Reefer Madness

Douglas Lamar Gray bought a pound of marijuana in a room at the Econo Lodge in Decatur, Alabama. He intended to keep a couple of ounces for himself and sell the rest to some of his friends. After paying $900 for the pot, Gray was arrested in a police sting operation. He was charged with trafficking cannabis, tried, fined $25,000, and sentenced to life without parole in the maximum security prison of Springville, Alabama. Unfortunately, Gray’s punishment is not unusual in the United States. Fifteen states require life sentences for certain marijuana offenses.

In Montana, a life sentence can be imposed for growing a single marijuana plant or even selling one joint. However, all these strict laws haven’t stopped Americans from smoking weed. Approximately one third of all Americans have tried marijuana at least once. Like the prohibition of alcohol, the prohibition of marijuana doesn’t work. Marijuana is a mixture of stems, leaves, and flowering buds from the Cannabis hemp plant. Marijuana has many street names such as pot, weed, grass, herb, ganja, dope, bud, dank, chronic, reefer, buddha, cheebah, keef, and hash.

Cannabis contains THC which when smoked or eaten has pleasure giving effects. The most popular way to use marijuana is roll into a cigarette or joint; however, marijuana can also be smoked through a pipe (bowl) or bong. Marijuana intoxication starts with lightheadedness and evolves into a peacefulness of mind. During marijuana intoxication, often called being high or stoned, there is a changed perception of time. It may seem like hours have gone by, but in fact, only minutes have elapsed. Many users also feel an increase in appetite (the munchies) and find humor in almost anything.

When compared to substances such as alcohol, marijuana use is relatively safe. In fact, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. Pot has a negligible therapeutic ratio, so you don’t have to smoke much to feel the effects. Furthermore, in clinical trials on animals, it has been shown that the ratio of effect to death is 1:40,000. If it takes one joint to get stoned, you would have to smoke 40,000 joints to overdose. The ratio for alcohol is between 1:10 and 1:20 depending on body weight. Unlike alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, marijuana is not physically addictive.

Although marijuana smoke contains more carcinogens than cigarette smoke, even chronic pot smokers rarely smoke more than one joint a day whereas the average cigarette smoker smokes twenty cigarettes a day. The incentive for farmers to grow marijuana is immense. While corn sells for a few dollars a bushel, pot sells for $70,000 a bushel. Drug cartels have sprung up in many poor third-world countries creating a vast black market. While the mobs of alcohol prohibition created crimes rings within cities, today’s drug cartels have created international crime circles.

The majority of the marijuana in the United States comes from smugglers dealing with the drug lords. Smugglers often cut drugs with components that are less than pure. These cut drugs often vary in potency. Furthermore, some marijuana is laced with more dangerous drugs such as angel dust. Governmental regulation of marijuana would allow pot to be subjected to state and national taxes. Marijuana could be sold and taxed just like tobacco cigarettes. The government could also set standards that would ensure quality and reduce the possibility of lacing.

Hemp, the plant that produces marijuana, has been used throughout history for many products. Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew the crop on their plantations. The hemp stalk can be mashed into a pulp which in turn can be made into paper. Hemp paper lasts longer than tree paper, does not yellow, and will not crack or harden. Hemp is also commonly braided into rope which will not rot in salt or fresh water. Textiles from hemp have been used to make artists’ canvas, tents, linens, towels, flags, and even rugs. As cloth, hemp is stronger, warmer, softer, and easier to grow than cotton.

Hemp is one of the hardiest plants around. Although it prefers warm humid climates, hemp can withstand frost and drought. Hemp can be so densely planted that it smothers all weeds eliminating the need for most pesticides. Popular Mechanics called hemp the “New Billion Dollar Crop. ” The THC (pleasure giving chemical) in cannabis has many medicinal uses. In the far east, marijuana has been boiled into a tea to treat ailments ranging from malaria to arthritis to anesthetic for centuries. In more recent times, cannabis has been shown to alleviate some of the side effects of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy has many gastrointestinal side effects that include vomiting, extreme nausea, ulceration, diaherra, and heartburn. While prescription drugs have little effect, marijuana can ease many of these side effects. As I stated earlier, many marijuana users report an increase in appetite. Patients weak from diseases such as AIDS and anoxia can use marijuana to increase their appetite and put on weight. There is a synthetic form of THC (marinol) but it is largely ineffective because it often put the patient to sleep before the appetite is stimulated.

There is also some evidence that THC can help control spasms associated with cerebral palsy, stroke, and epilepsy. Canada, Arizona, and California have already legalized marijuana for medicinal uses. Although there is a lot of evidence that THC is a valid medical tool, there is little incentive for further research. Since cannabis is illegal, it cannot be patented. Without a patent, research institutes are not be able profit from their research. The biggest fear with marijuana is not the drug itself. Many people feel that marijuana use only leads to harder drugs such as LSD, heroin, and cocaine.

This “Gateway Theory” is completely unfounded. Four million Americans use marijuana regularly- more than all other illegal drugs combined. It is true that most people who smoke crack or shoot heroin also have smoked pot. These people’s personality leads to experimentation, so it is only logical that they would try marijuana too. In the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal, the use of hard drugs is lower than here in the states. In Jamaica, where marijuana isn’t legal but very widely accepted, there has been no connection between smoking pot and harder drugs.

Marijuana, when legal, seems to act as a substitute for other, more dangerous drugs. The legalization of marijuana has been a very sensitive topic throughout our history. Successful attempts were made in the 1970s to reduce the criminal penalties associated with marijuana possession. In the 1980s the government struck back with President Reagan’s war on drugs. However, the public has once again become open to the idea of marijuana use. The time is right to push for the legalization of pot. Marijuana is once again socially accepted. Americans need to reaffirm our rights.

Marijuana – a drug that is legal in the United States

In society today, many people look for a feeling of freedom, Many people go on vacation and spend money. The most common gateway for people is drug. Our American society is facing a tremendous drug problem. In order to eradicate the drug problem, a public debate is going on to find some solutions to this drug dilemma. It has been highly controversial issue whether drugs such as marijuana should be legalized or not. Some people advocate this issue and believe that legalization is the only solution left for the nation while other oppose because it will increase the numbers of drug users and drug related crimes.

Marijuana is a drug that is egal in the United States. This drug is bad and cause some side effect to your brain and body. Scientists have found smoking marijuana can cause you to loses your memory. Marijuana has many psychological and physical reaction. These reaction usually last for three to five hours after a person has smoked marijuana. The psychological reaction, known as a high consists of change in the users feeling and thoughts. Such change are cause mainly by THC.

The effects of a marijuana high vary from a person to person and from one time to another in the same individual. In most cases, the high consists of a dreamy, relaxed tate in which users seem more aware of their sense and feel that time is moving slowly. Sometimes, however, marijuana produces a feeling of panic and dread. The different reactions result partly from the concentration of THC in the marijuana. Another factors, such as the setting in which marijuana is used and the user expectations, personality, and mood , also affect a persons reaction to the drug.

Long-term effects of marijuana are not completely known, but studies have shown that some people have used marijuana regularly for several months or longer have developed serious long- term problems(Lorimer). Among males, marijuana use can reduce the production of sperm and of the male sex hormone testosterone. Among females, it can cause menstrual irregularity and reduced fertility. Extended use of marijuana turn to crime to pay for their habits because drugs stimulate them and therefore act violently. If drug is sold legally, it will because easy for users to buy it around the corner.

Thus, it will increase the already existing problem of crime. Mechoulam mentions that every year drug lords make over twenty billion dollars from cocaine and marijuana business, and legalizes believe that legalization will wipe out their major sources of funds. However, drug use is a matter of supply and demand. As Bakalar as demand exists, someone is going to supply it, either legally or illegally. Supporters of legalization believe that if government regulates drugs such as cocaine and marijuana by imposing taxes, then the black market will be eliminated (Bakalar).

However, the higher the tax rate, the higher the price of the drugs, and not many users gangs who sell marijuana and cocaine under the market price. In addiction, children and teenagers will be obviously banned from purchasing marijuana and cocaine. Hence, legalization will encourage a growing criminal black market. The main benefit of marijuana legalization can be in medicine and will give patients with severe and dangerous disease a new and effective medicine to help them, Yes, marijuana can help in medicine. ” Marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known.

One of marijuana’s greatest advantages as a medicine is its remarkable safety. It has little effect on major physiological functions. Marijuana is also far less addictive and far less subject to abuse than many drugs”. Marijuana as medicine has been studied for many years. In some cultures, it is already used as medicine(Synder). There re many good uses for marijuana to be used as medicine, which will be discussed. The problem is that in order to be used in the United States as medicine, marijuana must be legalized. Many doctors already recommend that their patients break the medicine, marijuana must be legalized.

Many doctor already recommend that their patients break the law and get marijuana. That is because there is very strong evidence that marijuana works as a medicine. Marijuana is often useful in the treatment of the following disease: Cancer: Marijuana alleviates the nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite caused by the chemotherapy treatment. AIDS: Marijuana alleviates the nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite caused by the disease itself. Glaucoma: Marijuana by reducing interlobular pressure alleviates the pain and slows the progress of the disease(Adams 347).

This disease damages vision by gradually increasing eye pressure. It is the leading cause of blindness in United States. Multiple Sclerosis: Marijuana reduces the chronic often debilitating pain caused by a variety of injuries and disorders. In order to be effective, marijuana must be taken daily. It seems to be the most effective three hours after dosage, and last for five hours. Some critics contend that after taken for a eriod of time, the person may become tolerant to the drug and reduce effectiveness.

This is true for a lot of pain relieving drugs. A person cannot rule out marijuana because it has not been proven that a person will develop tolerance. ” Marijuana could benefit as many as five million patients in the United States”. This situation to many people is intolerable(Lorimer). Those patients who choose to stay within the law suffer and die, both from disease and from many prescription drugs that cause side effects. ” Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects, but marijuana is not such a substance. “

Also,by lifting the ban on marijuana and treating it like other drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, the nation would gain immediate and long- term benefits. In the book “Drug”, Vidal states, ” Nevertheless many drugs are bad for certain people to take and they should be told why in a sensible way” (Aikman). This change in the law would greatly improve the quality of life for many people. This successful use of marijuana has given many patients a much more positive outlook on their treatment. Many agencies which are anti marijuana such as Drug Enforcement Agency and police departments argue that marijuana shouldn’t be legalized(Mechoulam).

These agencies believe that marijuana shouldn’t be legalized because if marijuana is to become legal then thousands more patients using marijuana. Then people will raise the question why marijuana illegal at all if its a medicine. On the other hand, There is now an enormous amount of public support of medical marijuana. A scientific survey of oncologist found that 54% of those control medical marijuana availability and 44% have already broken the law by obtaining marijuana illegally. ” Thirty- four states letting patients with certain conditions smoke dope” (Adams 266).

States such as Texas, California, Massachusetts, have recognized arijuana’s therapeutic potential and have passed legislation supporting its value. These reforms could be passed throughout the nation with the help of people like you. Making drugs legal will reduce the great amount of money spent on enforcement every year. Drug dealers and users are one step ahead on the enforcement process. If one drug dealer lord is caught , another one will show up some where else. We cannot win. ” In 1987, 10 million dollars were spent alone just in enforcing drug laws.

Drugs accounted for about 40 percent of all felony inducements in the New York City courts in 1989. This figure in quadruple hat it was in 1985. Forty percent of the people on fedral prison are drug law violators”(Lorimer). One can only image what this figure would be like today. Too much money is wasted on a cause that seems to be no end to, ” In 1989 a Republican county executive if Mercer County N. J. estimated that it would cost him as much as 1 billion dollars to build the jail space needed to house all the hard-core drug users in Trenton alone” (Ailkman).

All Of this money could be used on better thinhs. Meanwhile, the only way for patients to gain legal access to marijuana as medicine is from the doctor. The patient must get a written note from the overnment and participate in a special program setup for them. We know that legalization is neither a reason nor rational policy for this country. One of the things that bother me most about legalization argument is the mixed message it sends to our young people(Bakalar 214). The legalization will advance a laissez- faire attitude about drugs.

By during research on legalization on marijuana I come to a conclusion that marijuana should be legalized in order to help people suffering from terminal diseases such as AIDS, Cancer and Glaucoma. Prohibition of marijuana over the past decades hasn’t deminshed the demand of the drug in the United States(Mecoulam). The use of marijuana has acutely went up due to the mass attention gain to marijuana by rappers such as Cypress Hill who promote the use of marijuana as a social drug.

Marijuana is here to stay in our society ands is only going through the stages that alcohol had during the prohibition era. Also, I believe that we must change public attitudes toward drugs and focus on prevention and treatment, but we must also maintain the laws that make drugs illegal(Snyder). Some of the drug such as marijuana and cocaine should be legalized for medical purpose. ” Polls and voter referenda have repeatedly indicated that the vast ajority of Americans think marijuana should be medically available.

A final important prevention strategy is to enforce the laws against illegal drugs in order to control their availability. There are many uses for marijuana, and many are unexplored. Actually some are explored in depth because of interest and other is left behind. There are problem many other uses that have not been found because of the lack of experimentation on the drug as a hole. If marijuana is legalized there will be much more research done on the drug, and hopefully the drug will begin to be approved for use.

Is There Any Medical Potential for Marijuana

Marijuana is one of the oldest cultivated plants (Nahas 8). Since it became illegal in 1967, there have been questions of whether or not it is good for purposes, such as medicine, other than being a leisure drug. Debates between pro and con groups for the use of marijuana in the medical profession, have been heated and in recent months, referendums have been pasted in a least three states to make it accessible for medical treatment. Personally, I feel that marijuana has the potential to be a significant help with certain aliments, however, more research needs to be done to maximize its potential.

According to Gabriel Nahas, the first people to introduce the potential healing properties of marijuana, were the Chinese. About five thousand years ago, the peoples of the plains of Central Asia, just of the north of the Himalayas, began cultivating the plant. Though it is not exactly certain what cultivation of the plant was for, whether it was for its oil, fiber or medical properties, most likely it was its fiber (11). The fiber of the plant is so strong that it can be used to make thick, sturdy ropes. Its seed also contains oil that can be used as a varnish.

In some countries the seed is used as bird and cattle feed and also in the manufacturing of soap (9). And something else that might not be common knowledge is that the seeds can be roasted and eaten. It is actually the flowers of a certain type of the plant that is used for its medicinal and intoxicating property (9). I say that the flower from a certain type of the plant because there is a common misconception that there is only one type of marijuana. Nahas reveals that marijuana is such a wild plant, that it easy adapts to any soil and new varieties then emerge.

Now is when the plants with stronger fibers, superior oils, and a more potent drug content is selected. Only around 1000 BC, in India and Southeast Asia, when the plant started to grow in that region, the intoxicating features were introduced and appreciated (9). So when was the plant introduced to the Western Hemisphere? There is archeological evidence that the plant was brought to Western Europe from Asia about 1500 BC, by the Scythian invaders and then later it reached the Mediterranean region (Nahas 9). However, the people of western Europe began cultivating it as a plant crop in their area about 500 AD for its fiber.

When the plant first came to Europe, it was not introduced to all the countries. Nahas states that the rest of Europe only got to know about the plant around the Christian era. No signs or evidence suggests that Europeans used marijuana for intoxicating purposes (9). Nahas book tells us that in the New World marijuana was introduced in the 16th century. It was brought over by both the Spanish and the British and in the Spanish settled areas of the New World, it was used for its fiber and its intoxicating properties were only discovered in the late 19th century.

In the United States, it was used for the production of rope and cloth until the 20th century and now it is widely a drug used preferably for pleasure (8-9) According to Nahas, it was about 1842, when an Irish physician, William O’Shaughnessy, who spent many years in India as a surgeon, introduced the Western world to the drug’s medicinal properties (247). Though Dr. O’Shaughnessy used marijuana for many different aliments and diseases, he found it most helpful in the relief of pain.

In his practice, he also found that the drug was most effective for convulsions occurring in rabies, rheumatism, tetanus, and epilepsy. It also seemed to be a help when it came to menstrual cramps and in the delivery room; helping with increasing uterine contractions and reducing childbirth pains (247). In more recent times, the National Institutes of Health-NIH has claimed that marijuana may be helpful in the alleviation of chemotherapy, to reduce nausea. The drug also helps in the stimulation of appetite and reduction of the loss of lean muscle mass in AIDS patients and in the prevention of epileptic seizures.

Plus, it aids in the reduction of fluid pressure in the eyes caused by glaucoma-which in fact causes serious damage to vision, if not blindness, and in the reduction of muscle pain and spasticity felt by multiple sclerosis patients (Marandino). In fact, many multiple-sclerosis patients say that when it comes to their motor functions marijuana has helped them a great deal. In other words it has help them to sustain and live a little better with the damaging disease (Dickinson). Some physicians even suggest that marijuana may be helpful to patients going through barbiturates, opiates, and alcohol withdrawal.

And though it has been said that the drug had very mild or no effects on asthmatic patients, (Nahas 252-53). Some patients claim that marijuana do help them: “I started to smoke the drug as my asthma became worse around 1992. I don’t believe in smoking and would not have until, you know, William suggested it. His cousin’s asthma was worse than mines and since he started to use marijuana it had cleared up. So, I decided to try it and it worked. It took about six months, smoking at least two joints a day and I also brew it to drink the tea.

And since ’93, I haven’t a problem with asthma. ” (Latanya Williams) Also, Brent Toney says, “I’m not going to lie, I have been using marijuana for years. I smoke it. I use the bush to draw tea. And what a lot of people don’t know is that the ashes can be used for cuts and scrapes. Every time I burn a little ‘corn’, I save the ashes for whenever I have a bruise or I get a cut. It doesn’t matter how deep it is, it dries up the wound within two days. As for colds, I don’t suffer from them. I don’t have to go to the doctor. I can’t tell when last I seen a doctor.

And I ain’t worried about getting lung cancer or brain damage, cause’ Father put the herb here for us to use. It’s people along the way that put other chemicals in it and spoiled it. But if you grow your own, it is the best remedy for anything. ” (Personal Interview) As stated before there are many different types of marijuana plants. However, within one plant there are more than 60 different attributes. Between the sixty, there is basically only one component that is being investigated (Talarico). This component is called THC, also know as delta-9-THC (Nahas 249; Talarico).

Lori Talarico describes THC as the resinous oil in marijuana that can be extracted from the plant. There is already a THC counterpart on the market that is known as dronabinol. This is duly noted. You could say this is called “medical marijuana”. The dronabinol is made into sesame oil and supplied in gelatin capsules (Talarico). This is how the drug is described: Dronabinol is a controlled substance, which affects the receptors in the brain and spinal cord. It has been marketed for anorexia and AIDS patients for weight loss and cancer patients for vomiting and nausea.

