Marijuana, no matter how common its use may be, should remain illegal to possess and use.

The case for marijuana has been an extensive one. Most people have rather distinct feelings on the subject, saying it either should or should not be criminal. Many who believe it should be decriminalized say it should be done for medical purposes and those against it often cite the damages it does to the human body.

Marijuana is a term for part of the Cannabis plant. Properties of Cannabis lead to the production of dopamine, the chemical in the brain responsible for making people “feel good,” according to Live Science. Marijuana is said to cause a relaxing feeling, numb the mind and ease pain.

Those who want the drug to be decriminalized are often supporters of its use in medicine. Marijuana has been given to cancer patients and those with other illnesses that cause extreme pain as a way to ease their ailments. It is also said to help with nausea and anxiety, although none of these claims have been studied enough, according to Live Science.

Marijuana, if properly regulated, distributed and researched, could possibly be used in medical practice, but because of the harm it can unleash on the human body, recreational use should remain criminal.

Research has shown that teens who smoke marijuana suffer from impaired thinking and coordination and can have lower IQ’s later in life, according to Live Science.

The use of the drug has also been linked to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, according to Live Science.

Marijuana is also said to cause a change in mood, body movement, the perception of senses, thinking and difficulty with problem solving, according to The mental effects of marijuana can also include hallucinations and paranoia.

Physically, the effects of using marijuana are also damaging. It can have the same effects on the lungs as smoking cigarettes. This includes coughing, phlegm build up and an increased chance of developing lung illnesses, although it is not certain if smoking marijuana runs a higher risk of having lung cancer.

Marijuana usage could also increase the risk for having a heart attack, as it increases heart rate. It can also be extremely problematic if a pregnant woman were to use it, as it increases the chance for her baby to have physical brain damage due to difficulty developing, according to

Many people who use marijuana use it as a relaxant. Many college students experiment with the use of drugs to aid in decreasing stress. Using marijuana as a release from reality may momentarily numb the mind but it could eventually lead to causing the very stress that requires it.

Some people say marijuana is not like other drugs- other drugs are manufactured while marijuana is a plant- and that it is not as dangerous to use.

Marijuana is like the mind’s cigarette. Cigarettes contain tobacco, a plant, which may not seem harmful, but can lead to the most common kind of cancer.

Although the physical effects of marijuana may not be as damaging as other substances, its mental toll is great. Marijuana, if properly studied and regulated, could perhaps one day be integrated into modern medicine as a treatment for pain or anxiety.

Until the day science can soundly prove that the effect it has on the human mind is not as dangerous as previously thought it should be considered criminal to both possess and use.