SHOULD MARIJUANA BE LEGALIZED IN NIGERIA
The issue of marijuana use have gain much momentum around the world. Here we look into the pro and cons of the veggie.
Weed also known as marijuana (or cannabis) is a hotly debated topic round the world. Many countries have vowed to never legalise it, some countries have decided to look into it while a few have legalised it. The impact on society especially the young people is a major reason. There’s a difference between Medical Cannabis and Recreational Cannabis use. The reluctance of many governments round the world on Cannabis is certain risks associated with unlimited unregulated recreational smoking. It’s quite a hot topic that even UK only allows medical use.
The truth is that Weed/Cannabis has different impacts on different people. It’s quite difficult to say with any certainty what effect it is going to have on a particular person. Especially if we are talking of taking the Cannabis in the form of smoking it. The mistake people make and the misleading assurance Weed takers give non Weed takers is the misguided notion that “oh it’s no big deal, I take it and it makes me relax, if I’m fine with it, you would be fine too”. Actually that’s not true. Weed affects people differently.
On one hand, Cannabis may make some people more talkative, more “relaxed”, maybe more “confident” and possibly appreciate colours or music better because everything just literally feels exceptionally good in a way. There’s those category of people. However on the other hand, Cannabis makes some people more hungry, more sleepy, more tired, more exhausted, time feels like it’s slowing down. For those not used to it, it can make them feel sick or faint or just generally unwell. So it’s hard to tell what effect it will have.
It affects some people’s ability to drive. Now imagine a situation where someone takes Weed and then loses concentration which causes an avoidable accident leading to loss of lives, then what happens in that sort of situation? How would you feel if you were a victim? It affects some people’s memory, their ability to learn, makes some people confused, anxious and paranoid; It can cause psychosis, hallucinations and mental health problems, It may affect the unborn child of a pregnant woman; It’s this sort of risks that make many worry.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there were 455,000 cases in the emergency room because of cannabis use in 2011. These statistics include visits in which the patient was treated for a condition induced by or related to recent cannabis use. And I concede one can make same argument on alcohol and say why is alcohol legal if alcohol damages concentration, causes violence and ruin people’s mental/physical health. I agree. It makes no sense. But legalisation of one madness is no valid reason for more potential madness.
Unfortunately I don’t know what the numbers are for Nigeria but using those USA numbers for example, and looking at those statistics, that gives an idea of the weight of the potential problem and medical issues that can result from Weed consumption either directly or indirectly. Worsening Anxiety Memory deficits, Inability to concentrate, Difficulty with clear thinking, Increased risk of accidents Increased risk of psychotic behaviour- having delusions, hallucinations, seeing and hearing things that are not there. These are short term problems from Weed.
The smoke of Weed is said to contain over 50 known cancer causing toxic stuff- however medicine is yet to make a consensus on Weed directly causing lung cancer (like established for cigarettes). Smoking weed can cause coughing, difficulty breathing and bronchitis symptoms. On the Heart: Smoking weed has also been shown to increase the risk of having a heart attack by almost 5 times for the immediate one hour after smoking. It’s difficult to research some of these things because people who smoke Weed tend to use cigarettes and alcohol as well.
Does that mean Weed is totally useless? Medically, No. There is increasing evidence suggesting cannabis can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting during cancer treatment, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms in people. Remember the “medical” use of Weed is mostly NOT from the smoking of weed. The “weed” used medically usually comes in form of capsules or tablet form. Smoking anything is mostly problematic medically- simply because smoke hurts the lungs- so in medical usage, it’s not smoked.
So can anyone tell for sure what damage the recreational smoking of Weed will have on anyone? No. Can we say for sure wether it would ruin the person’s life or not? No But is there a real chance that Weed completely destroys a young person and lands them in a mental home? Yes. Is it only Weed smoking that is potentially harmful? No. Alcohol and Cigarettes are probably worse. So what’s the way forward? In MY OPINION, it is difficult to give a direct answer especially in a lawless country like Nigeria that it is almost impossible to regulate anything.
The IDEAL thing would be to AT LEAST look into the medical use of Weed as countries like UK and Canada have done- because at least if doctors are convinced that a patient suffering from very bad spasms from Multiple Sclerosis can find relief from it, then let us also consider it. But again, this is Nigeria. Even things that should be on STRICT regulation, like Codeine syrups, we have seen how that turned out. The massive systemic looseness with the control and regulation of anything in Nigeria is what scares me the most on the topic of Weed/Marijuana.
If we were a country that has effective regulation processes, I think legislating Marijuana is something to AT LEAST look into, mainly for its medical benefits first of all. But when you consider the many other risks associated with Marijuana use, you start to fear for what will happen if a country like Nigeria with youth struggling with poverty, illiteracy, unemployment now get free access to legalised Weed, then what happens? It is a difficult subject matter. There’s NO straightforward answer. But this is my position.
You Can Also Read