Some physicians also use it alone or with other drugs to treat epilepsy and glaucoma, and to relieve MS patients. However, it is not a go-to drug; it is not the first drug that doctors recommend. It is only used when all else fails. But, it has proved itself most useful to treat the vomiting and nausea and stimulates the appetite when the other medications can not help (Talarico). Besides all the things marijuana has been suggested good for there is still a negative association when it come to the drug. Some researchers say it causes brain damage, low sperm count, and lung cancer (Nahas 139; Abel 179).

However, though it is true that the sperm count is lower in some marijuana users, however the infertility rate is the same as non-users (Dickinson). Though when it comes to background studies on the reproductive system and marijuana usage, it is mostly done on male, a study in 1982 focused on a group of women who had been chronic marijuana users for a least 3 years. During the length of the experiment they were smoking about five to sixteen marijuana ‘joints’ a day. The study found was there was no change in their sexual hormonal production levels or the length of their menstrual cycle (Nahas 146).

As for lung cancer and brain damage, some say: “If marijuana ever caused a single death, it didn’t leave any fingerprints. ” (Dickinson). What these people are basically saying is though there have been claims that marijuana is a killer drug, there is no documented case that someone has actually died from using too much marijuana. However, some adamantly stand by their beliefs that marijuana is a killer and has no place in medicine. They believe the whole campaign for marijuana to be drawn into medical mainstream is all a big mistake.

According to Steve Forbes, “an insidious effort is under way to legalize drugs” (Forbes). Marijuana adversaries argue that there are other alternatives to marijuana, like Marinol, serotonin antagonists ondansetron HCI dihydrate, and granisetron HCI (Forbes; Talarico). Marinol for example is a synthetic form of the chemical THC like dronabinol. It has already been approved by the FDA and is basically made for AIDS patients enduring chemotherapy (Forbes). The HCI drugs have fewer side effects and can be also given to children (Talarico).

Basically, there are two concerns of having marijuana as medicine. The first, and not to sway from the main concern, has to do with the belief that the drug will be more abused than it already is. That is safe to say, since there have been cases to prove this. For example in the Netherlands where marijuana usage is legal and they have little ‘hemp bars’, the rate of abuse is higher (Forbes). So for instance, when Measure 57, proposed in Washington DC, which states that all you would need for access to the drug is a recommendation from the doctor, not even a prescription, there must be controversy.

The proposal also allows the patient’s primary caretaker, even a “best friend”, could help grow, use, or buy marijuana for the patient (Forbes). Another controversial proposal was Washington State’s Initiative 685. It calls for the legalization marijuana along with LSD and heroin (Forbes). Again, no prescription is needed and anyone in the medical field can give a recommendation. Doctors, pharmacists, and even veterinarians can give the okay for the drug. Also the patient only needs to claim a “serious” illness, no definition of serious is explained.

And oddly enough the proposal calls for all drug-related criminals to be released (Forbes). Seems like it may reap more havoc than be positive in helping those who it actually supposes to. The main concern of having marijuana as an alternative medicine is the effects that it may have on the patients. The adverse effects that have reportedly happened to leisure users are a major concern. Marandino’s article reports that marijuana has been accused of many things, such as affecting immune systems, smoke related health problems, and increased heart rate.

Though these side effects are serious, supporters of marijuana as medicine say that these side effects are common when it comes to a number of prescription drug (Marandino). Also, marijuana has been credited with creating psychotic episodes, memory loses and other manipulations of the nervous system (Abel 179). AIDS patients are even discouraged from using marijuana because it is not known the actual extent that the drug may damage their immune systems further than it already is damaged (Talarico).

Some of the documented effects of leisure users are disorientation to time and place, and difficulty in controlling bodily parts, along with a great sense of anxiety and panic, a sense of floating-being one with their surroundings, and just mere hallucinations (Abel 182-83). One ex-marijuana user describes his experiences while he used the drug: “First I used to feel good, having the giggles, laughing, etc. It started out as a once in a while thing, then as time went on, I started smoking on weekends, then it went up to everyday, so I could get that ‘feeling’.

I had to smoke just to think well and to relax. This went on for 4-5 years, just so I won’t have to deal with everyday problems. I had to stop because is started to make me paranoid. I taught that everyone was looking at me, examining me, analyzing me, wondering if they could smell my clothes with the weed scent, or if they could see my eyes red. Then I started to lose all ambition and became lazier as the days went on. I became a dependent on the ‘smokes’. Then one, I decided it was either my life or the ‘smokes’. and I chose my life. ” (Kwabena Johnson)

Though marijuana has been associated with mental illness and just sheer craziness, early reports had to be discredited because of flaws and inadequacies (Abel 189). In 1969-70, a study on 100 marijuana users was conducted. Out of the 100, twenty-one percent had a probable affective disorder (affective meaning that there was a disturbance on the emotional state of the person); eight percent had definite affective disorder, six percent probable sociopath, and six percent definite sociopath. Three percent had asexual deviance other than homosexuality and there was even 1 who had a schzio-affective disorder.

All in all fifty-two percent of the group received a psychiatric diagnosis (Abel 193). Some other effects that have been reportedly been connected with marijuana are unplanned change in appetite and weight, sleep difficulty, including hypersomnia. Complaints of loss of energy, agitation, irritability, withdrawal, suicidal ideas or death wishes, and self-depreciatory ruminations (Abel 191). The risk of these side effects makes some doctors hesitant to prescribe or even suggest marijuana as a medicine. However, to sum it all up, I basically feel that there are more positives about this drug than negatives.

Since, there are basically so many components in marijuana and so many types of marijuana, there can be a lot more research done to get the full potential the drug has to offer. The Federal government has definitely enough resources to do the proper research that is needed to pick apart what is good and what is bad. Since there is obviously therapeutic properties to this drug, I feel that if it at least gives a little relief to those who really need it then the proper authorities such continue to do what they have to too ensure that it continues.

Though there is no concrete evidence so far that tells us that marijuana will be the best remedy for the aliments that has been suggested that it can relieve, there is enough proof that it helps in some ways. Besides providing relief in major aliments such as cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS, marijuana is also good for minor things such as colds, cuts, and scraps. For the most part, marijuana users say that marijuana has enriched their lives. It enhances their creativity and provides insight. “It’s a source of positive pleasure” (Abel186). And if that is all the sick patients’ experience in the last days of their lives, then so be it.

Legalization of Marijuana

Legalization of Marijuana has been an issue in the country for around sixty years. Why have we made an issue of it? Why will people not just give up the fight for legalization? After all, marijuana is a drug. It sometimes leads to the use of more dangerous drugs like heroin or cocaine. There are several reasons people fight for this drug, and many devote countless hours to this seemingly hopeless cause. Marijuana is known as a gateway drug because it leads in some cases to more serious drugs. This could be happening because of the way people are getting the drug.

To get marijuana you must buy it from a drug dealer off the street. This also gives you access to the other drugs that are out there. If a person could just walk into a store and buy marijuana, maybe it would not lead to the use of other drugs simply because kids would not be around drug dealers. If you could buy marijuana at your local mini-mart without fear of punishment then it is possible that the use of other illegal drugs would Most Marijuana users are casual users. They fight for legalized marijuana because they feel it should be their right to be able to enjoy this drug when they want.

The government claims that legal marijuana would cause extremely widespread use and become an epidemic. They say that people would become dependent on the drug like tobacco or alcohol. Marijuana is not addictive. And is not associated with any major illness. It would seem that legal marijuana and illegal tobacco would be a more sensible idea. This is because marijuana has less serious effects on health. Also hemp, which is the main part of the cannabis sativa plant has dozens more uses than tobacco. Medical uses are reasons why this is such a large issue.

It has been known since he 19th century that marijuana has beneficial uses in medicine. Marijuana has been proven to help people suffering from diseases like cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma. Also marijuana can be substituted for more addictive and damaging drugs. So why is it that some people refuse to accept or allow legal medical use of marijuana? Many states are finally approving the use of medicinal marijuana. This in turn has helped ease many There are a lot of people in the country that are pushing to legalize the drug because of the bad image that it is giving America’s youth.

According to NORML, under president Clinton more than three million people have been arrested over marijuana charges. About 88% of them were for simple possession. Most of the people arrested were under the age of 25. I find it disturbing that a substance that is less harmful than cigarettes, is causing so much trouble for the youth of America. A simple marijuana possession charge could even diminish or end a person’s chance for getting a decent job. The legalizing of marijuana is a big issue with some people because of the financial aspects of the product.

Marijuana and hemp could be a lucrative business for farmers in the United States. Hemp is a versatile product. It can be used for things like rope, clothing, and can even be liquefied to form a polymer-like substance. In 1999 North Dakota became the first state to allow the cultivation of hemp. There are strict rules the cultivators must follow. The plants must be checked for proper THC levels. Also farmers must pay $150 for a license to grow the hemp. The North Dakota plan is modeled after Canada, which legalized hemp a year earlier.

Canada has shown strong economic benefit from the resource. There have been many textile corporations aid in the fight against legalizing hemp. As you can see they would stand to lose a lot of money if this unlimited In conclusion, people are fighting for this product because the benefits far outweigh the consequences. If the marijuana advocates keep up their fight, it is possible that in the future we will see legal marijuana. But until that day arrives, legal marijuana issues will be making headlines and constantly pushing for reform.

Hemp – the plant called “cannabis sativa”

Hemp is the plant called “cannabis sativa” which is more commonly called marijuana. Marijuana has been illegal in the U. S.. ever since the Great Depression. The question we must ask ourselves is “why? ” Why is a drug that has so many beneficial uses illegal? Is it because its poisoning the youth of today? Is it because itleads to harder drugs, the health problems, the addictiveness, the short-term memory impairment, the auto accidents,or is it simply because politicians tell us it is for “our own good? We have grown up learning that marijuana is a terrible drug, and that using it gives us rain damage, kill all of our brain cells, and makes us lose our memory.

The fact is though, that marijuana does not effect us in any of the ways listed above. The idea that marijuana impairs short-term memory is true, but misleading. Any signs of short-term memory impairment vanish once the user is no longer intoxicated. Mainly the reason we think marijuana is bad is because that is what the Partnership for a Drug-Free America wants us to believe.

They tell us that marijuana will cause brain damage and memory impairment, it will kill brain cells, and lead to more crime. But what they forget to mention is all the enefits we can receive from legalizing marijuana. For example, the medicinal uses, and the textile and construction uses. It is very likely that legalizing marijuana would decrease the crime rate, and by legalizing marijuana we will save a lot of money because we won’t have to spend it on fighting marijuana as part of the War on Drugs. There are many habits much worse than marijuana, one example being cigarette smoking.

Tobacco smoking kills more people each year than AIDS, heroin, crack, cocaine, alcohol, car accidents, fire and murder combined. Tobacco smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the US. Tobacco smokers have 10 times the lung cancer of nonsmokers, twice the heart disease, and are three times more likely to die of heart disease if they develop it. Does it make sense that tobacco is legal and marijuana is not, when so many people die from tobacco smoking each year and there is not one reported case of anyone ever dying from marijuana use in its 10,000 years of consumption?

You have probably heard that “one joint is that same as 10 cigarettes,” but this statement is misleading. ALthough marijuana contains the same amount of carcinogens as an equal amount of tobacco and more tar, tobacco is still worse. Every yr 350,000 Americans die from tobacco-related disease according to the American Lung Association. A tobacco smoker consumes much more tobacco than a marijuana smoker consumes marijuana. This is probably because tobacco has a 90% addiction rate while marijuana is less addictive than caffeine.

Also, tobacco contains nicotine that may harden the arteries and may be responsible for much of the heart diseases caused by cigarette smoking. Marijuana on the other hand contains the chemical THC which opens up the lungs and aids in the clearance of smoke and dirt. I think it is safe to say that tobacco smoking is much more angerous than marijuana smoking. Another bad habit is alcohol, which in my opinion is the worst of all. 8,000 American teenagers are killed each year and 40,000 maimed from driving under the influence.

The mortality figures for alcohol use are 100,000 annually, compared to the zero marijuana deaths. The amount of marijuana needed to kill someone is 1 to 40,000, while the ratio for alcohol fluctuates between 1 to 4 and 1 to 10. Not only do many people die each year from alcohol poisoning, but alcohol has caused thousands of fatal car accidents. Although, marijuana, when used to the point of intoxication, impairs udgement and reaction time, actual studies suggest that the effect alcohol has on one’s driving ability is much greater than that of marijuana.

In fact, it is found that 85% of marijuana related car accidents also involved alcohol. It is sad to think that a legal drug like alcohol, the drug of choice for most teens, causes so many fatalities on our highways each year, yet marijuana is the drug that is illegal. I personally feel that marijuana is an amazing plant, and it should be being utilized today. The problem is that most people don’t know the benefits that can come from marijuana. There are many different beneficial ways or which marijuana can be used.

Marijuana can be used for medical and textile uses, for food, for fuels, and for the economy. First of all, marijuana could be used for food. It is believed that enough food is grown worldwide to feed everyone and that famine exists because there are not sufficient means of distribution. So why not let people grow their own marijuana? Marijuana grows like a weed and has few insect pests. It is usually grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Hemp improves the quality of the soil because it is grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Hemp is not finicky and grows under any different conditions and has one of the largest worldwide distributions of any plant. It is very nutritious and it contains high amounts of protein and essential fatty oils. The average adult can receive an adequate amount of protein and oils from just one handful of hemp seed a day. If this is the case, which it is, why are people starving around the world when the solution is marijuana for food? Hemp could also be used for fuel. By using marijuana for fuel we could reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere. Hemp can also be used for heating homes.

Using marijuana for fuel ould not only help our environment save us a lot of money for fuel, but it would also benefit our economy by allowing the country to make huge profits because the cost of growing marijuana is virtually nothing. Another way marijuana can be used is for clothes, fibers, and paper. Marijuana has been used in the past for textile and construction and should be used today. For example, the first pair of Levi’s jeans were made from marijuana because it is extremely durable. ALso, sailors used marijuana in canvas for their sails because it does become corroded from the sea water.

The pulp fibers of marijuana can be used for aking paper, which would reduce the amount of trees that are cut down. One acre of hemp will make the same amount and quality of paper as 4 acres of 20 yr old trees without the need for chlorine in the bleaching process and, creating no toxic dioxin pollutants. What I’m wondering in why haven’t we used marijuana for paper all along? I think it is senseless that are constantly cutting down trees and destroying rain forests when there is another alternative. There is only 4% of America’s old growth forest still remaining, and yet we are still cutting them down like they will grow back instantly.

The fact is that it may take a ifetime for what has already been destroyed to grow back, so why keep ruining America’s old growth forests when growing marijuana grows much more quickly and it is cheaper? Most importantly, marijuana should be legalized for medicinal reasons. Hemp can be used to treat many diseases, some of which include: multiple sclerosis, depression, epilepsy, migraine headaches, asthma, glaucoma, cancer treatment, AIDS treatment, emphysema, and stress reduction. This list does not even include the many medicines that can be made from marijuana, it only includes the illnesses for which marijuana is used today.

Marijuana is ommonly used for controlling nausea and vomiting in cancer and AIDS patients that are being treated with chemotherapy or AZT. Because of nausea caused by chemotherapy, these patients sometimes can’t eat, which could kill them. One way of controlling the nausea is to smoke marijuana, but the problem is that it is illegal. So what are they supposed to do, starve? I don’t think there is anything wrong with smoking marijuana, especially if it means their happiness. My neighbor, Jason, has an aunt who is dying of cancer. She has very little chance of beating this disease, and wants to be comfortable for the time she has eft.

She doesn’t want to be on all the heavy drugs. She tells Jason that she would rather be in pain than be all drugged up. She hates feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and sedated. When she smokes marijuana she feels much better. The pain doesn’t go away completely, but at least she can function. I think the fact that she could be put in jail for smoking marijuana is terrible. It is okay for a patient to be on serious narcotics to kill the pain, but smoking marijuana is out of the question. Marijuana has no side effects, whereas drugs like Demerol and morphine have both short-term and long-term effects on the patient.

The short-term effects are dizziness, sedation, itching and rash, respiratory depression, delirium, decreased heartbeat, vomiting, disorientation, hallucinations, decreased cough reflex, and problems with urination. The long-term effects can actually be more serious than some of the illnesses, one example is liver damage. Marijuana, however, has no side affects, except sometimes euphoria, which is minor compared to the serious effects of narcotics. Glaucoma and multiple sclerosis are also illnesses in which marijuana is sometimes used. Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, is caused by ncontrollable eye pressure.

Marijuana helps control the eye pressure and keeps glaucoma from leading to blindness. Another illness that marijuana is used for is multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is the disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerve cells. Marijuana can stop the spasms from occurring and can prevent the disease from getting worse. Marijuana should be legalized in th US because it has medicinal and textile purposes which can benefit everyone. Marijuana can be used as a material for clothing and the effects it has on both cancer and AIDS patients are positive.

Marijuana is nexpensive to grow, allowing us to obtain a huge profit on the medicinal and textile industries, and it can be used as an alternative form of cigarettes. If the US government were to take hold of this operation, new jobs would open and money for the War on Drugs could be distributed to other programs. Marijuana must not be ignored or destroyed. Marijuana’s many uses are not and cannot currently be used to its fullest potential because of the drug laws. Among the most important uses of marijuana are for medical and health reasons, and textile and construction materials.

The undeniable truth is that the benefits that can ome from legalizing marijuana greatly outweigh the weak and unsupportive myths that keep this great resource from being utilized. The solution to this problem is to legalize marijuana and its many uses today. By legalizing marijuana, many problems would be solved. The only way for marijuana to be legalized though, is with the support and help of everyone. Now that you have a good understanding of what some of the many uses marijuana has, you’ll help to decide. The most important step to making marijuana legal is educating the public.

One of the biggest problems is that the people who know about marijuana and agree that it hould be legalized are too busy and too paranoid to help. If you are interested in helping, there are several organizations you could join. These organizations need your help with getting the word about marijuana out, so join one of the many committees in putting this issue onto the ballots and into legislatures of this country, where everyone can state their opinions in a straight forward manner set forth in our United States’ and individual states constitutions.

The Florida Legalization Organization is looking for sponsors for the Hemp Re-Legalization Act which will re-legalize hemp for food, fuel, fiber, medicine, ecreation, sacramental uses and almost all known purposes. One of the most important things you can do to help is talk about marijuana today, talk to friends, parents, co-workers, etc. Tell them you think marijuana should be legalized, you may actually be surprised at how many people will agree.

Talk about the medicinal uses for marijuana , and the many other uses you know about. You could photocopy fliers and literature and pass them around to friends or anyone for that matter. Spread the word about marijuana and have your friends pass the information along to others. Post fliers about meetings on campus or in he library. This is an easy way to inform people about marijuana. Mostly what these organizations need is volunteers, and funding for office supplies, printing, postage, transportation, telephone, etc.

