With many people around the world smoking Cannabis for the purpose of pain relief of all types, one can easily see that it provides very clear benefits. Though, as with all forms of medication, there always arises a high chance of encountering undesired side-effects. The most well-known detriment smoking marijuana can have on an individual: the weakening of synapses in the hippocampus, an area of the brain crucial to memory formation. You can read more in the article "How marijuana makes you forget," published by the journal Nature in 2012. Having said this, it shocks me to see how quick some misinterpret marijuana as a "golden bullet" of sorts, and the level to which people promote its disproportionate use.
Seeking The Argument For
Humankind's darkest moments arise when people begin to believe and regurgitate pseudologic and propaganda as if it were truth. The dark ages serve as a prime example of this. Needless to say, when I see people promote the use of marijuana with arguments like "compared to alcohol, it's by far not as dangerous," and "it won't cause you cancer," I cringe. With that logic, one might as well suggest that their clinically depressed friend take up alcoholism to numb the emotional pain because "it's better than committing suicide," or allow their child to eat paste daily because "doing so won't cause them cancer." But I digress. Nevertheless, this comes as a gross abuse of logic and I advise extreme caution when dealing with such claims.
Regardless of whether the logic used holds validity or not, the medical professionals who understand the underlying implications of the medicine best suit the task of referring its use to those who truly need it, not Joe Blow the enthusiast who believes in the fallacy that the whole world will benefit from its global and daily use. In reality, the need to medicate with anything really only arises when the pain one is dealing with inhibits their day-to-day functioning, and once again, as with any medication, it serves only as a temporary relief until the individual can find a more sustainable and internalized way to manage the pain. To constantly depend on a medicine until your last days would more than likely mean that it was the medicine itself that actually led to your own undoing, a failure to cauterize and promote self-healing; eternal dependency does not equate to truly living.
So if most reasons carry no weight, and professionals best determine the rest, then what reason can the common individual use to justify their smoking pot?
Try not needing a reason...
It doesn't matter if your state or province sees smoking marijuana as legal or illegal. You still have the right to the choice to do so or not, and without needing to justify your actions to anyone. Honestly, whether you believe it or not, most people don't care about your habits so long as they don't affect their lives. But remember: whatever your decision, you are still responsible for the consequences of your own actions, at the end of the day—even if that means admitting guilt when facing fines or jail-time for doing something you probably knew was illegal.
The Argument Against
Let me speak plainly. I have no quarrels with those that choose to light up a joint in the privacy of their own home. I myself used to smoke at one point, also. I respect the decisions of others as their own, and above all, I speak from a neutral stand-point and try to maintain it throughout my writing (thanks to years of scientific training), as hopefully proven by my willingness to explore both the reasons for and against the prolific use of marijuana. As such, I will admit that the only real argument against it lies again in personal choice, and the simple decision not to. Unless, of course, you are trying to give others unsolicited and illogical advice, telling them to smoke marijuana—in which case, please refer to the situational arguments made in the section above.
In truth, like most things in life, there are both harmful and helpful aspects to the smoking of weed, and everyone still has the choice to smoke it or not. But there is a difference between wanting to and needing to, and that line should be clearly understood. Most recreational users that could probably live without it are more than likely doing themselves more harm than good with excessive use, and to promote excessive use in unnecessary cases can encourage others to unknowingly do themselves harm for no reason other than poor logic. Enjoy life! If you enjoy weed and find benefit from it, that's wonderful! If you are harming yourself with overuse but are happy because you can make the choice to do so, then that's fine! But don't say nobody warned you if you suffer as a result, and more than that, don't encourage others to pick up your potentially harmful habits simply because you are excited about it. Please, be a responsible stoner.