Research Summary 3

Gitlow, Stuart. “Marijuana Legalization Is a Risk Not worth Taking.” CNN. Cable News Network, 30 July 2014. Web. 29 July 2015.

Dr. Stuart Gitlow  attened medical school in New York and is the president and founder of the American Society of Addiction and Medicine. He is also the chairman of the scientific advisory board of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Dr. Gitlow compares marijuana to tobacco in order to state his point. Although the number of people smoking cigarettes have decreased tremendously, he states that in the 1980s the number was higher and people smoked everywhere. However, even though the smoking rates have dropped there is still a huge problem when it comes to smoking – they cause illness and early death.

Dr. Gitlow points out that marijuana just like tobacco is an addictive drug. Every “1 in 6 teens who start using marijuana will become addicted.” Not only will teenagers become addicted to marijuana but those who choose to smoke more frequently will cause their brain to be effected negatively. Heavy users 25 and under can “experience a drop in IQ,” while long term users can “experience psychiatric disease.”

Besides the effects marijuana has on the brain, Dr. Gitlow suggests marijuana should not be legalized because their is too much of a risk. Although it can not be scientifically proven yet that marijuana can cause early deaths, he states “we’ll have to wait a generation to find out, just as we did with tobacco.” However, he is not suggesting that the children of this generation should be “guinea pigs” to discover if that is an actual effect of marijuana.

Aside from the effects it will have on teenagers and the brain, Dr. Gitlow argues there will not be an increase in revenue for the government from the legalization of marijuana. Instead he points out that there are a “small percentage of state prisoners [in prison for] marijuana offenses.” The number of people being imprisoned will not drop drastically, therefore not having a big effect on the economy. Instead, legalizing marijuana will cause the United States to “lose money.” As stated by Dr. Gitlow, the revenue from marijuana will not cover the money lost by “illness” that the “taxpayers will [have] to pay.”

In other words, Dr. Gitlow is stating that “a brief high is not worth all the known risks.” Marijuana should not be legalized since it actually does not benefit the economy and most importantly, it will effect the children of this generation.


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