You can also write letters to elected officials such as the president, senator, or state or local officials. Maybe even spend some time with a local group doing telephone outreach, folding and mailing literature, etc. Finally, you can donate money and resources to activist groups like NORML, BACH, HEMP, etc. I think that the best way in spreading the word about marijuana is by talking about it. Go to the rallies ith some friends that are unsure about the idea, and they can find out for themselves what it is all about.

Also, go to Hempfest, they are a lot of fun from what I hear. They usually are much more fun than rallies and they are very educational. So, if there is any question in your mind about legalizing marijuana you should definitely attend. Every year the number of people that go to Hempfest gets bigger and bigger, but it is still not big enough. They need your support. Whatever you do, do it right away, This is an important issue that needs to be resolved soon and chances are that if you don’t get started right away, you never will.

The Legalization of Marijuana for All Purposes

Drugs are major problem in our society today. Although the Canadian government has taken measures against drugs, in stiffening laws concerning the cultivation and trafficking of drugs and various media awareness programs, the problem continues to get worse. The government is exercising many options to control the problem or even solve the problem. It seems as if the “war on drugs” is a futile war or at least next to impossible to win. The government should consider using different options than ones they have used in the past.

The legalization of softer drugs like marijuana should be considered as one option. Some people may feel that this would lead to a sharp increase in its use, but it might be worthwhile because it would reduce the amounts of money spent on government enforcement of current laws, if taxed, it could increase our country’s revenue. The government could then focus on cracking down on the harder drugs like crack and heroine. The government should also legalize marijuana because of its several medicinal and industrial purposes. Legalizing hemp based products could create a whole new industry.

Fuels can be made by extracting oils from seeds and the hemp fiber could be sed to make ropes, clothing, or paper of a higher quality because of the strength of the fibers. 1 Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in Canada. Four million Canadians have used marijuana, including 1. 4 million teenagers. 2 The large number of users can probably be explained by the drugs relatively low cost and light criminal consequences for dealing it; when compared with other drugs. Since 1969 about half a million people have been convicted for possession and use of the drug3.

The Canadian government spends $100 million a year enforcing drug laws. 4 The criminalization of marijuana does not prevent people from using it, in fact it makes the problem worse. People continue to consume marijuana, laws just make it harder and more expensive to acquire. Since the black market has no regulations the consumers of drugs have to trust their dealers. What’s particularly dangerous about black market drugs is that they can be mixed with other drugs or chemicals and can be contaminated with pesticides.

When banning the use of marijuana the government also bans drug paraphernalia that impedes the production and marketing of water pipes and ther more advanced technology that could reduce the harmfulness of the marijuana smoke. 5 Since the price of marijuana is higher than it would be if it were legalized it is less economical to eat, which is the best way to avoid the harmful smoke; this is because it takes two or three times more marijuana when eaten to produce the same high when smoked.

The use of marijuana has steadily declined since 1979, and an Addiction Research Foundation survey in 1987 showed that four of every one hundred Canadians between the ages of 18 and 19 use marijuana on a daily basis. 7 The decline in the number of marijuana users since 1979 is probably a result of numerous drug awareness campaigns and the publication of other biased information on the subject. It could also be that hippies are getting older and more responsible. What is Marijuana? Marijuana refers to a mixture of leaves, stems and flowering tops of cannabis sativa8.

It has hallucinogenic and pleasure-giving effects on the user when smoked or eaten. Tetrahydrocannabinal (THC) is the non-narcotic psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. 9 Marijuana use has been documented as far back as 3000 BC in Central Asia and China, here it was used as a folk medicine. 10 By the 20th century the drug started to be used as a pleasure-inducing drug, and by the 1960s and 70s it was, after alcohol, the second most popular drug in North America. 11 Marijuana has never been proven to be physically addictive, but users develop a psychological dependency.

Users experience two phases of intoxication: initial stimulation, giddiness, and euphoria, followed by sedation and pleasant tranquillity. When marijuana is smoked the user feels the onset of the “high” within about seven seconds and within about 30 minutes when eaten. The drug brings the user to a relaxed and peaceful state, and sometimes to a euphoric state of mind. Hallucinations can occur when taken in high doses. The effects last between two to four hours after ingested, and the user can be left in a relaxed state for several hours after ingestion.

Short term memory is inhibited for the duration of the high, and users find it difficult to concentrate on complicated logical concepts like mathematics. Marijuana is not physically addictive, and in fact many users experience a reverse tolerance, this is where after long-term use smaller amounts of the drug eventually roduce the same high. 12 Some psychological dependence is possible. Studies have found that the psychological dependency is less than sugar or chocolate, but is more habit forming than anchovies. 3(Family Council on Drug Awareness)

No studies have found conclusive evidence that marijuana causes any long-term physical or psychological harm. Like smoking anything, however, long-term use can lead to higher risks of lung cancer. The health risk of smoking the marijuana can be eliminated by eating the plant, or can be reduced by smoking less of a more potent variety of marijuana. Family Council of Drug Awareness) According to leading doctors, nearly all drugs are toxic and have potentially lethal affects when taken in large amounts, but marijuana is not one of these drugs.

While over 100 thousand deaths annually are directly linked to acute alcohol poisoning no-one in the 4,000 years of marijuana’s documented use has ever died from a pot overdose14. Marijuana does have its negative affects, but they are quite pale in comparison to the social and health problems caused by alcohol. It therefore is illogical to prohibit the use of marijuana a drug has many more positive sides than lcohol or tobacco. Marijuana is said to cause an “amotivational syndrome”. 15 This is where the user is said to withdraw themselves from society and lose their ambition.

Scientific evidence supporting this theory is lacking. Scientists cannot conclude that these symptoms are caused by the use of marijuana or present in the user before they use marijuana. These symptoms are present in people who do not use marijuana. Many troubled people seek escape through the use of marijuana, and frequent use of marijuana may become one more in a serious of counterproductive behaviors of troubled individuals. Marijuana use is not limited to people of any identifiable group, social class or level of education; a cross-section of marijuana users is as diverse as the rest of the population.

The general assumption that marijuana users are lazy and lack ambition is just a myth. In a survey of a leading teaching hospital (no name given) it was discovered that over 60 percent of medical students were found to be marijuana user. 16 42,209 people were convicted of marijuana charges in the U. K. in 1991 and close to 90 percent of all drug offenses involved cannabis. 17 All this does is crowd the courts and the jails, and costs tax payers millions. If the government would legalize marijuana they could go after the more serious drugs like heroin and crack.

The U. S. government spends over a billion dollars on its “war on drugs,” when it could be making at least that much from legalizing and taxing it. 18 The average price of marijuana is about $10 per gram. These prices of marijuana are extremely inflated because of the risks of growing and selling it. Marijuana has very easy growing conditions and can be produced at far less cost than it is currently being sold for. Because of this the government could reasonably place high taxes on marijuana and till yield high profit.

Marijuana could be bought at convenient stores like tobacco is today, provide an temporary escape from the pains of everyday life, and bring in billions of dollars that the government could put to good use. The recreational use of marijuana does not create higher crime rates like most government policy makers seem to believe. The crime rates in Amsterdam (where marijuana is legal) are much lower than other cities in Europe and most major North American cities. 19 In fact the possession and trafficking of marijuana is the only crime most users of marijuana commit where marijuana is illegal.

The so called “War on Drugs is a complete failure. Prisons are filled with drug criminals costing the government millions, while drug use continues to rise. Legalizing and taxing marijuana and focusing their efforts against is a logical route for drug policy makers to take. The government could make money while putting the black market in disarray. The government could concentrate on the control of the drugs that are a serious threat to society.

Marijuana as Medicine Marijuana can be used for several medicinal purposes. Marijuana is effective for treating AIDS-related wasting and the nausea from cancer chemotherapy. 0 Other rescribed drugs are used but are often expensive and don’t always work. The drugs also have harmful side effects. Many of them cause hives, impotence, difficulty in breathing, tremors and rigidity and leukopenia. 21 Marijuana isn’t free of risks – it contains a number of toxins – but is far less toxic than many prescription drugs. Unlike many other drugs marijuana has no recorded cases of death from overdose. Since it is taken one puff at a time users can feel the effects as they go and regulate their intake according to their need.

Many chronic pain sufferers report that marijuana works better than other prescribed rug for their pain. The fact that marijuana can be taken a puff at a time with almost immediate effects is also a big advantage to chronic pain sufferers or people with spastic disorders like multiple sclerosis. While other prescription drugs can incapacitate a patient for the whole day, marijuana allows patients to administer the desired amount. Marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease that increases the pressure within the eye and eventually can lead to blindness.

Marijuana can reduce the pressure within the eye. 22 The downside however, is that is may also reduce blood low to the optic nerve, which can exacerbate the loss of vision. The reduced blood flow to the optic nerve is less serious to the side-effects of other leading conventional treatments. Beta-blocker eye drops, a more conventional treatment for glaucoma, can cause sluggishness and sometimes activates asthma attacks. 23 There are still too many skeptics who doubt marijuana’s ability as a medicine. A study was devised in 1996 to change the minds of such skeptics.

It was devised by the San Francisco General Hospital and it would have tested the benefits of smoking marijuana nd would eventually lead to the legalization of marijuana. The study was endorsed by the FDA (The Food and Drug Administration), but the federal government wouldn’t provide the marijuana for the study. 24 It seems as if the government was afraid that they were wrong about marijuana. The Industrial Uses of Hemp Industrial hemp looks a lot like its cousin, Cannabis sativa, but you can’t get high smoking it. Industrial hemp lacks the psychoactive ingredient, THC, that is found in Cannabis sativa. 5 Industrial hemp is tall, lanky and is prized for its fibrous stalk and it oil-rich seeds.

The cultivation of industrial hemp in North America is illegal because governments are afraid that people would grow their marijuana alongside their industrial hemp; which would make it harder to spot. The importation of finished hemp products is still legal in North America and the demand for them is rising at enormous rates. Famous fashion designers like Calvin Klein are now using hemp in their clothing lines. Adidas reported sales of over 30,000 pairs for a line of shoes made partly from hemp last years. 6 Stores specializing in hemp products are become more and more common in North America.

The worldwide trade of hemp products around the world was estimated at $100 million dollars in 1996. 27 Market analysts say that if the industry continues to grow at its current rate, the above figure could double or even triple within the next three years. The growth in the sales of hemp products is probably a sign of the eco-friendly times. The plant can produce as much as four times as much pulp per acre than trees and can grow with the broadest geographical range. 8

It can be grown without pesticides and does not need to be irrigated like cotton does. Hemp can also be used to produce a ubstitute for diesel fuel. Hemp products are not cheap though. Hemp shirts may sell for around $60 (American) and jeans may cost around $80 American. The high costs a consequence of the shortage of hemp. Only about a dozen countries can grow hemp legally. These include Russia and several Eastern European nations. 29 Hemp clothing manufactures end up having to go great lengths to find hemp suppliers. So if Marijuana isn’t Dangerous Why Isn’t Legal?

The biggest reason why marijuana is an illegal drug is that most of what we know about it is false information. According to Jack Herer and other marijuana experts the riminanization of hemp was part of a conspiracy involving DuPont, Harry J. Ansinger, then commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and other influential industrial leader like William Randolph Hearst and Andrew Mellon. 30 According to Herer the Marijuana Tax Act was passed in 1937, just as the decoricator machine was invented. With the decoricator machine, hemp would have been able to take over competing industries quite rapidly.

It would have strangled competing industries because 10,000 acres of land devoted to hemp would produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of the average forest. 1 William Hearst’s interest in preventing the industry from growing could be easily explained because he owned enormous timber acreage; land best suited for conventional pulp. The new competition created by hemp would have cost him millions and would lower the value of his land. It has even been suggested that Hearst popularized the term marijuana to create fear in the public.

DuPont involvement in the criminalization of marijuana is also quite easy to explain. At around 1937 DuPont was patenting a new sulfuric acid process for producing wood-pulp paper. 32 The companies own records state that wood-pulp products ccounted for more than 80% of all DuPont’s railway car loadings. 33 Harry Anslinger would be the man that DuPont used to help in his anti-hemp campaign. Harry Anslinger was appointed to the FBN by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, who was at the time chairman of the Mellon Bank, which was also DuPont’s chief financial backer. 4

The DuPont-Mellon relationship went further than business, DuPont was also married to Mellon’s niece. 35 Herer’s conspiracy theory may be hard for some to swallow, but DuPont, Anslinger, Hearst, and Mellon all would be severely affected financially if Hemp hadn’t been criminalized. The motivation for DuPont, Anslinger, and Hearst was not related to any moral or health related issues. They fought to destroy an industry before that growing industry crushed them. The American Medical Association at the time tried to argue that there were significant medical benefits of hemp. 6

They lost out and all hemp related products were banned. Ever since marijuana was banned in 1937 biased research has been conducted and released in media awareness programs. No other example best represents this than a Partnership for a Drug-Free America television ad. In the television ad they first howed a normal human brainwave and second a flat brainwave from a 14-year-old on marijuana. Several researchers were disgusted by the ad and called-up TV networks to complain about the commercial. As a result of this the Partnership had to pull it from the air.

The commercial was revealed to be completely bogus, it was in fact the exact opposite of the truth. Marijuana actually increases alpha wave activity in the brain. Alpha waves are often associated with human creativity. 37 In other cases drug awareness groups and the government draw conclusions from insubstantial evidence and use them in their anti-marijuana campaigns. Most of the scary statistics and studies that the government uses in their anti-marijuana campaigns are based on the research of Dr. Gabriel Nahas.

In one of his experiments he suffocated monkeys with marijuana for five minutes at a time. He repeated over a period of six months and concluded that marijuana caused brain damage. Being suffocated with any kind of smoke would cause brain damage. 38 Conclusion If marijuana were legalized it could free up the clogged court system, saving time and money. It would allow the police to focus on more serious drugs. If it were legalized it could be taxed and the government could generate billions. The government would also generate money by taxing the manufactures and retailers of marijuana.

Hemp based products are already hot property in North America; even though they are expensive. If industrial hemp were legalized for cultivation in North America the industry would no doubt experience rapid growth and create many much needed jobs. It is illogical to ban marijuana and industrial hemp because they have so many positive uses. There aren’t many other plants that serve so many uses. Industrial hemp has several industrial purposes, marijuana can be used as medicine, and can also provide a emporary escape from the agonizing mechanical routine of life.

It has its downsides though; it’s mildly habit forming, it has carcinogenic ingredients and it can be a road hazard. Tobacco and alcohol, both which are legal, are much more addictive and have more long-term consequences on your body than marijuana does; it should also be noted that they have little medicinal or industrial purposes. Marijuana is a truly extraordinary plant which probably has many more uses yet to explore; it shouldn’t take much longer for policy makers to see that this plant is god’s greatest gift to man.

Marijuana – Cannabis sativa

Marijuana – often-called pot, grass, reefer, weed, herb, Mary Jane, or mj – is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabis sativa, the hemp plant. Most users smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, among other names; some use pipes or water pipes called bongs. Marijuana cigars called blunts have also become popular. Marijuana is produced in all 50 states, and the primary foreign sources for marijuana found in the United States are Mexico, Canada, Colombia, and Jamaica. The marijuana plant grows quickly in many environments and can reach a height of 20 feet.

The leaves consist of five or more narrow leaflets, each radiating from a slender stem attached to a thick and hallow stalk. In ancient times cannabis or hemp plant, also called “Marijuana”, produced fibers used to make pipe, cloth, roofing materials and floor covering. The major active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes the mind-altering effects of marijuana intoxication. The amount of THC determines the potency and, therefore, the effects of marijuana. Effects Marijuana’s effects begin immediately after the drug enters the brain and last from 1 to 3 hours.

If marijuana is consumed in food or drink, the short-term effects begin more slowly, usually in to 1 hour, and last longer, for as long as 4 hours. Smoking marijuana deposits several times more THC into the blood than does eating or drinking the drug. Within a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke, an individual’s heart begins beating more rapidly, the bronchial passages relax and enlarge, and blood vessels in the eyes expand, making the eyes look red. The heart rate, normally 70 to 80 beats per minute, may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute or, in some cases, even ouble.

This effect can be greater if other drugs are taken with marijuana. As THC enters the brain, it causes a user to feel euphoric – or “high” – by acting in the brain’s reward system, areas of the brain that respond to stimuli such as food and drink as well as most drugs of abuse. THC activates the reward system in the same way that nearly all drugs of abuse do, by stimulating brain cells to release the chemical dopamine. A marijuana user may experience pleasant sensations, colors and sounds may seem more intense, and time appears to pass very slowly.

The user’s mouth feels dry, and he or she may suddenly become very hungry and thirsty. His or her hands may tremble and grow cold. The euphoria passes after awhile, and then the user may feel sleepy or depressed. Occasionally, marijuana use produces anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic. Marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form memories, recall events, and shift attention from one thing to another. THC also disrupts coordination and balance by binding parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination of movement, and reaction time. Effects on the Brain

When someone smokes marijuana, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to organs throughout the body, including the brain. In the brain, THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. Effects on the Heart One study has indicated that a user’s risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana.

The researchers suggest that such an effect might occur from marijuana’s effects on blood pressure and heart rate and reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. Effects on the Lungs. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, a heightened risk of lung infections, and a greater tendency to obstructed airways. Cancer of the respiratory tract and lungs may also be promoted by marijuana smoke.

Marijuana use has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because it contains irritants and carcinogens. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke and produces high levels of an enzyme that converts certain hydrocarbons into their carcinogenic formlevels that may accelerate the changes that ultimately produce malignant cells. Other Health Effects Some of marijuana’s adverse health effects may occur because THC impairs the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases and cancer.

Effects of Heavy Marijuana Use on Learning and Social Behavior Depression, anxiety, and personality disturbances are all associated with marijuana use. . Because marijuana compromises the ability to learn and remember information, the more a person uses marijuana the more he or she is likely to fall behind in accumulating intellectual, job, or social skills. Students who smoke marijuana get lower grades and are less likely to graduate from high school, compared to their non-smoking peers. Short-term effects Impairs short-term memory

Impairs attention, judgment, and other cognitive functions Impairs coordination and balance Increases heart rate Increases pleasure Long-term effects Can lead to addiction Increases risk of chronic cough, bronchitis, and emphysema Increases risk of cancer of the head, neck, and lungs Addictive Potential Long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction for some people; that is, they use the drug compulsively even though it often interferes with family, school, work, and recreational activities. Drug craving and withdrawal symptoms can make it hard to stop using the drug.

People trying to quit may experience irritability, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Latest Research Marijuana is the Nation’s most commonly used illicit drug. More than 83 million Americans (37 percent) age 12 and older have tried marijuana at least once in 2001. Marijuana was a contributing factor in more than 110,000 emergency department (ED) visits in the United States, with about 15 percent of the patients between the ages of 12 and 17, and almost two-thirds male. With 14. 6 million current users (6. 2 percent of the population).

