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Jacob Hunter
Professor Tallman
English 251
11/13/18
Marijuana smoking age should be lowered
Many think that marijuana is dangerous as well as the smoke it releases, but studies show that cannabis smoke has far more benefits than negatives. Many countries have the legal marijuana smoking age at 18, like Amsterdam, Canada, Jamaica, and Uruguay. The recreational marijuana smoking age should be lowered to 18 in California, because marijuana smoke is not as harmful as other smoke, such as tobacco.
In California as of January 1st 2018, recreational marijuana is legal for those of age 21 and older. As of June 8th 2016, the tobacco smoking age is 21 before that it was 18 since 1992. Some will argue whether or not marijuana smoke has more negatives than positives, but most can agree that tobacco smoke has more negatives than anything. What is really in smoke though? A lot of people think all smoke is the same and just as harmful, but that is not the case according to the article “Is smoking cannabis just as bad as smoking cigarettes?” The “author states in this article that not all smoke is the same and some can do more damage than others.” When you take a closer look into tobacco smoke you will find many carcinogens that are related to damaging the raspatory system and that can also lead to many different forms of cancer. Referring to the previous article it is “stated that 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer is caused by tobacco smoke and that tobacco is associated with more than 400,000 deaths within the united states.” Now when you take a close look inside marijuana smoke you can clearly see that there aren’t any carcinogens in it that will lead to any form of cancer if burned. The two main compounds you will find in cannabis smoke are THC and CBD, both do not contribute to hurting the body or causing lung cancer.

There are multiple other countries who have decriminalized marijuana and have the recreational smoking age lowered to 18 take Canada for an example, they have the age as 18 but in only some parts and others is 21. Another country who has the recreational marijuana age at 18 is Amsterdam, along with Uruguay and Jamaica which is as low as 16.
A few oppositions on marijuana smoke might be that it kills brain cells or that it can kill you or it can cause cancer. Lets begin with the argument cannabis kills brain cells, first of all it’s a myth, according to the article “Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells?” The author states that, “Instead of killing brain cells, cannabis may actually stimulate the production of new ones.” “One of the other oppositions is that cannabis can kill you, that again is a myth, cannabis has yet to record a single death by over dosing.” The last opposition is that marijuana can cause cancer of any kind, that is not true, as a matter of fact according to the article “All smoke is not created equal,” “studies have so far failed to identify an association between cannabis smoke exposure and elevated risks of smoking-related cancers, such as cancers of the lung and neck.”
That’s why the recreational marijuana smoking age should be lowered to 18, because the smoke it expels is far less harmful than tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke is far more dangerous and was legal at 18 before 2016 cannabis should be given the same opportunity including the fact it has many benefits that clearly outweigh the negatives.

Work Cited
Armentano, Paul. “What Are the Risks of Marijuana Smoke, Compared to Tobacco?” Alternet, 2016, www.alternet.org/drugs/what-are-risks-marijuana-smoke-compared-tobacco.

Solomon, Perry. “Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells.” Medical Marijuana Card | Easy Online Process, 2015, www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/56ce341bc475c20008000085/does-marijuana-kill-brain-cells.

Wilcox, Anna. “Weed Smoke VS. Cigarette Smoke: Which Is Worse?” Does Cannabis Help Parkinson’s Disease?, 20 Apr. 2017, herb.co/learn/weed-smoke-vs-cigarette-smoke/.

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