Marijuana should not be criminalized due to the following reasons. First, the health risks such as impaired attention, lung cancer, and schizophrenia that are associated with the use of marijuana can also be caused by the legalized drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. Thus why should marijuana be criminalized due to the health risks associated with it yet other drugs that cause the same health risks have been decriminalized? Second, the regular users of the drug normally develop personal norms and values that help them to use the drug responsibly. Regular users also tend to reduce the rate at which they use the drug over time. This means that the use of marijuana is not very addictive as it is believed to be. Thus the health risks associated with marijuana are not likely to be very serious.
Third, the level of availability of marijuana in countries that have criminalized it and those that have decriminalized it is not significantly different. Thus legalizing the drug is not likely to cause a sharp increase in its supply. Besides, the mere increase in its availability will not lead to an increase in the number of citizens who consume the drug if they are aware of the dangers of its consumption. Through appropriate legislation, the government can introduce laws that define who should sell or buy the drug to prevent its use among teenagers. Thus its legalization will not be a threat to the welfare of the minors. Finally, the social costs that are associated with the use of marijuana in terms of morbidity, expenditure, and mortality are low as compared to drugs such as alcohol. Consequently, marijuana should be legalized since the demerits that are associated with its use can be managed.