About one third of these marijuana users (4. 8 million persons) In 2002, most users (56. 7 percent) got the drug for free. Almost 40 percent of marijuana users bought it. Most marijuana users obtained the drug from a friend; 79. 0 percent, who bought their marijuana and 81. 8 percent who obtained the drug for free. The percentage of youths aged 12 to 17 who had ever used marijuana declined slightly from 2001 to 2002 (21. 9 to 20. 6 percent).

Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the rate increased slightly from 53. percent in 2001 to 53. percent in 2002. There were an estimated 2. 6 million new marijuana users in 2001. An estimated 974,000 persons received treatment for marijuana. Treatment Treatment programs directed at marijuana abuse are rare, but treatment that includes cognitive behavioral therapy, twelve-step facilitation, and motivational interviewing assist in maintaining abstinence. The number of admissions to drug and alcohol treatment in the United States increased from 1,527,930 in 1992 to 1,739,796 in 2001.

The number of admissions for primary marijuana abuse (255,394 dmissions) accounted for 14. 7% of the total admissions in 2001. This was up from 1992 when there were 92,414 marijuana admissions, or 6% of the years admissions. About 40% of those treated for primary marijuana abuse during 2001 were between ages 15 and 19 at admission. For all admissions to treatment (all illicit drugs and alcohol), this age group. More than half of the drug-related treatment admissions involving individuals under the age of 15 (55. 0%) and more than half of those ages 15 to 19 (54. %) were treated for primary arijuana abuse.

Among the marijuana/hashish admissions with data available (255,394), more than 25% of those admitted began using marijuana at age 12 or younger. Some 56. 8% of the marijuana admissions to treatment in 2001 were referred through the Criminal justice system. Other sources for referral treatment included individual referred self (17. 5%), substance abuse provider (5. 9%), other health care provider (4. 9%), school (4. 2%), employer/employee assistance program (1. 2%), and other community referrals (9. 5%).

Legalizing marijuana paper

In this country, we are locked in a war we simply cannot win. We strive to protect over 10,000 miles of border, against enemies who are driven by the lure of a huge profit. We fought a version of this war before with prohibition, and we lost that one. All that has really resulted from this war is the overcrowding of prisons, the expansion of law enforcements ability to infringe on the personal lives of ordinary citizens, paranoia and distrust. If its not obvious already, I am referring to the war on drugs, marijuana in specific. Why spend millions of dollars fighting a war that can not be won?

Legalizing marijuana would not only make the government money, but also improve society as a whole. To most the financial reasons for ending the war are the most convincing. For example, it costs over $30,000 per year to house a prisoner – this does not include processing and legal fees. There are over 1. 5 million non-violent drug law offenders in prison right now, and this number is increasing daily. That means we are spending a minimum of $45 billion per year keeping former tax-paying citizens locked up with murderers and rapists.

When these people get out of jail, they will have criminal records hich will make it nearly impossible to get a decent job. Most of whom had jobs and were contributing to the economy in some way. The United States spend $37 billion per year funding police efforts to fight the war on drugs.. Recent evidence suggests the CIA has been involved in drug-trafficking to fund its own private wars. Currently there is over $150 billion worth of drug traffic that remains untaxed.

If you figure a tax rate of 15%, that is a total of $22. billion of taxes that America doesn’t see. The U. S. Treasury estimates America wastes a minimum of $104. billion per year fighting a war that can not be won. Meanwhile crime rates continue to rise (because of the huge profits made possible by the risks involved in the drug trade as drugs remain illegal), and the quality of education, medical care and environmental protection falls due to lack of money in the budget. The problem with drugs is not their effect, it is the corruption that is tied to the huge profits that doing illegal business commands.

Increasing penalties for drug crimes will just increase the prices and thereby the profits for people willing to take the risk. Along with these profits will come increasing war in our neighborhoods as gangs and dealers fight and kill for the enormous profits. Americans will never see any of this money because, being illegal, it is not taxed. Supply is driven by demand. As long as there are people that want to adjust their state of mind, there will be someone to help them do it, and adjusting our state of mind is part of human nature. Go to a schoolyard sometime and watch kids spin ’round and ’round till they fall down.

Just as you can’t cure a cold by taking cold medicine, you can’t cure substance abuse by throwing people in jail. Substance abuse is a symptom of a larger problem, and we can’t continue to pretend it doesn’t exist. Is legalizing drugs going to end society’s problems? It would be silly to even think that. We have driven ourselves into such a moral predicament that it will take years to fully recover. But our present course of action has proven to be more destructive than marijuana itself. The only way we are going to stop substance abuse is by lowering the pressure in day-to-day life for our citizens.

Unfortunately, the drug war has driven the ost of living up to unbelievable heights, while lowering take-home pay through high tax rates, and has increased crime while lowering education quality. All of these cause increasing pressure on the working family and their children, which manifests itself in increased drug and alcohol consumption. You can’t solve problems by fighting the symptoms. You have to go after the problems themselves. Just think of all the money the government could make with taxing legalized marijuana purchases. Even though this would not solve all of society problems, it would be a start.

Use Of The Hemp

Marijuana is derived from the hemp plant which is a tall Asiatic plant having a tough fiber. The fiber can be used to make rope and sailcloth, while marijuana is made from its leaves and flowers. Many names such as, hemp, hashish, pot, grass, and locoweed have known marijuana. There are sexually distinct male and female marijuana plants that produce intoxicating hashish resin. The male plants however produce less resin and more flowers than the female. The substance in the resin that produces euphoric effects is a chemical called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, abbreviated as THC.

The first recorded use of the hemp plant was in Taiwan, where it was used for designs in pottery. It then became an essential part of Chinas culture because it provided the Chinese with clothing, weapons for war and as a means of relieving the sick. Today marijuana is used to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and to increase the appetites of AIDS patients. Although marijuana has been utilized for therapeutic and cultural purposes, it does have some serious drawbacks, such as possible brain and respiratory damage. The earliest record of cannabis use comes from Taiwan, which is an island located off the coast of China.

Archeologists have found broken pieces of pottery, which had been decorated by pressing strips of fiber into the wet clay before it hardened. These strips of twisted fiber were later identified as fibers from the hemp plant. In China, hemp was used as fabric for clothing, which was worn out of respect especially when mourning the dead. The Chinese became more familiar with the hemp plant and realized it had other functions besides clothing. During wars, the Chinese used hemp as strings for their bows, which were looked at as superior because the hemp caused the arrows to move farther with greater speed.

Hemp was used throughout Chinas history as clothing, material to write on and it became a symbol of power over good and evil. Chinese doctoring was based on the concept of demons, which means that if a person was ill it was because demons had invaded the body. During the twenty-eighth century B. C. , emperor Shen-Nung was credited with teaching the Chinese about medicine. Shen-Nung was concerned about his subjects being ill so he set out to find an alternate means of relieving the sick. He was an expert farmer that set out to discover the powers of Chinas plants.

Using himself as a guinea-pig, he ingested as many as seventy different poisons in a single day, in which he was able to observe the effects on the body because it has been said that he had the ability to see through his abdominal wall into his stomach. He then wrote the Pen Tsao, which lists the hundreds of drugs derived from vegetable, animal, and mineral sources. There were many references made to ma, the Chinese word for cannabis. According to the text, cannabis was a very peculiar drug and it possessed both yin and yang.

Yin symbolizes the feminine influence in nature, which are weak, negative and passive, where the yang symbolizes the positive masculine forces, which are strong, active and positive. When these two forces are in balance, the body was said to be at equilibrium, if one of these forces dominated the other, the body was said to be ill. Marijuana was a difficult drug to oppose because it contained both the yin and yang. The solution to this problem was to grow only the yin, which was the female plant because it contained more of the medicinal principle than yang, the male plant.

Marijuana was then used to treat menstruation fatigue, gout, malaria, constipation and absentmindedness. As the Chinese physicians became more familiar with marijuana, it continued to increase its importance as a therapeutic agent. It was used during difficult surgical procedures as an anesthetic, which was made from resin and wine. Today there have been proposals to make marijuana legally available as a medicine, although it is faced with claims that there are safer and more effective drugs out there.

In the fall of 97, voters in California and Arizona approved laws allowing the ill to smoke marijuana for medical reasons as long as a physician prescribed it. Other states have passed legislation to allow marijuanas use as a medicine, yet the federal law preempts their making marijuana legally available to patients. A number of studies have shown that marijuana use can ease pain, reduce nausea with cancer chemotherapy, increase the appetites of AIDS patients who are wasting away, lower the pressure within the eyes of glaucoma patients, and decrease muscle spasm and spasticity.

It was more effective than any other available pharmaceutical medications. Many AIDS patients to treat the nausea also smoke marijuana to both treats the disease and the AZT drug therapy, which is an anti-viral drug used in the treatment of AIDS. Because it stimulates appetite, marijuana also counters HIV related wasting away, allowing AIDS patients to gain weight and prolong their lives. People with spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis are prone to painful muscle spasms and tremors. There are existing drugs that can give only partial relief with severe side effects.

The patients feel that with smoking marijuana they obtain immediate relief, whereas an oral drug delays the ease of pain. (Mathre et al, 417). In 1986, a synthetic version of delta-9-THC capsule known as Marinol was marketed in the United States and labeled as an anti-emetic, which means, it suppresses nausea. Despite some utility, this product has some drawbacks, such as its cost. A patient taking three five-milligram capsules a day would spend over five thousand dollars to use Marinol for one year.

In comparison to natural marijuana, Marinol has also has some pharmaceutical shortcomings. The cannabis plant contains numerous chemicals cannabinoids and its believed that its the combination of these or specific cannabinoids such as cannabidiol, that has therapeutic value, not the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC. (Mathre et al, 224). Since THC is delivered in oral capsules it enters the blood stream slowly and therefore yields lower concentrations per dosage. In patients suffering from nausea, the swallowing of capsules may itself cause vomiting.

There were two studies done to prove that Cannabidiol can treat certain inflammatory diseases. Three patients with Huntingtons Disease, who had been previously unresponsive to therapy with neuroleptics, were given Cannabidiol. After the second week improvement in choreic movement occurred by twenty to forty percent. Except for transient, mild hypertension no side effects were recorded. (Sadyk et al, 342) Cannabidiol was given to five patients with dystonia disorders. Improvement occurred in all five patients by twenty to fifty percent.

Consroe et al 277-282) There are two effects upon marijuana users, the acute effects, which are the effects while the user is under the influence of the drug, and the chronic effects, which are the long-term effects of marijuana. The acute effects of THC include slowed reflexes, mild elation, paranoia, reduced short term memory, relaxed or dreamy feeling, faster pulse, increased appetite, dry mouth, red eyes and heightened humor. This high can last from one to three hours, depending on the dose and levels of THC.

The long-term effects of marijuana are brain damage and lung damage, yet these effects have been disputed. The effect on the brain is an area that has been thoroughly studied. Researchers have established that marijuana effects coordination and short-term memory making it inadvisable to drive, operate heavy machinery, or try to learn anything important while under the drugs influence. The explanation for this may have come in 1988, when scientists found receptors for THC in the parts of the brain controlling memory, mood, visual processing, attentiveness, and the ability to filter out extra stimuli.

This study also clarified why a fatal overdose is impossible: There are hardly any THC receptors in the areas of the brain that control basic life functions, such as consciousness and respiration. In the most recent published study, rhesus monkeys were exposed to smoke equivalent to four or five joints per day for one year. When examined seven months after the yearlong study, there was no observed neurological damage. (Marijuana Myths). In a number of studies there was no significant difference detected.

In fact, there is research demonstrating that marijuana intoxication does not impair the retrieval of information learned previously. However there is evidence that marijuana, particularly in high doses, may interfere with users ability to transfer new information into long term memory. Respiratory damage is also a result of chronic marijuana smoking. Smokers of marijuana have frequent symptoms of chronic bronchitis as smokers of tobacco although tobacco smokers smoked more than twenty cigarettes a day, compared with the three to five joints a day.

Marijuana smokers also had microscopic damage to the lungs system of defense against inhaled contaminants. Since marijuana joints do not have filters and are usually smoked down to the last fraction of an inch, they deliver more irritating particles to the lungs. While there are these real dangers associated with marijuana use, many of these common fears about marijuana are completely unfounded. There have been comparisons between marijuana and LSD because it is said that marijuana may produce hallucinogenic effects.

The capacity of LSD to produce hallucinations has little to do with the many serious dangers. It is true that marijuana can cause hallucinations, yet there is little evidence that specifies the dosage and it does not occur in all smokers. The possible causes of birth defects may be divided into chromosomal damage and interference with the development of the embryo. In marijuana, the evidence as to chromosomal damage is even weaker than that involving LSD.

What this means is that like tobacco, caffeine, and aspirin, marijuana is unhealthy for the embryo as well. Every year thousands of Americans die from alcohol, tobacco, aspirin and caffeine. From tobacco alone more than 340,000 have died, while over 150,000 Americans have died from alcohol. An overdose of aspirin has caused the death of over 180 Americans. Caffeine has caused 1,000 to 10,000 deaths. In the thousands of years marijuana has been in existence, it has caused zero deaths.

Mary Jane: The Devil Weed

This paper, entitled “Mary Jane: The Devil Weed? ” attempts to examine what we know about marijuana and what problems are associated with its use. The paper examines briefly the history of marijuana legislation, marijuana’s known effects, and conclusions about its danger. Early in this century, the government waged a war of terrorism on marijuana, or cannabis sativa. “By 1937, forty-six states had laws against the use of marijuana, and its use had already been made a criminal offense under federal law” (Jaffe, 659).

Andrews pointed out that “not until some time in the early 930s did the Louisianna legislature pass a state regulation making use of the drug illegal” (5). Jaffe noted that “since the early 1900s, marifuana has been considered the one drug that might introduce the susceptible to hard drugs. ” Jaffe pointed out that “since about 1950…. smoking of marijuana has been linked statistically to the use of other illicit drugs…. Most observers have concluded that the link is sociological rather than biological and… arijuana is a marker for individuals who are more prone to seek new experiences even when hese violate social norms and local laws. ”

Andrews related that “sensational newspaper stories relating… to crime is generally held to be accountable for the sudden enactment of a law prohibiting its use. ” He went on to note that “users were often subject to heavy penalties- -up to life imprisonment in Texas. ” “After caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, marijuana is the fourth most popular abused substance” (O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, 175). does marijuana deserve this reputation?

We must first consider what it is nd what effects it has. The active ingredient is tetrahydocannabinol, or THC (Andrews). THC, found only in the female plant, produces a mild euphoric effect. Marijuana is considered a hallucinogen, a Schedule 1 drup, under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, 177). A Schedule 1 drug means there is no known medical use. Recently “a new drug application was approved for THC (Marinol) to be used therapeutically for control of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy” (Jaffe, 663).

This moved THC from Schedule 1 to 2 (medical use despite potential for abuse). How dangerous is marijuana? Jaffe notes that “any performance test shows impairment…. although no distinctive biochemical changes have been found in humans. ” Andrews writes, “Physical effects of marijuana use is probably the major question…. The answer? None. ” O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, reported that the National Institute on Drug Abuse found, “Marijunan now available is five to 10 times more potent than it was a half dozen years ago” (178).

While hese statements may not sound conclusive, the Institute of Medicine, according to O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, found, “What little we know now about the effects of marijuana on human health–and all we have reasons to suspect– justifies serious national concern. ” They noted, “More research has demonstrated marked disturbances in depth perception, time judgment, and coordination during cannabis use. Coupled with surveys that that indicate that many traffic accidents occur to people using cannabis derivatives, these facts raise a significant public health concern.

Is marijuana “devil weed”? Though marijuana “does not produce physical dependence,” it does produce “psychological dependence and the euphoric and sedative effects can result” (O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, 179). They noted also, “Abstinence may result in feelings of irritability, nervousness, or insomnia. ” Jaffe observed that cannabis “may directly produce an acute panic reaction, a toxic delirium,and accute paranoid state, or acute mania… [It may} lead to sociopathy or even to the so-called AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME… and] ggravate schizophrenia” (661).

Again we ask, Is marijuana “devil weed”? In conclusion we must say that marijuana might be, but the evidence is far from conclusive and far from complete. That marijuana is a public health problem is clear. Marijuana is a dangerous substance for individuals to use and operate a motor vehicle of any kind. That marijuana is potentially dangerous and destructive is clear. Are there legitimate medical uses? There are some. It has been found to redce intraocular pressures in individuals with glaucoma by 45% (Jaffe, 662).

It has been used as an antiemitic for individuals taking cancer chemotherapy. Andrews concluded that “medical research indicates no physiological effect of any severity from use of the drug. Thus it has been assumed marijuana is harmless” (12). But is marijuana “devil weed”? The answers are mixed. The conclusions uncertain. Andrews’ answer is probably the most accurate: “Perhaps so. Perhaps not. Certainly more research is necessar. ” In other words, most of the reserach and most of the scientists have indicated that all the answers are not in yet.

The Decriminalization of Cannabis

Cannabis Sativa, the illegal strain of hemp known as marijuana, provides numerous benefits that greatly outweigh the harmful effects of the drug. The perceivable physical and social problems of excessive use of marijuana are severe, yet unproven. These problems are easily related to those posed by excessive alcohol consumption on a regular basis. There are a variety of advantages of the legalization of marijuana that can be categorized as medical, social, and economical improvements.

Although the harmful side effects such as brain damage caused by the use of marijuana have not been proven, as the only government licensed testing for this effect was unmercifully biased, the advantages of the drug in a medical context have been repeatedly proven. Marijuana is known to slow the influences of diseases including AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy, certain forms of cancer, and many more fatal and incurable ailments.

Currently, approximately 150,000 citizens of Ontario alone suffer from diseases that marijuana would help to lessen, but due to the stringency of federal and provincial laws only 50 of these people are granted exemption. The war on drugs endangers us all. Police react towards the age groups who are commonly rumoured to use these drugs severely. The sad fact is that crime is induced by the actions of law officials. People are forced to very dangerously smuggle marijuana in and out of the country.

Sales of the drug have seeped into every tiny crevice of our communities. This could be stopped almost instantly with the licensing of sales in stores and specialized cafs. Also, it is rumoured that marijuana is a gateway drug to harder, more dangerous substances like cocaine and heroin. The reasoning behind this is that a large portion of hard drug users smoked marijuana before advancing to harder drugs. The flaw in this reasoning is that the majority of marijuana users have never before used hard drugs.

