of state and local sales and excise taxes, Assuming what other jurisdictions have passed, state revenue will be up to $ 436 million, cities up to $ 336 million, and outlying provinces around $ 570 million. Of course, the total revenue realized at the state and local levels depend on the result of the legalization effort (City of Surrey,2018). This may attract more immigrants and increase the population and society. For example, Colorado raised 35,500 to 36,900 new residents between 2014 and 2015. Until 2015, due to the legalization of cannabis, Colorado has increased by 3.2% of the population, became the second fastest-growing state in the United States (Tomoski, 2018).

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To summarise, the text above showed how cons of legalising normal marijuana and the pros of legalising medical marijuana. The society might argue the legalisation would cause a lot social problems after people overused the entire drug. I believe having a complete and structural legalisation could prevent this situation happen. I agree legalising medical marijuana as it could mean a huge boost which is the taxation on medical marijuana to the economy and huge revenue for the country. On the other hand, legalising medical marijuana could treat diseases which is more effective than the traditional way.


  1. Abel, S., & Casswell, S. (1998). Cannabis Police: issues and options. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Medical Journal.
  2. Andrea, S. R. (2011). Marijuana uses, Effects and the Law. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
  3. Caulkins, J. P., Hawken, A., Kilmer, B., & Kleiman, M.A.R. (2012). Marijuana legalization what everyone needs to know. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  4. Dangerous Drugs Act, No.18. (1927). Retrieved from
  5. Hill, K. P. (2015, June 23-30). Medical Marijuana for Treatment of Chronic Pain and Other Medical and Psychiatric Problems. Clinical Crossroads, 313(24), 2474-2483.
  6. Iversen, L. L., (2018). The science of marijuana. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  7. Miron, J,A., & Zwiebel, J. (1995). The Economic Case Against Drug Prohibition. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(4), 175-192.
  8. Misuse of Drugs Act, No.116. (1975). Retrieved from
  9. Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act, No.42. (2019). Retrieved from
  10. Narcotics Act, No.45. (1965). Retrieved from

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