The nation’s economy would undoubtedly be one of the largest beneficiaries of the legalization of marijuana. By adding steep tariffs on import, export, and sales of marijuana, Canadas revenue would be increased greatly, adding money that could go towards lowering taxes, lowering the national debt, and increasing healthcare and national security. The prices of marijuana, despite the high taxes, would be significantly lowered due to the decrease of danger from prosecution. The current street prices of marijuana range from $150 to $250 per ounce of low-grade bud.

These prices could be lowered anywhere from 50% to 95% depending on the sharpness of the government implemented taxes. The medical, social, and economical benefits of the legalization of marijuana are strongly evident and should be taken into consideration by anyone condemning the drug. The current drug laws are unjust and must be abolished or amended before more people suffer for need of medicinal marijuana. For the good of our country, the legalization of marijuana should be supported by anyone who cares for its citizens.

Cannabis Sativa L

Throughout American history our country has come to rely on many different natural resources. With technology and the population increasing, the number of fossil fuel reserves and natural forests are going down. What America needs is a renewable source of fuels and fibers that will meet the growing needs of the future, but will not damage our environment. One of the most promising sources of fiber, fuel, and natural oil is hemp. Hemp, also known as Cannabis Sativa L, has been used in our country since the early 17th century (Schreiber 160).

Although hemp is considered an illegal drug, many people forget that it is a art of our countrys history. Despite its negative connotations, hemp has the potential to revolutionize the paper, cotton, and fuel industries. Its long fibers can be weaved with others to make stronger clothing, while its pulp can be used to make stronger paper. It has been known as an important resource for thousands of years, and in the future, perhaps it will be again. Hemp is a plant that originated in Asia several thousand years ago (Schreiber 7). Its genus is called Cannabis, to which there are three sub species, Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis.

Hemp is of the sativa family, which normally grows to about 4 meters and has a hollow, fibrous stem. When grown industrially, the male plant is used primarily because it grows tall and spindly, producing the most fiber, and allowing the farmer to plant more in a smaller area. The female plant is much shorter, and produces buds. Hemp is often confused with another plant of the same genus, Marijuana. Because of this confusion it is imperative that the differences between these two plants are understood. Although very similar, Marijuana is not the same plant as hemp (Williams 2).

Marijuana, also known as ot, hashish, or weed, is grown for its buds and leaves, to produce psychoactive effects when introduced into the human body. Marijuana has high levels of THC (Delta-9 Tetrahydracannibinol), the ingredient that causes the user to be high. Whereas industrial hemp typically has a THC level less than one percent, marijuana can have levels up to twenty percent (Washuk 1). Med Byrd, head paper scientist at NCSU said, “You couldn’t get high off hemp even if you smoked a joint the size of a telephone pole. ” Hemp is also contains a substance called cannibidiol, which actually inhibits THC.

Under current U. S. aw the hemp plant is considered a narcotic, which makes it illegal to possess the plant, parts of the plant, or live unsterilized seeds. Under the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, there was no chemical distinction made between the two substances. Because of this, hemp eventually became illegal when marijuana did. (Williams 4). While industrial hemp has been used for centuries to make rope, clothing, and other materials, it has never been used for smoking due to its lack of THC. Cannabis was used first in about 8000 BC for cloth and textiles, and by 2700 BC it was ncorporated into most cultures for fabric, cordage, food and medicine.

From 1000 BC to 1883 AD hemp was considered the world largest agricultural crop (Schreiber 159). Hemp didn’t just have its roots in other cultures either; it has been used in America for a very long time. The first recorded hemp plot in North America was planted in 1606 by a French botanist named Louis Hebert (Jenkins 1). From the early 1600’s to 1859 hempseed oil was the most used lamp oil in the world. In early America, most colonies enacted “must grow” laws that made it illegal for farmers not to grow hemp. The first U. S. flag was sewn with hemp fabric in 1777 (Schreiber 161).

Famous people such as Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington were avid hemp farmers. George Washington was once quoted saying, “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed and sow it everywhere. ” Back then, hemp was recognized as a versatile crop, yet today, with other countries allowing the production of hemp, the U. S. still considers this plant to be harmful. Today, Hemp is grown legally in 32 different countries around the world. While countries like England, France, China, Hungary, and Canada legally grow hemp by the thousands of acres, American farmers are forced to sit and watch while they barely break even on their own crops.

Estimated worldwide hemp sales in 1996 were around 100 million dollars (Kicklighter, 2). With hemp looking to be a promising crop, why would the United States not follow in the footsteps of other great nations? One reason is that U. S. law considers hemp and marijuana the same thing. This can be argued either way, but in the end it comes down to the fact that they are different. Until there is a change in law, hemp will be classified as a drug, and not a viable crop (Quinn 1). Even though many state governments do not oppose the legalization of hemp, the main opposition to hemp comes from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), and the U. S. Offices of Drug Control Policy.

Headed by General Barry McCaffrey, the USODCP claims that the promotion of hemp products, and the fight to legalize hemp, is nothing more than a smoke screen to legalize marijuana. Recently, the USODCP released a statement saying, “A serious law enforcement concern is that a potential byproduct of legalizing hemp production would be de facto legalization of marijuana cultivation. The seedlings look the same, and in many instances the mature plants look similar as well” (Barnard 1). The DEA says that legalizing hemp would make it harder to enforce drug laws because marijuana and hemp look alike (Cauchon 1).

Most hemp farmers from the 32 nations cultivating hemp would disagree. Although there are strong visual similarities in the strains, law officials from hemp producing countries have been trained to detect the differences in appearances of both plants, and have no trouble enforcing drug laws (Barnard 2). If the U. S. could use a system modeled after countries hat have already legalized hemp, the industry could thrive and not infringe on drug control. This would allow hemps benefits to be fully realized by the world; benefits that far exceed most crops used today.

There are thousands of uses for hemp, but there are three that would have the greatest effect on our society. Hemp can be made into fuel, paper, and clothing, which could drastically change the oil, logging, and cotton industries. All three industries have had problems in the past dealing with environmental concerns, and hemp could provide an alternative that is environmentally friendly, while remaining cost effective Schreiber 24). Since the invention of the engine and the oil furnace, America has relied on fossil fuels to power their cars and heat their homes.

Even though there have been advances in solar and electrical energy, fossil fuels have become a significant part of our daily lives. It is believed that if present rates of use continue, in 200 years we will completely exhaust all of our oil reserves. Because of this, it is imperative that an alternative to fossil fuels is implemented so we do not run into a problem when all of earths’ oil is gone (Schreiber 24). One of the most feasible options is methanol, a clean burning fuel, which can be used to run combustion engines as well as run a furnace. Perhaps one of the best sources for methanol is hemp.

Hemp produces ten times more methanol as corn, which is one of America’s main sources of it today (Schreiber 24). Not only does methanol derived from hemp burn well, it doesn’t contribute to the destruction of the environment like fossil fuels do. Fossil fuels release damaging sulfur and carbon into the air, contributing to acid rain and the increase of “Greenhouse gasses. ” Methanol does not. Another dvantage of using hemp for fuel is the fact that America wouldn’t rely on foreign countries for the product. All the hemp needed to power our cars and heating systems could be grown on our own soil (Julin 5b).

While hemp is being grown for fuel, it could also be grown for paper at the same time. The paper industry is one of the bigger industries in America today. It is estimated that by the year 2010, the paper usage of the world will increase 90 percent due to population increases. Andy Kerr, the former executive director of the Oregon Natural Resources Council said, “Hemp makes sense. We are already short on forests and it is going to get worse. The demand simply cannot be sustained. We already have too many people consuming too much” (Washuk 2).

With the need for more paper and decreasing forests, using hemp for paper instead of trees could help the shortage that will occur in the future. Hemp paper will not only take care of the shortage, but it will be marginally better than the previous wood-based paper. Hemp paper is not only stronger than wood based paper, but last much longer and does not require the dangerous chemicals that are used in the bleaching process. Due to its reliability, the first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper, as was the Constitution (Williams 3).

Normal paper processing produces a nasty byproduct called dioxin, which is toxic and is extremely damaging to the environment. Not only is making hemp paper safer, hemp yields up to four times more paper per acre than trees (Julin 4a). Thousands of acres of hemp could be planted for paper, while preserving our forests, which help contribute to our environment. One industry, which is certainly not new to America, is cotton. It has been used in America for hundred f years to make clothes, fabric, and many other things.

Although soft, and reasonably priced, cotton is a soil-damaging crop which requires large amounts of fertilizer to grow. One half of pesticides that are used the U. S. are applied on cotton. These pesticides are commonly toxic and can damage the air and the earth (Julin 3b). One alternative to cotton for clothes and fabric is hemp. The stalk of the hemp plant can be used to make hemp clothing that is stronger and longer lasting than cotton clothes. Designers like Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani have added hemp clothes and bed linens to their product lines.

In 1996 Adidas sold approximately 30,000 pairs of shoes made partially from hemp. Although hemp clothing is much more expensive now, the price would drop as the demand became higher. One of the disadvantages of hemp clothing is that it is not naturally soft like cotton. It has more of a texture comparable to burlap, or canvas. When combined with other fabrics, or if it undergoes a special processing treatment, it can be made to be extremely soft (McGraw 1). This would make it more marketable and suitable for fine clothes, or anything that comes in contact with the skin frequently.

In the future, the way our culture goes about daily tasks, the way we do things, is bound to change. Our government is bound to change as well. Even though hemp is illegal now, its benefits are so numerous that it is just a matter of time before it becomes a thriving industry. What America needs a renewable source of fuels and fibers that will meet the growing needs of the future. Hemp can fulfill that need. It has the potential to make better clothes, better fuel, and better paper. Perhaps some day in the future, hemp will become the worlds leading crop again, as it once was.

Is Marijuana Dangerous to your Physical Health

Recreational use of marijuana has been going on for many years, and like cigarettes many people refuse to listen to health reports. More and more reports are coming out on the effects of marijuana on the body. Just how harmful marijuana can be is questionable. Some health reports state that it is very detrimental to the body while others are explaining how chemicals extracted from the marijuana plant are being used as medication. The problem is, just what are the effects, and how bad is it for someone who uses this drug?

I have picked this topic because I am very interested in the effects of arijuana on the body. It is commonly known that marijuana is a widely used drug. Many movies depict people having a great time, smoking marijuana, and laughing as hard as they can. But is this really what is behind the drug? Without looking at health reports, one may think so. If so many people use it, how can it be bad for you? After seeing so much positive feedback about marijuana, it would really be nice to see just what is behind this mysterious plant.

In this paper, the researcher will explore whether or not marijuana is harmful to your physical health. It will be shown that marijuana is popular and hat many people may not know what they are taking into their bodies. It will be shown just what parts of the body marijuana effects and how it effects them. The main purpose of this collection of information is to see just what marijuana does to the body and to determine whether the effects are good, bad, or a combination of both. Many different areas of research will be used.

The report “Marijuana Retains Popularity Despite Anti-drug Attitudes” in The Dallas Times Herald by the Associated Press shows just how popular marijuana remains despite health warnings. A 40-something woman referred to as Ruth has a ittle something to say. “It’s a very nice high,” she said. “Often in these drug stories, people forget to mention that part” (The Associated Press, A-6). Ruth is among the 17 million Americans who use marijuana regularly. Part of the reason for marijuana’s popularity is its cheap price.

John, a scientist who uses the drug says an ounce can cost him from $40 to $100 (The Associated Press, A-6). Another reason for its popularity that is that “the cops basically ignored it” a few years ago, said Bill FitzGerald, of the County Attorney’s Office (The Associated Press, A-6). Today, the county boasts a “Do Drugs, Do Time” program targeting all drug users (The Associated Press, A-6). “Marijuana: Is there a new reason to worry? “, an article in the March 88 issue of American Health by Winifred Gallagher had a lot to say about just what parts of the body marijuana effects.

The majority of the effects of marijuana are caused by a chemical called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana, when smoked, enters the body though the lungs and is passed to the blood stream. According to Doctor Billy martin, a professor of pharmacology at the Medical College of Virginia, THC seems to turn on a number of biological systems Gallagher, 92). Harvard’s Dr. Norman Zinberg studied a group of marijuana smoker and concluded that “essentially, marijuana doesn’t cause psychological problems for the occasional user” (Gallagher, 92).

Heavy use however, is thought to create a lack of motivation, or commonly called “burn-out”. New York Hospital’s Millman prefers the term “aberrant motivation” to describe the inert attitude of some heavy smokers” (Gallagher, 92). “The Health Hazards of Marijuana,” a report in the September 1990 issue of World & I by Gabriel G. Nahas was very informative on the damage caused by marijuana. Marijuana effects memory and behavior.

“Marijuana really interferes with short-term memory,” says Dr. Richard Schwartz or Georgetown University, and memory loss is one of the main problems with kids who smoke pot” (Nahas, 287). Marijuana also effects the immune system. Guy Cabral of the Medical College of Virginia reported that THC impairs the competence of calls to destroy virus infected cells and tumor cells (Nahas, 293). Marijuana also has devastating effects on human mental development, and cause metal disorders. An article in Science News on February 20, 1988 by Rick Weiss called “Take Two Puffs and Call Me in the Morning” had something completely different to say.

In the U. S. , scientists have discovered that marijuana can ease the nausea from chemotherapy in cancer patients. “Marijuana’s use in reducing nausea appears to be quite widespread… ” (Weiss, 123). Marijuana is also in use by people who suffer from glaucoma. “Marijuana lowers the pressure that build up behind the eyes as a result of having glaucoma” (Weiss, 122). It was also discovered that there are several receptor sites in the brain that control motor functions, learning and memory. Hence, marijuana may be useful in treating a problem in many of those areas.

Based on the information gathered, I have concluded that the effects of marijuana on the body are very detrimental. Marijuana’s effects on memory and the immune system can be very disastrous. For someone still in school, a good memory is needed, along with much motivation. Marijuana attacks both of these elements in the body and can really hurt a hard working student. It seems however, most of the complications that were brought up occur mostly in heavy, chronic users. I am sure that along with these complications, he same complications as with cigarette smoking come up.

Occasional use of marijuana doesn’t seem to cause many problems. However, as with any drug, the user can become accustomed to its use and not be able to function properly. So even occasional use can lead to disaster. Marijuana effects many different parts of the body in many ways. Being that marijuana is fat-soluble, it can remain in the body for over 4-weeks after use. Researchers are unable to determine what the chemicals are doing to the body while they remain there over this period of time.

This just proves that here is much more research to be done, and that in the future it may be seen that marijuana is much more dangerous than even shown in this paper. As for using marijuana as medicine, I think the same goes as above. A lot more research has to be done on the side effects of THC before any real use can be done. There have been many drugs up to now that have seemed useful, but in the end have caused more harm to the body than good. Health Implications I think that marijuana use effects myself and my peers very much. As I go to parties and the such, it can be seen that drug use is around, no one can deny t.

Its scary to see just what some people are doing to themselves, and they don’t even know it. I think that if some of the marijuana users took some time to read this, and many of the other reports on the effects of marijuana, they would think twice before lighting up next time. Maybe they will wonder just what harm they have done to their body already. Many people that smoke marijuana have the effects that are discussed in this paper. Its can plainly be seen, their lack of motivation and kind of “spaceyness” that is commonly associated with marijuana smoking.

I often wonder what these people would be like if they stopped their use and allowed themselves to rid their body of the THC and its by-products. Marijuana use is still very popular throughout the United States, and the fact that people are not educated enough about its effects is very detrimental. These people are hurting themselves, and they don’t know (and many just don’t care) what they are doing to their bodies. If marijuana use was to grow too much, we may have a country of unmotivated people, with many more health problems due to their immune deficiencies.

The Use Of Marijuana

Throughout history marijuana has been used to serve various purposes in many different cultures. The purposes have changed over time to fit in with the current lifestyles. This pattern is also true in American history. The use of marijuana has adapted to the social climate of the time. Marijuana, whose scientific name is cannibis sativa, was mentioned in historical manuscripts as early as 2700 B. C. in China. (Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia, 1995). The cultivation of the marijuana plant began as far back as the Jamestown settlers, around 1611, who used hemp produced from the marijuana plant’s fibers to make rope and canvas.

It was also used in making clothing because of it’s durability. These uses fit in with the social climate of the time, because the main focus was on survival rather than for psychoactive purposes. During the prohibition, marijuana was widely used because of the scarcity of alcohol. Prohibition was repealed after just thirteen years while the prohibition against marijuana lasted for more than seventy five years. This double standard may have resulted from the wishes of those in power.

Alcohol prohibition struck directly at tens of millions of Americans of all ages, including many of societies most powerful members. Marijuana prohibition threatened far fewer Americans, and they had relatively little influence in the districts of power. Only the prohibition of marijuana, which some sixty million Americans have violated since 1965 has come close to approximating the prohibition experience, but marijuana smokers consist mostly of young and relatively powerless Americans (American Heritage, pg. 47).

Alcohol prohibition was repealed and marijuana prohibition was retained, not because scientists had proved that alcohol was the less dangerous of the various psychoactive drugs, but because of the prejudices and preferences of most Americans (American Heritage, pg. 47). In 1937 the government issued the Marijuana Tax Act, which levied a dollar an ounce tax on marijuana, coupled with fines of $2,000 for drug possession and jail sentences for evasion of the tax. For this reason marijuana use in the United States appears to have gone into decline in the late 30’s (Grolier Wellness Encyclopedia, pg. ).

Then marijuana was outlawed in 1937 as a repressive measure against Mexican workers who crossed the border seeking jobs during the Depression. The specific reason given for the outlawing of the hemp plant was it’s supposed violent “effect on the degenerate races” (Schaffer, pg. 86). Beginning in the 60’s marijuana use saw a resurgence which may be attributed to many causes. One of the main causes was the rebellion of youth against the Vietnam War. They used marijuana as an escape from war to peace.

It was easy at this time to depict marijuana as a beneficial and completely harmless substance whose effects were far less harmful than those of legal drugs such as alcohol and nicotine because there was not enough scientific research done during the 60’s (Grolier Wellness Encyclopedia, pg. 54). Another cause may have been the discovery of the psychoactive component of marijuana- tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. Users found the relation between the doses and the effects (Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1995).

The current atmosphere provides for doctors to suggest synthetic marijuana (THC) in a pure and standardized form bp rescriptionon (called Marinol) for the treatment of nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. Also, although there is no scientific evidence that shows marijuana is beneficial in the treatment of glaucoma, it may prevent the progression of visual loss. Marijuana, along with alcohol and a host of other substances, can actually lower intraocular eye pressure. The medication however, must be carefully tailored to the individual to prevent further eye damage.

The evidence has clearly shown that marijuana has been around for a great deal of time and has served multiple purposes throughout history. I cannot know now which of the several uses of Cannabis was earliest. Since plant uses normally proceed from the simpler to the more complex, one might presume that its useful fibers first attracted man’s attention.

Indeed remains of hemp fibers have been found in the earliest archaeological sites in the cradles of Asiatic civilization: evidence of fiber in China dating from 4000 B. C. and hemp rope and thread from Turkestan from 3000 B. C. Stone beaters for pounding hemp fiber and impressions of hemp cord baked into pottery have been found in ancient sites in Taiwan. Hemp fabrics have been found in Turkish sites of the late eighth century B. C. , and there is a questionable specimen of Hemp in an Egyptian tomb dated between three and four thousand years ago. ** Here is a passage about a picture map shown in the text, but not written into the article itself:

The original home of Cannabis is thought to be central Asia, but it has spread around the globe with the exception of Arctic regions and areas of wet tropical forests. Cannabis spread at a very early date to Africa (except for the humid tropics) and was quickly accepted into native pharmacopoeias. The Spaniards took it to Mexico and Peru, the French to Canada, the English to North America. It had been introduced into northern Europe in Viking times. It was probably the Scythians who took it first to China.

The Indian Vedas sang of Cannabis as one of the divine nectars, able to give man anything from good health and long life to visions of the gods. The Zend-Avesta of 600 B. C. mentions an intoxicating resin, and the Assyrians used Cannabis as an incense as early as the ninth century B. C. Inscriptions from the Chou dynasty in China, dated 700-500 B. C. , have a negative connotation that accompanies the ancient character for Cannabis, Ma, implying its stupefying properties.

Since this idea obviously predated writing, the Pen Tsao Ching, written in A. C. 0 but going back to a legendary emperor, Shen-Nung, 2000 B. C. , may be taken as evidence that the Chinese knew and probably used the hallucinogenic properties at very early dates. It was said that Ma-fen (Hemp fruit) if taken to excess, will produce hallucinations [literally, ‘seeing devils’]. If taken over a long term, it makes one communicate with spirits and lightens one’s body. A Taoist priest wrote in the fifth century B. C. that Cannabis was employed by necromancers, in combination with Ginseng, to set forward time and reveal future events.

In these early periods, use of Cannabis as an hallucinogen was undoubtedly associated with Chinese shamanism, but by the time of European contact 1500 years later, shamanism had fallen into decline, and the use of the plant for inebriation seems to have ceased and had been forgotten. Its value in Chine then was primarily as a fiber source. There was, however, a continuous record of Hemp cultivation in China from Neolithic times, and it has been suggested that Cannabis may have originated in China, not in central Asia. About 500 B. C. e Greek writer Herodotus described a marvelous bath of the Scythians, aggressive horsemen who swept out of the Transcaucasus eastward and westward.

He reported that they make a booth by fixing in the ground three sticks inclined toward one another, and stretching around them woolen pelts which they arrange so as to fit as close as possible: inside the booth a dish is placed upon the ground into which they put a number of red hot stones and then add some Hemp seed… immediately it smokes and gives out such a vapor as no Grecian vapor bath can exceed; the Scythes, delighted, shout for joy….

Only recently, archaeologists have excavated frozen Scythian tombs in central Asia, dated between 500 and 300 B. C. , and have found tripods and pelts, braziers and charcoal with remains of Cannabis leaves and fruit. It has generally been accepted that Cannabis originated in central Asia and that it was the Scythians who spread it westward to Europe. While the Greeks and Romans may not generally have taken Cannabis for inebriation, there are indications that they were aware of the psychoactive effects of the drug.

Democrats reported that it was occasionally drunk with wine and myrrh to produce visionary states, and Galen, about A. D. 200, wrote that it was sometimes customary to give Hemp to guests to promote hilarity and enjoyment. Cannabis arrived in Europe from the north. In classical Greece and Rome, it was not cultivated as a fiber plant. Fiber for ropes and sails, however, was available to the Romans from Gaul as early as the third century B. C. The Roman writer Lucilius mentioned it in 120 B. C. Pliny the Elder outlined the preparation and grades of hemp fibers in the first century A. C. , and hemp rope was found in a Roman site in England dated A. D. 140-180.

Whether the Vikings used Hemp rope or not is not known, but palynological evidence indicates that Hemp cultivation had a tremendous increment in England from the early Anglo-Saxon period to late Saxon and Norman times — from 400 to 1100. Henry VIII fostered the cultivation of Hemp in England. The maritime supremacy of England during Elizabethan times greatly increased the demand. Hemp cultivation began in the British colonies in the New World: first in Canada in 1606, then in Virginia in 1611; the Pilgrims took the crop to New England in 1632.

In pre-Revolutionary North America, Hemp was employed even for making work clothes. Hemp was introduced quite independently into Spanish colonies in America: Chile, 1545; Peru, 1554. There is no doubt that hemp fiber production represents an early use of Cannabis, but perhaps consumption of its edible akenes as food predated the discovery of the useful fiber. These akenes are very nutritious, and it is difficult to imagine that early man, constantly searching for food, would have missed this opportunity. Archaeological finds of Hemp akenes in Germany, dated with reservation at 500 B. C. ndicate the nutritional use of these plant products.

From early times to the present, Hemp akenes have been used as food in Eastern Europe, and in the United States as a major ingredient of bird food. The folk-medicinal value of Hemp — frequently indistinguishable from its hallucinogenic properties — may even be its earliest role as an economic plant. The earliest record of the medicinal use of the plant is that of the Chinese emperor-herbalist Shen-Nung who, five thousand years ago, recommended Cannabis for malaria, beriberi, constipation, rheumatic pains, absent-mindedness, and female disorders.

Hoa-Glio, another ancient Chinese herbalist, recommended a mixture of Hemp resin and wine as an analgesic during surgery. It was in ancient India that this gift of the gods found excessive use in folk medicine. It was believed to quicken the mind, prolong life, improve judgment, lower fevers, induce sleep, cure dysentery. Because of its psychoactive properties it was more highly valued than medicines with only physical activity. Several systems of Indian medicine esteemed Cannabis. The medical work Sushruta claimed that it claimed leprosy. The Bharaprakasha of about A. D. 00 described it as antiphlegmatic, digestive, bile affecting, pungent, and astringent, prescribing it to stimulate the appetite, improve digestion, and better the voice.

The spectrum of medicinal uses in India covered control of dandruff and relief of headache, mania, insomnia, venereal disease, whooping cough, earaches, and tuberculosis! The fame of Cannabis as a medicine spread with the plant. In parts of Africa, it was valued in treating dysentery, malaria, anthrax, and fevers. Even today the Hotentots and Mfengu claim its efficacy in treating snake bites, and Sotho women induce partial stupefaction by smoking Hemp before childbirth.

Although Cannabis seems not to have been employed in medieval Europe as an hallucinogen, it was highly valued in medicine and its therapeutic uses can be traced back to early classical physicians such as Dioscorides and Galen. Medieval herbalists distinguished manured hemp (cultivated) from bastard hemp (weedy), recommending the latter against nodes and wennes and other hard tumors, the former for a host of uses from curing cough to jaundice. They cautioned, however, that in excess it might cause sterility, that it drieth up… the seeds of generation in men and the milke of women’s breasts.

An interesting use in the sixteenth century — source of the name Angler’s Weed in England — was locally important: poured into the holes of earthworms [it] will draw them forth and… fisherman and anglers have use this feat to bait their hooks. The value of Cannabis in folk medicine has clearly been closely tied with its euphoric and hallucinogenic properties, knowledge of which may be as old as its use as a source of fiber. Primitive man, trying all sorts of plant materials as food, must have known the ecstatic hallucinatory effects of Hemp, an intoxication introducing him to an other-worldly plant leading to religious beliefs.

Thus the plant early was viewed as a special gift of the gods, a sacred medium for communion with the spirit world. Although Cannabis today is the most widely employed of the hallucinogens, its use purely as a narcotic, except in Asia, appears not to be ancient. In classical times its euphoric properties were, however, recognized. In Thebes, Hemp was made into a drink said to have opium-like properties. Galen reported that cakes with Hemp, if eaten to excess, were intoxicating.

The use as an inebriant seems to have been spread east and west by barbarian hordes of central Asia, especially the Scythians, who had a profound cultural influence on early Greece and eastern Europe. And knowledge of the intoxicating effects of Hemp goes far back in Indian history, as indicated by the deep mythological and spiritual beliefs about the plant. One preparation, Bhang, was so sacred that it was thought to deter evil, bring luck, and cleanse man of sin. Those treading upon the leaves of this holy plant would suffer harm or disaster, and sacred oaths were sealed over Hemp.

The favorite drink of Indra, god of the firmament, was made from Cannabis, and the Hindu god Shiva commanded that the word Bhangi must be chanted repeatedly during sowing, weeding, and harvesting of the holy plant. Knowledge and use of the intoxicating properties eventually spread to Asia Minor. Hemp was employed as an incense in Assyria in the first millennium B. C. , suggesting its use as an inebriant. While there is no direct mention of Hemp in the Bible, several obscure passages may refer tangentially to the effects of Cannabis resin or Hashish.

It is perhaps in the Himalayas of India and the Tibetan plateau that Cannabis preparations assumed their greatest hallucinogenic importance in religious contexts. Bhang is a mild preparation: dried leaves or flowering shoots are pounded with spices into a paste and consumed as candy — known as maajun — or in tea form. Ganja is made from the resin-rich dried pistillate flowering tops of cultivated plants which are pressed into a compacted mass and kept under pressure for several days to induce chemical changes; most Ganja is smoked, often with Tobacco.

Charas consists of the resin itself, a brownish mass which is employed generally in smoking mixtures. The Tibetans considered Cannabis sacred. A Mahayana Buddhist tradition maintains that during the six steps of asceticism leading to his enlightenment, Buddha lived on one Hemp seed a day. He is often depicted with Soma leaves in his begging bowl and the mysterious god-narcotic Soma has occasionally been identified with Hemp. In Tantric Buddhism of the Himalayas of Tibet, Cannabis plays a very significant role in the meditative ritual used to facilitate deep meditation and heighten awareness.

Both medicinal and recreational secular use of Hemp is likewise so common now in this region that the plant is taken from granted as an everyday necessity. Folklore maintains that the use of Hemp was introduced to Persia by an Indian pilgrim during the reign of Khrusu (A. D. 531-579), but it is known that the Assyrians used Hemp as an incense during the first millennium B. C. Although at first prohibited among Islamic peoples, Hashish spread widely west throughout Asia Minor. In 1378, authorities tried to extirpate Hemp from Arabian territory by the imposition of harsh punishments.

As early as 1271, the eating of Hemp was so well known that Marco Polo described its consumption in the secret order of Hashishins, who used the narcotic to experience the rewards in store for them in the afterlife. Cannabis extended early and widely from Asia Minor into Africa, partly under the pressure of Islamic influence, but the use of Hemp transcends Mohammedan areas. It is widely believed that Hemp was introduced also with slaves from Malaya. Commonly known in Africa as Kif or Dagga, the plant has entered into primitive native cultures in social and religious contexts.

The hotentots, Bushmen, and Kaffirs used Hemp for centuries as a medicine and as an intoxicant. In an ancient tribal ceremony in the Zambesi Valley, participants inhaled vapors from a pile of smoldering Hemp; later, reed tubes and pipes were employed, and the plant material was burned on an altar. The Kasai tribes of the Congo have revived an old Riamba cult in which Hemp, replacing ancient fetishes and symbols, was elevated to a god — a protector against physical and spiritual harm.

Treaties are sealed with puffs of smoke from calabash pipes. Hemp-smoking and Hashish-snuffing cults exists in many parts of east Africa, especially near Lake Victoria. Hemp has spread to many areas of the New World, but with few exceptions the plant has not penetrated significantly into many native American religious beliefs and ceremonies. There are, however, exceptions such as its use under the name Rosa Maria, by the Tepecano Indians of northwest Mexico who occasionally employ Hemp when Peyote is not available.

It has recently been learned that Indians in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Hidalgo, and Puebla practice a communal curing ceremony with a plant called Santa Rosa, identified as Cannabis Sativa, which is considered both a plant and a sacred intercessor with the Virgin. Although the ceremony is based mainly on Christian elements, the plant is worshipped as an earth deity and is thought to be alive and to represent a part of the heart of God. The participants in this cult believe that the plant can be dangerous and that it can assume the form of a man’s soul, make him ill, enrage him, and even cause death.

Sixty years ago, when Mexican laborers introduced the smoking of marijuana to the United States, it spread across the south, and by the early 1920s, its use was established in New Orleans, confined primarily among the poor and minority groups. The continued spread of the custom in the United States and Europe has resulted in a still unresolved controversy. Cannabis Sativa was officially in the United States Pharmacopoeia until 1937, recommended for a wide variety of disorders, especially as a mild sedative.

It is no longer an official drug, although research in the medical potential of some of the cannabinolic constituents or their semi-synthetic analogues is at present very active, particularly in relation to the side-effects of cancer therapy. The psychoactive effects of Cannabis preparations vary widely, depending on dosage, the preparation and the type of plant used, the method of administration, personality of the user, and social and cultural background. Perhaps the most frequent characteristic is a dreamy state. Long forgotten events are often recalled and thoughts occur in unrelated sequences.

Perception of time, and occasionally of space, is altered. Visual and auditory hallucinations follow the use of large doses. Euphoria, excitement, inner happiness — often with hilarity and laughter — are typical. In some cases, a final mood of depression may be experienced. While behavior is sometimes impulsive, violence or aggression is seldom induced. In relatively recent years, the use of Cannabis as an intoxicant has spread widely in Western society — especially in the United States and Europe — and has caused apprehension in law-making and law-enforcing circles and has created social and health problems.

There is still little, if any, agreement on the magnitude of these problems or on their solution. Opinion appears to be pulled in two directions: that the use of Cannabis is an extreme social, moral, and health danger that must be stamped out, or that it is an innocuous, pleasant pastime that should be legalized. It may be some time before all the truths concerning the use in our times and society of this ancient drug are fully known.

Since an understanding of the history and attitudes of peoples who have long used the plant may play a part in furthering our handling of the situation in modern society, it behooves us to consider the role of Cannabis in man’s past and to learn what lessons it can teach us: whether to maintain wise restraint in our urbanized, industrialized life or to free it for general use. For it appears that Cannabis may be with us for a long time. A fifteenth-century manuscript of Marco Polo’s travels depicts the Persian nobleman Al-Hassan ibn-al-Sabbah, who was known as the Old Man of the Mountain, enjoying the artificial paradise of Hashish eaters.

His followers, known as ashishins, consumed large amounts of Cannabis resin to increase their courage as they slaughtered and plundered on behalf of their leader. The words assassin and hashish were derived from the name of this band The Cuna Indians of Panama use Cannabis as a sacred herb. This mola of applique work depicts a Cuna council meeting. An orator is shown addressing two headmen, who lounge in their hammocks and listen judiciously; one smokes a pipe as he swings. Spectators wander in and out, and one man is seen napping on a bench.

The Cora Indians of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico smoke Cannabis in the course of their sacred ceremonies. Rarely is an introduced foreign plant adopted and use in indigenous religious ceremonies, but it seems that the Cora of Mexico and the Cuna of Panama have taken up the ritual smoking of Cannabis, notwithstanding the fact that, in both areas, it was brought in by the early Europeans. In the nineteenth century, a select group of European artists and writers turned to psychoactive agents in an attempt to achieve what has come to be regarded as mind-expansion or mind-alteration.

Many people, such as the French poet Baudelaire, believed that creative ability could be greatly enhanced by the use of Cannabis. In fact, Baudelaire wrote vivid descriptions of his personal experiences under the influence of Cannabis. At the upper left is Gustave Dore’s painting Composition on the Death of Gerard de Nerval, inspired probably by the use of Cannabis and Opium. At the upper right is a contemporary American cartoon humorously epitomizing the recurrence of this belief (it shows caveman around a fire, one saying Hey, what is this stuff?

It makes everything I think seem profound. It was not only among the French literati that psychoactive substances raised expectations. In 1845, the French psychiatrist Moreau de Tours published his investigation of Hashish in a fundamental scientific monograph Du hachisch et de l’alienation mentale. Moreau de Tours’s scientific study was on the effects of Cannabis. He explored the use of this hallucinogen in Egypt and the Near East and experimented personally with it an and other psychoactive plant substances.

He concluded that the effects resemble certain mental disorders and suggested that they might be used to induce model psychoses. This marvelous experience often occurs as if it were the effect of a superior and invisible power acting on the person from without…. This delightful and singular state… gives no advance warning. It is as unexpected as a ghost, an intermittent haunting from which we must draw, if we are wise, the certainty of a better existence. This acuteness of though, this enthusiasm of the senses and the spirit must have appeared to man through the ages as the first blessing.

Marijuana Legal or Illegal

Cannabis, sold as marijuana, hashish and hash oil, is the most frequently used illicit drug in Canada. Roughly one in four Canadian adults report having used cannabis at some time in their lives. Cannabis use has been on the rise among young people. For example, a 1997 Addiction Research Foundation survey found that 25 per cent of Ontario junior high school students used cannabis in the previous year, up from 13 per cent in 1993. (cannabae) Knowing this, should the United States legalize cannabis? There are some questions that must be answered first. What other uses does cannabis have and how would legalizing affect the drug rings in the US.

In terms of health risks, some consequences of cannabis are clearly known, while others, such as the effects of chronic exposure, are less obvious. In terms of respiratory damage, marijuana smoke contains higher concentrations of some of the constituents of tar and tobacco smoke. In addition, it is hotter when it contacts the lungs and is typically inhaled more deeply and held in the lungs longer than tobacco smoke. In terms of physical co-ordination, Cannabis impairs co-ordination. This brings with it the risk of injury and death through impaired driving or accidents such as falls.

When it comes to pregnancy and childhood development, Cannabis use by pregnant women may affect the fetus. As with tobacco smoking, risks such as low birth weight and premature delivery increase with use. Research has shown a link between chronic heavy marijuana use and damage to the respiratory system similar to that caused by tobacco. Long-term marijuana smoking is associated with changes, such as injury to the major bronchi, that leave the lungs open to injury and infection. Frequent, heavy use has been linked with bronchitis. (dope head) There Is also no link between marijuana smoking and lung cancer.

Some interesting facts on cannabis; the impact of health problems linked to cannabis is much less than that resulting from alcohol or tobacco use. Survey data from the U. S. , show that dependence on nicotine among smokers is several times more damaging than cannabis dependence among marijuana users. Moreover, the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol account for the bulk of the economic costs of substance use. A recent Ontario study found that annual health care osts resulting from cannabis use were 8 million dollars when compared to those for tobacco 1. 07 billion dollars and alcohol 442 million dollars. cannabae)

Is Marijuana a gateway drug? Researchers are looking into using marijuana to help crack cocaine addicts to quit. There are 40 million people in the United States who have smoked marijuana for a period of their lives. (cannabae) Knowing this, Why arent there millions of heroin or cocaine users? In Amsterdam, both marijuana use and heroin use went down after marijuana was decriminalized, even though there was a short ise in cannabis use right after decriminalization. Unlike addictive drugs, cannabis causes almost no tolerance. Some people even report reverse tolerance.

That is, the longer they have used marijuana the less they need to get high. (dope head) So users of marijuana do not usually get bored and look for something more powerful. The idea that using marijuana will lead you to the use of heroin or speed is called the Gateway Theory. The Gateway Theory was created by the CIA and anti-drug prohibitionists to try and explain the increase in heroin use after the Vietnam War. There have never been any concrete tatistics to back up this idea, but somehow it was the single biggest thing which the newspapers yelled about during Reefer Madness II.

So the theory that marijuana is a gateway drug has been thrown out and is no longer accepted by the medical community. The marijuana plant is not just used for smoking. It has many other uses. Hemp is also produced by Cannabis plant. It is the strongest known natural fiber. It can be used for ropes, clothing, netting, etc. Also the hemp oil can be used for scents such as patchovel. Cannabis is also used for medical reasons such as cancer side effects, migraine head ache, nd many other related causes.

If the United States were to legalize cannabis there would have to be some realistic changes in the law. Taxing cannabis would be a good way to strengthen the economy. In Canada they only used 8 million dollars for health care related expenses, therefore, there would be a considerate amount of extra money. That money could go to strengthening the schools, roads, or even lower taxes on property or food. In Amsterdam when cannabis was decriminalized the popularity rose in the beginning, but dropped to a new low. Would the same be the case for the United States?

Crime would possibly drop because cannabis would be legal and it would eliminate the criminal element. If the government was to regulate marijuana, such as alcohol. This would eliminate most of the drug dealers. Drug dealers wouldnt be able to make money off of marijuana, therefore, they would have to work a regular job and be forced to make an honest living. I purpose that marijuana be legalized and alcohol be illegal. I believe that DUI related deaths would dope to a new low. People can overdose or die of cirrhosis from alcohol. People cant overdose or die from marijuana.

Effects of Marijuana

Everyone has this question of what marijuana actually is. Usually one would think that everybody knows. But the actual truth, is not many people know what marijuana is. Marijuana is a mixture of leaves, stems, and flowering top’s of the Indian plant Cannabis sativia (usually smoked or eaten for its hallucinogenic and pleasure-giving effects). Its chemical ingredients include the “psychoactive THC- known as tetrahydrocannabinol”, which is concentrated in the flowering tops, hashish a drug that is prepared from the plant resin which contains eight times more THC than marijuana.

Marijuana grows only in certain temperate regions, particularly dry and hot lands. Except for limited medical purposes, marijuana is illegal in almost all, but a few countries. In the United States marijuana is illegal. It is an issue which is greatly debated, used, and abused everyday in our country. In this chapter of our research paper you are going to read about the question-“Does marijuana actually effect the brain? “- In medical terminology there are several cases of brain disorders which can result from causes ranging from physical injury to complex chemical imbalances.

In the research papers case, complex chemical imbalances. There are three types of disorders: The first one cerebral injury, is developed by a blow to the head. The person may be stunned, in a daze, or may become unconscious for a moment. This is usually known as a concussion. Fortunately, this does not leave any permanent damage. However, if the blow is severe; hemorrhage and swelling occurs, which results in a tumor that can be removed surgically. The second type of brain disorder is Brain-Stem damage. This occurs in the upper brain stem. If one were to have this, there are several symptoms that can occur.

Such as: a loss in appetite, extraordinary thirst with excessive urination, and failure in body temperature-a very low temperature and last but not least uncontrolled anger or aggression. However, if one were to smoke marijuana he usually develops a big appetite, does not develop excessive urination, and his body temperature remains at the regular 98. 6 degrees. If any similarly, a marijuana smoker does develop thirst, but so does a runner, regular smoker (coffee and a cigarette for breakfast-go to Dunkin Donuts and visit a couple police officers), an alcoholic and last but not least any hospital patient.

Also when one smokes marijuana he develops a sense of laziness, mellowness, and sleepiness (not like alcoholic who acts crazy and hyper). The only time when a marijuana abuser may develop anger or aggression is if he has no money to pay for a joint! The last type of brain disorder is known as a stroke. A stroke historically known as apoplexy, occurs when a major artery in the brain is blocked. This blockage may be caused by blood clot, a compression of a blood vessel, or a rupture of the vessel that is accompanied by bleeding. There has only been five cases of people who developed a blood clot by smoking marijuana.

However, three out of the five were also heavy consumers of alcohol. The remaining two were regular marijuana smokers. They developed their tumors after smoking marijuana at least once a day for thirty-one years. If you calculate it out for one individual, it comes out to be 22,630 joints of marijuana. That is a lot of marijuana they both consumed! However, a alcoholic usually develops a tumor within fifteen years. That is half the years the marijuana smokers had. The answer to the question, does marijuana effect the brain? Marijuana does not effect the brain in damage, but it can alter in functions.

Marijuana effects the perception of time, distance, and speed. It upsets motor coordination, causing unsteady hands, a change in gait, uncontrolled laughter, and a lag between thought and facial expressions. Sexual functions can also be disturbed. Short-term memory deteriorates. In early stages of the use of marijuana, some users will suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most users may find that when they are high the whites of their eyes and facial skin become red, and the pupils dilate and become sensitive to light, increase in appetite, and a dryness in the mouth and throat.

What all these effects have in common is that they result from changes in the brain’s control centers, located deep in the brain. “Deep brain functions separated from conscious thought processes. The deep relay centers feed information to the controlling mechanisms of the consciousness. ” So, when marijuana disturbs functions centered in the deep control centers, disorienting changes in the mind occur (I think that is right). The user’s psychomotor coordination becomes impaired.

One may suffer or develop illusions and hallucinations, have a difficulty in remembering events which just occurred, slowed thinking and a narrow attention span, “depersonalization, euphoria or depression, drowsiness or insomnia, difficulty in making accurate self-evaluation, a loss of judgment, and mental and physical lethargy. ” In a study in Maryland, hundreds of marijuana addicts from high schools, universities, prisons, and drug programs were studied for six to nine years. The researchers observed thought disorders and identified it as cannibis syndrome. This is known as a decrease in motivation.

The marijuana addicts could not recognize the effects in themselves. After giving up the drug for seven to nine weeks they realize they have recovered a sense of motivation. According to another study that was developed by Dr. Heath and several other doctors in 1972, they discovered brain wave patterns being altered in the septal region. This occurs by the THC (drug in marijuana) bundles up or accumulates in and alters fatty structures of cell membranes. The THC accumulates at the fat interface and causes the film of fatty material to be restructured. This leads to a specialized structure of the cell surface.

Basically you are remodeling your cell membranes. However, one is not destroying his cell membranes, he is just restructuring them. When you destroy brain cells or cell membranes they can not be replaced. A marijuana smoker does not destroy his cells, he is altering them or damaging them. If the marijuana smoker were to quit smoking, the damaged cells will repair by themselves. If you compare this with alcohol, the drinker destroys his brain cells, leading to less of them. So by smoking marijuana you are probably at better risk. Another sensory experience that deals with the brain is tolerance and dependance.

Tolerance is the gradual loss of sensitivity to the effects of a given drug. In this case marijuana. Marijuana users build up tolerance to most of the effects of THC, although at different rates of different effects. The frequent users of marijuana will have fewer alterations in mood, cognition, and physiological function per dose than less experienced users. The regular use of very high doses of marijuana can produce or develop to a mild physical dependence. Psychological dependence can also occur. For example, if a user has major life problems because of marijuana, he will find it hard to give it up.

There have been no documented reports of death from a marijuana overdose ( with alcohol there has). Many researchers state that a very large amount would be required to cause death by a overdose. In 3000 B. C, marijuana in Central Asia and China was used as a folk medicine. In the 1400’s to the 1800’s it was used as energy booster. After consuming cannabis or smoking it one would feel recuperated or full of energy. It was encouraged for slaves and mine- workers. The more they smoked the faster things would be done. Then in the 1900’s, it came back to be a pleasure drug.

But, when the 1960’s-70’s came about the use of marijuana became very popular among students. It developed as the second most popular drug. The first was alcohol. Still today marijuana has not been proven to be physically addictive, and no physical withdraw symptoms occur when it is not in use, however a psychological dependence does develop(stated above). Last of all, Medical research has still not found any causes of brain damage occurring by smoking marijuana. Growing up in the metro-politan Detroit area I have seen my friends abuse drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.

I feel that marijuana and other drugs should be legal because it would help out our country in many ways. Not just because my friends do it, but just because of the results of other countries doing it. Amsterdam and India have made it legal, and there are no problems dealing with crime or drug activity. In the United States, almost 75% of crime activity is influenced with drugs. I feel by legalizing it, the percentage rate would go down. Sometimes I think I am too young to think of ideas like this. Maybe my reasonings will change as I develop more education on life and school. But as for now, I think they should legalize the use of marijuana.

Alcohol vs. Marijuana

Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used and abused in the United States. Alcohol is the number one abused drug, while marijuana is number one among illegal drugs. While alcohol remains legal, and marijuana illegal, this does not necessarily mean that the alcohol is better for you. There have been many arguments where people suggest that marijuana should be legal because alcohol is more deadly. On the other hand, there are alcoholics who would tell a pothead that smoking weed is bad for you. Both substances are very bad for your health and should not be heavily used by anyone.

Marijuana has an immediate effect during and for about 2 hours after smoking. With alcohol, users feel slight effects after just one drink, and recover depending on the amount the person drank, how much they weigh, and how much they had to eat before ingesting the alcohol. Immediate effects of use are slurred speech, decreased inhibitions, poor judgment, and lack of motor coordination. Marijuana causes red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, slowed reaction, paranoia, hallucinations, decreased social inhibitions, and memory loss. Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol can lead to a coma or even death.

A person would have to smoke 40,000 times the amount to get high to overdose, so it is practically impossible. Alcohol is responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year. Marijuana kills less than 10,000 per year. Among the deaths caused by alcohol, drinking and driving is number one. Not only is it number one among alcohol related deaths, it is also one of the main causes of death and injury in the United States. Alcohol impairs judgment and vision, and causes speeding and reckless driving. On the other hand, there has been debate over the effect of marijuana on driving.

One study by a computer software company reported that people who smoked a small amount of marijuana drove faster and with fewer collisions in a driving computer game. Another study said that marijuana causes abnormally slow driving, proneness to distraction, and increases the time it takes to react, therefore greatly impairs your ability to drive. Long-term effects of alcohol are liver cirrhosis, stomach ailments, impotence, vitamin deficiency, increased stroke risk, decreased mental performance, heart disease, peptic ulcers, hepatitis, and various forms of cancer.

Alcohols effects on the brain are loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts. Long-term effects of marijuana are mouth, throat, and lung cancer, increased heart rate, decrease in testosterone levels for men, increased testosterone levels for women, diminished sexual pleasure, increased blood pressure, increased stress, decreased motivation, and respiratory problems. The THC in marijuana damages the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed, making it hard to remember things.

Both substances can lead to dependence, especially alcohol. If one abuses alcohol for to long and becomes dependent, they are considered to be an alcoholic. There has been debate on whether marijuana is addictive. Some experts believe that since there are no obvious withdrawal symptoms, it is not considered to be an addictive drug. Others claim that it is addictive because it takes the place of natural feel good chemicals in the brain, so people become physically addicted.

Alcoholism on the other hand, is considered a disease. Ten percent of people who drink will become alcoholics. There seems to be a genetic factor associated with alcoholism. Biological children of alcoholics have a greater chance of becoming alcoholics themselves than a child who is adopted into a family with a history of alcoholism. If an alcoholic abruptly stops drinking, he will go through withdrawal symptoms known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

The symptoms are nausea, tremors, sweating, anxiety, depression, weakness, hallucinations, and even death. Despite the talk about alcohol abuse and alcoholism, alcohol can actually be good for you. If one drinks in moderation (2-6 drinks per week in two or more sittings) it can lessen the chance of heart disease by thinning your blood. There are no known health benefits associated with moderate marijuana use. Both drugs have serious health effects when used heavily, but it seems that alcohol more detrimental to your health.

Legalizing Marijuana Essay

To the AIDS or cancer patient, it is the plant that fights nausea and appetite loss. To the nutritionist, its seed is second only to the soybean in nutritional value, and is a source of cooking oil and vitamins. To the paper or cloth manufacturer, it is the plant that provided much of our paper and clothing for hundreds of years and produces four times more fiber per acre than trees. To the environmentalist, it is the plant that could greatly slow deforestation, restore robbed nutrients by other crops, and help prevent erosion.

And according to Lonnelle Aikman, “Preliminary indings show the drug may prove effective against glaucoma and asthma, and control such side nausea in cancer treatment” (158). Unfortunately, to most people in this country, it is a useless plant when it comes to economic or medical value. Marijuana should be legalized in the United States. In technical terms, hemp, cannabis, or for the average American, marijuana, it is used only for recre! ational purposes. I think marijuana is a plant that could save the world.

In this paper I hope to reverse prejudices, relieve ignorance, and inform people of the known and potential therapeutic uses of this remarkable plant. As of today the nation stands behind three basic ideas of what to do with marijuana; legalize marijuana, make it legal only as a prescription drug, or keep it as it is, illegal. People who are pro-marijuana, argue that marijuana is considerably less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, the most frequently used legal drugs. Furthermore marijuana has never directly caused anyone’s death. People who side with the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes believe that the ends justify the means.

But the people who want to keep it illegal think that the medical uses do not outweigh the harmful side effects. Before deciding whether marijuana should be legal or illegal, one needs to know some basic facts. Lester Grinspoon, M. D. and James B. Bakalar note “most botanists agree that there are three species of marijuana; Cannabis sativa, the most widespread of the three, is tall, gangly, and loosely branched, growing as high as twenty feet; Cannabis indica is shorter, about three or four feet in height, pyramidal in shape and densely branched; Cannabis ruderalis is about two feet high with few or no branches” (1).

They also say that “Cannabis has become one of the most widespread nd diversified of plants. It grows as weed and cultivated plant all over the world in a variety of climates and soils” (1). Marijuana was first cultivated in China around 4000 B. C. It was mainly used as a sedative and analgesic, but today it is commonly used for the “high” or the euphoric feeling it causes. The most active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinal commonly referred to a! s THC, which wasn’t discovered until the 1960s.

Marijuana is illegal today because of the Marijuana Stamp Tax Act passed in 1937. This act prohibited the use, sale, and growing of marijuana. It was made illegal because no one understood why smoking marijuana made people feel the way they did, and because it was associated with Indians and other so called “immoral people. ” Today marijuana is illegal because research has shown some intoxicating effects. Such as hallucination, anxiety, depression, extreme variability of mood, paranoia and schizophrenia lasting up to six hours.

Raphael Mechoulam says, “Although cannabis causes initial restlessness, excitement, and sometimes boisterous, impulsive behavior, pacing and dancing, the main picture is of reduced physical activity apart from speech” (316). Physical effects include reddening of the eyes, dryness of the mouth and throat, a moderate increase in heart rate, tightness in the chest, drowsiness, unsteadiness, and uncoordinated muscular contractions. Marijuana buffers ! the central nervous system, but is not known to produce a considerable amount of tar in the lungs.

Although marijuana has not been proven to be physically addictive, its use can be psychologically addictive. These are the negative effects of marijuana, and the primary reasons why domestic people, doctors, and politicians want to keep marijuana illegal. Supporters of legalizing marijuana state that some legal drugs are just as bad. For example, alcohol has many of the same side effects of marijuana. Alcohol buffers the central nervous system and is known to kill brain cells.

A joint of marijuana is known to produce more tar than a cigarette, but on the average marijuana users do not consume enough marijuana to surpass the tar build up of a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. June Crown and W. D. M. Paton state that “Further, one should realize that different cannabis smokers select different levels of ntoxication” (18). In addition, both alcohol and cigarettes have been proven to be chemically addictive and yet they are legal. As of late 1990, there were about twelve people who had permission to smoke marijuana for its medical value.

Are these the only people who can benefit from marijuana? Not according to Harvard researchers who surveyed 2,430 oncologists; of the 1,035 who responded nearly 50% said that they had suggested smoking marijuana to at least one of their patients, despite the fact that it is illegal, and that they would prescribe marijuana if it were legalized. When Kenny and Barbara Jenks, of Panama City, Florida, developed AIDS, the only thing that made them hungry and decreased their nausea were several hits of marijuana each day.

Neither of them had ever been marijuana smokers before, but everything their doctor prescribed for them failed. In March of 1990, twelve police officers put a battering ram through the door of their mobile home, took their two 10-inch marijuana plants, and arrested the couple. The Jenks retaliated, and nine months later became two of a handful of legal marijuana smokers in the United States. For the last ten years the government has sparingly dispensed marijuana to a minute portion of the population to receive it legally on an experimental basis for the treatment of glaucoma and nausea related to cancer chemotherapy.

At the peak of the Drug Wars in the late 1980s the Department of Health and Human Services began receiving dozens of applications from AIDS patients, for whom marijuana’s hunger inducing effects was the only thing that separated them from life and death. As they lost weight and strength, they found it more and more difficult to sustain the will to live. Instead of seeing the demand, Health and Human Services quickly shut down the program this past year, only allowing the select group already benefiting from marijuana to continue.

Helping people in need wasn’t worth endangering the reputation of the War on Drugs. They thought that the use of marijuana, even as a medicine would send the wrong message to people. Although there is much talk about the legalization of drugs among the state government there is very little talk about it on the national level. Instead of legalizing it the government has tried to come up with alternatives to marijuana se. They now offer a drug called Marinol, a spherical brown pill containing an artificial version of one of marijuana’s working ingredients.

Marinol is produced solely by Unimed Inc. in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. The pill sells for about five dollars a tablet, and was sanctioned in 1985 to battle the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. In the book, Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine, it states that ” retching (dry heaves) may last for hours or even days after each treatment, followed by days and even weeks of nausea. Patients may break bones or rupture the esophagus while vomiting. Furthermore, many patients eat almost nothing because they cannot stand the sight or smell of food” (25).

In the past year the FDA approved it as a h! unger stimulant for AIDS patients suffering from the enormous weight loss of this “wasting away syndrome. ” Some patients lose up to thirty pounds in a single month. Marinol works because it duplicates delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), the chemical in marijuana that gives people a “high. ” But, due to the fact that a person is taking the dosage of the THC in one concentrated amount, and not at intervals like smoking marijuana, it hits a person like a brick. Besides, it may not even contain the medicine that suffering people need and want.

Since there was a sudden need for a marijuana substitute, THC was the most researched, so synthetic THC is what was approved by the FDA. In contrast, patients do not want to get high necessarily, they just want relief. When people hear the phrase, “legalization of marijuana,” they only think of the people smoking it for a “high,” not for using it as a medicine. People should not smoke marijuana for recreational purposes, rather for the medical value. It should be used by those people whose last alternative for relief is marijuana. These people who are ill should not be punished by suffering.

Prescription drugs are not to be taken unless prescribed by a doctor. So in fact, we are not legalizing a drug, only introducing a new weapon for fighting illnesses. I hope to have alleviated some of the hostilities towards marijuana. Its uses go far beyond just getting “high. ” It can be used to make paper, therefore saving many trees, clothes, and most importantly for medicine. Although I do not condone smoking marijuana as a recreational drug, I feel that its positive aspects would greatly assist us in the present as well as the future.

The Legalization Of Marijuana paper

The debate over the legalization of Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as marijuana, has been one of the most heated controversies ever to occur in the United States. Its use as a medicine has existed for thousands of years in many countries world wide, and is documented as far back as 2700 BC in ancient Chinese writing. (Jackson,pg. 55) When someone says ganja, cannabis, bung, dope, grass, rasta, or weed, they are talking about the same subject: marijuana.

Marijuana should be legalized because the government could earn money from taxes on its sale, its value to the medical world utweighs its abuse potential, and because of its importance to the paper and clothing industries. This action should be taken despite efforts made by groups which say marijuana is a harmful drug which will increase crime rates and lead users to other more dangerous substances. The actual story behind the legislature passed against marijuana is quite surprising. The acts bringing about the demise of marijuana were part of a large conspiracy involving DuPont, Harry J. Angslinger, commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), and many other influential industrial leaders such as William Randolph Hearst, and Andrew Mellon.

The Marijuana Act, which passed in 1937, coincidentally occurred just as the decorator machine was invented. (Jackson, pg. 57) With this invention, marijuana would have been able to take over competing industries almost instantaneously. You see 10,000 acres devoted to marijuana will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average forest pulp land. William Hearst owned enormous timber acreage so his interest in preventing the growth of marijuana can be easily explained.

Competition from marijuana would have easily driven the Hearst paper manufacturing company out of business, and significantly lowered the value of his land. (Jackson,pg. 0) Even popularizing the term “marijuana” was a strategy Hearst used in order to create fear in the American public. You see the first step in creating hysteria was to introduce the element of fear of the unknown by using a word that no one had ever heard of before “marijuana. ” The reasoning behind Hearst and others was not for any moral or health related issues. They fought to prevent the growth of this new industry so they wouldnt lose money.

In fact, the American Medical Association tried to argue for the medical benefits of marijuana. Marijuana is actually less dangerous than alcohol, cigarettes, and even most ver-the-counter medicines or prescriptions. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal affects, but marijuana is not such a substance. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.

To me it doesnt make sense for marijuana to be illegal in the United States when alcohol poisoning is a major cause of death in this country, and approximately 400,000 premature deaths are attributed to cigarettes annually. (Jackson, pg. 64) Marijuana compares avorably to nicotine, alcohol, and even caffeine. When drinking a person will experience an inability to stand or walk without help, near unconsciousness, lack of comprehension of what is seen or heard, shock, and breathing and heartbeat may stop. When smoking marijuana will do nothing more than put you to sleep, while drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will kill you.

Prescribed marijuana alleviates epilepsy, weight loss of AIDS, nausea of chemotherapy, menstrual pains, and severe effects of Multiple Sclerosis. The illness with the most documentation among doctors which marijuana has successfully treated is Multiple Sclerosis. A doctor by the name of Lester Grinspoon believes for Multiple Sclerosis suffers, “Cannabis is a drug of necessity. ” (Jackson,pg. 63) Marijuana is also known to help patients with muscle spasms. It allows them to sleep properly, and helps to control the patients bladders.

Marijuana also proved to be effective in the treatment of glaucoma because its use lowers pressure on the eye. We should be concentrating on the serious business of heroin and amphetamines. If the government were to legalize marijuana, they could reasonably place high taxes on it. An entire industry could be created out of marijuana based products. The oils extracted from seeds could be used for fuels and the marijuana fiber, a fiber so valued for its strength that it is used to judge the quality of other fibers, could be manufactured into ropes, clothing, or paper. Dennis,pg. 86)

Most importantly, the money the government would make from taxes and the money which would be saved by not trying to prevent its use could be used for more important things, such as serious drugs or the national debt. The recreational use of marijuana would not stimulate crime like some would argue. For instance, the crime rate in Amsterdam, where marijuana is legal, is lower than many major U. S. cities. If we took action and our government legalized marijuana today, we would immediately see benefits from this decision.

People suffering from illnesses ranging from manic depression to multiple sclerosis would be able to experience relief. The government also could make billions of dollars off of the taxes it could impose on its sale. There have been no recorded deaths as a result of marijuana use, it is not physically addictive like alcohol, or tobacco, and most doctors will agree it is safer to use. Marijuana being illegal has no validity at all. Due to all the positive aspects of marijuana, it should be legalized in the United States.

The Legalization Of Marijuana

Is the illegalization of marijuana valid? The debate over the legalization of Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as marijuana, has been one of the most heated controversies ever to occur in the United States. Its use as a medicine has existed for thousands of years in many countries world wide, and is documented as far back as 2700 BC in ancient Chinese writing. (Jackson,pg. 55) When someone says ganja, cannabis, bung, dope, grass, rasta, or weed, they are talking about the same subject: marijuana.

Marijuana should be legalized because the government could earn money from taxes on its sale, its value to the medical world utweighs its abuse potential, and because of its importance to the paper and clothing industries. This action should be taken despite efforts made by groups which say marijuana is a harmful drug which will increase crime rates and lead users to other more dangerous substances. The actual story behind the legislature passed against marijuana is quite surprising. The acts bringing about the demise of marijuana were part of a large conspiracy involving DuPont, Harry J.

Angslinger, commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), and many other influential industrial leaders such as William Randolph Hearst, and Andrew Mellon. The Marijuana Act, which passed in 1937, coincidentally occurred just as the decorator machine was invented. (Jackson, pg. 57) With this invention, marijuana would have been able to take over competing industries almost instantaneously. You see 10,000 acres devoted to marijuana will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average forest pulp land. William Hearst owned enormous timber acreage so his interest in preventing the growth of marijuana can be easily explained.

Competition from marijuana would have easily driven the Hearst paper manufacturing company out of business, and significantly lowered the value of his land. (Jackson,pg. 0) Even popularizing the term “marijuana” was a strategy Hearst used in order to create fear in the American public. You see the first step in creating hysteria was to introduce the element of fear of the unknown by using a word that no one had ever heard of before “marijuana. ” The reasoning behind Hearst and others was not for any moral or health related issues.

They fought to prevent the growth of this new industry so they wouldnt lose money. Jackson,pg. 61) In fact, the American Medical Association tried to argue for the medical benefits of marijuana. Marijuana is actually less dangerous than alcohol, cigarettes, and even most ver-the-counter medicines or prescriptions. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal affects, but marijuana is not such a substance. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.

To me it doesnt make sense for marijuana to be illegal in the United States when alcohol poisoning is a major cause of death in this country, and approximately 400,000 premature deaths are attributed to cigarettes annually. (Jackson, pg. 64) Marijuana compares avorably to nicotine, alcohol, and even caffeine. When drinking a person will experience an inability to stand or walk without help, near unconsciousness, lack of comprehension of what is seen or heard, shock, and breathing and heartbeat may stop. When smoking marijuana will do nothing more than put you to sleep, while drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will kill you.

Prescribed marijuana alleviates epilepsy, weight loss of AIDS, nausea of chemotherapy, menstrual pains, and severe effects of Multiple Sclerosis. The illness with the most documentation among doctors which marijuana has successfully treated is Multiple Sclerosis. A doctor by the name of Lester Grinspoon believes for Multiple Sclerosis suffers, “Cannabis is a drug of necessity. ” (Jackson,pg. 63) Marijuana is also known to help patients with muscle spasms. It allows them to sleep properly, and helps to control the patients bladders.

Marijuana also proved to be effective in the treatment of glaucoma because its use lowers pressure on the eye. We should be concentrating on the serious business of heroin and amphetamines. If the government were to legalize marijuana, they could reasonably place high taxes on it. An entire industry could be created out of marijuana based products. The oils extracted from seeds could be used for fuels and the marijuana fiber, a fiber so valued for its strength that it is used to judge the quality of other fibers, could be manufactured into ropes, clothing, or paper. Dennis,pg. 86)

Most importantly, the money the government would make from taxes and the money which would be saved by not trying to prevent its use could be used for more important things, such as serious drugs or the national debt. The recreational use of marijuana would not stimulate crime like some would argue. For instance, the crime rate in Amsterdam, where marijuana is legal, is lower than many major U. S. cities. If we took action and our government legalized marijuana today, we would immediately see benefits from this decision.

People suffering from illnesses ranging from manic depression to multiple sclerosis would be able to experience relief. The government also could make billions of dollars off of the taxes it could impose on its sale. There have been no recorded deaths as a result of marijuana use, it is not physically addictive like alcohol, or tobacco, and most doctors will agree it is safer to use. Marijuana being illegal has no validity at all. Due to all the positive aspects of marijuana, it should be legalized in the United States.

Marijuana Special Report

Back in the 1970s, animal experiments led to groundless fears that marijuana blew holes in brain tissue. The experiments organisations like NIDA now fund are more sophisticated but the controversy still rages. George Koob, an addiction researcher from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, claims the new message from the animals is simple: The more we discover about the neurobiology of addiction the more common elements we’re seeing between THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in cannabis) and other drugs of abuse.

And for Koob, one of these newly discovered common elements is marijauna’s ability to trigger chemical changes in the brain that lead to strong withdrawal symptoms. In humans, some researchers claim to see clear evidence of insomnia, anxiety and even flu-like symptoms in heavy cannabis users who abstain. But if there’s a consensus, it’s that symptoms are mild and variable. By contrast, Koob’s rats are shivering wrecks. Does this mean marijuana is more addictive than we think? Not a bit of it, says Roger Pertwee, a university pharmacologist and president of the Cannabinoid Research Society.

That’s because those symptoms aren’t so much observed as manufactured. The animals are injected with high doses of THC, then injected with a second chemical to block cannabis receptors in the brain. Without the block, the sharp withdrawal symptoms can’t be seen because cannabis clears so slowly that even heavily doped rats are likely to experience a gentle wind down. Another debate rages over animal studies into the short-term effects of marijuana on brain chemistry. Heroin, cocaine, alcohol and nicotine all trigger a surge in the chemical dopamine in a small midbrain structure called the nucleus accumbens.

Many researchers regard this as a hallmark of an addictive substance. Last year, experiments showed that cannabis presses the same dopamine button in rats, leading to claims that the drug must be more addictive than previously thought. To critics, it is just another example of those old exaggerated fears. What nobody tells you, says John Morgan, a pharmacologist at City University of New York Medical School, is that rats don’t like cannabis. It’s easy for them to get hooked on heroin or cocaine — but not marijuana.

Nor, Morgan claims, are researchers exactly open about awkward observations, such as the fact that there are plenty of nonaddictive drugs that stimulate dopamine in the brain. It’s easy to understand why biologists want to find simple chemical traits that are shared by all addictive drugs. Unfortunately, the differences are as important as the similarities when it comes to weighing the relative risks and pleasures involved in taking drugs. And subjectively at least, the intense rush of cocaine and orgasm-like high of heroin have little in common with dope’s subtler effects.

A compound related to the active ingredient in marijuana may be accumulating in the spinal fluid of people with schizophrenia. This might explain why many sufferers smoke pot. Many researchers blame schizophrenia on an overactive dopamine system in the brain. Daniele Piomelli and colleagues at the University of California at Irvine already knew that making rats dopamine receptors hyperactive caused a surge in anandamide, a lipid that binds to the same receptors in the brain as marijuana.

Now Piomellis group has examined cerebrospinal fluid from 10 schizophrenic patients, taken for diagnostic purposes at the Medical College of Hannover in Germany. They found that fluid from schizophrenic patients had on average twice as much anandamide as fluid from people who didnt have schizophrenia (NeuroReport, vol 10, p 1665). One explanation for the higher levels in schizophrenics is that the brain is attempting to compensate for a hyperactive dopamine system. Its the brains response to bring this dopamine activity down, says Piomelli.

But the brain cannot keep the amount of anandamide high enough to lower dopamine levels, he says. This might also explain why schizophrenics often smoke marijuana. The drugs active agent, THC, and anandamide both bind to the same receptor, so patients might be treating themselves, he says. But because pot does not act selectively in the brain, Piomelli does not consider it a useful treatment for schizophrenia. I dont think the patient wants to be high, he says. I think the patient wants to feel better.

One weakness in the data so far is that five of the patients were taking medication for their symptoms and three others were using marijuana daily. The effects of these drugs on endogenous cannabinoid levels is not known. It is imperative to continue with a larger sample, says Piomelli. The researchers are now testing fluid from more patients to see if the correlation still holds true. Health officials in Geneva have suppressed the publication of a politically sensitive analysis that confirms what ageing hippies have known for decades: cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco.

According to a document leaked to New Scientist, the analysis concludes not only that the amount of dope smoked worldwide does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same is likely to hold true even if people consumed dope on the same scale as these legal substances. The comparison was due to appear in a report on the harmful effects of cannabis published last December by the WHO. But it was ditched at the last minute following a long and intense dispute between WHO officials, the cannabis experts who drafted the report and a group of external advisers.

As the WHO’s first report on cannabis for 15 years, the document had been eagerly awaited by doctors and specialists in drug abuse. The official explanation for excluding the comparison of dope with legal substances is that the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons are doubtful. However, insiders say the comparison was scientifically sound and that the WHO caved in to political pressure. It is understood that advisers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise marijuana.

One member of the expert panel which drafted the report, says: In the eyes of some, any such comparison is tantamount to an argument for marijuana legalisation. Another member, Billy Martin of the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, says that some WHO officials went nuts when they saw the draft report. The leaked version of the excluded section states that the reason for making the comparisons was not to promote one drug over another but rather to minimise the double standards that have operated in appraising the health effects of cannabis.

Nevertheless, in most of the comparisons it makes between cannabis and alcohol, the illegal drug comes out better–or at least on a par–with the legal one. The report concludes, for example, that in developed societies cannabis appears to play little role in injuries caused by violence, as does alcohol. It also says that while the evidence for fetal alcohol syndrome is good, the evidence that cannabis can harm fetal development is far from conclusive. Cannabis also fared better in five out of seven comparisons of long-term damage to health.

For example, the report says that while heavy consumption of either drug can lead to dependence, only alcohol produces a well defined withdrawal syndrome. And while heavy drinking leads to cirrhosis, severe brain injury and a much increased risk of accidents and suicide, the report concludes that there is only suggestive evidence that chronic cannabis use may produce subtle defects in cognitive functioning. Two comparisons were more equivocal. The report says that both heavy drinking and marijuana smoking can produce symptoms of psychosis in susceptible people.

And, it says, there is evidence that chronic cannabis smoking may be a contributory cause of cancers of the aerodigestive tract. HEAVYusers of marijuana who suddenly go cold turkey have aggressive impulses as powerful as those felt by Frank Spooner The reaction is far less intense than the withdrawal symptoms of alcoholics or people addicted to cocaine or heroin, and may reflect a psychological dependence on the drug, rather than a genuine physiological addiction. But it still might be enough to keep some marijuana users from kicking their habit, says Elena Kouri, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Kouri and her colleagues recruited 17 volunteers who had smoked marijuana on at least 5000 occasions, and who continued to be heavy users of the drug. They also studied 20 people who either took marijuana occasionally, or who had already given it up. None of the volunteers had a history of violence or any other psychiatric disturbance. The researchers used a computer game to measure the volunteers’ aggressive behaviour during a 28-day period of abstinence from marijuana, which was monitored by daily, supervised urine tests. The volunteers sat alone at a computer screen with two buttons.

The first added money to an account in their name, but they were told that a second would subtract money from the account of their opponent, sitting at a similar screen in the next room. On the day they gave up marijuana, and one, three, seven and 28 days later, the two players were given 20 minutes to take it in turns to push one or other button, after which they could keep the money left in their account. In reality, there was no opponent. The researchers had instead arranged for the computer to provoke the volunteers by frequently subtracting money from their account.

When tested on the third and seventh days of abstinence, this ersatz nasty opponent managed to get the heavy users noticeably hot under the collar. Says Kouri: Subjects that on day zero hadn’t cared at all that they were losing points started swearing and punching the keyboard, yelling ‘I’m going to get you back! ‘ The heavy users hit the punishment button more than twice as often as the control group on days three and seven– an increase in aggression that compares roughly with that produced by a three-week course of testosterone supplements in another study by Kouri.

The increased aggression had subsided completely by the time the volunteers were tested again at the end of the abstinence period, however (Psychopharmacology, vol 143, p 302). The study is the first to measure aggression during withdrawal from a long period of heavy marijuana use. But Margaret Haney, a psychologist at Columbia University in New York, says that people who show aggressive tendencies in the laboratory do not necessarily become violent in the real world. I would hesitate to say that it would translate to physical violence, she says.

Should marijuana be sold at corner stores to anyone over 16

Recently, some of Canadas politicians have claimed to introduce the legislation of legalizing marijuana. According to the policy, the possession of marijuana will not be considered as a criminal sanction. Indeed, marijuana will become a legal substance. People who are over 16 can buy it over the counter just as alcohol or tobacco. Although legalizing marijuana may be beneficial to those people with medical purposes, it will create more problems and dangers to the society. The problems that associated with legalizing marijuana are causing negative impacts on public health and increasing marijuana consumption among youths.

Also, the misuse of marijuana may cause people to drive under the influence of the drug, and hence, more accidents may occur, causing more expenses on public health care. Clearly, the downsides of legalizing marijuana outweigh its benefits. Marijuana is a drug that is harmful to a persons health. It has been found to have adverse impacts on ones mental processes such as memory, attention, judgement, and problem- solving (Butcher, Mineka, Hooley, 2004, p. 415). Also, marijuana can interfere with a persons ability to think rationally and logically.

Thus, the lapse in judgement caused by the drug use can lead to risky sexual behaviours and this may result in increasing sexually transmitted disease such as AIDS. Moreover, the long-term use of marijuana may cause chronic breathing problems and cancer to the lungs, as well as, other parts of the respiratory tracts. The immune systems may also be affected and the body may have a more likelihood of contracting infections. Additionally, chronic users might neglect their personal hygiene and nutrition, which can lead to serious health problems.

Hence, the use of marijuana will not only contribute to adverse impacts on an individuals health, but also threaten the health of society. In addition to increase public health problems, legalizing marijuana will lead to increase use of the drug among youngsters. Despite the regulatory approaches, legalizing marijuana has the inevitable effect of increasing the availability and consumption of the drug. Under the current prohibitions, the rate of consumption of marijuana among teenagers is already high; however, the rate of use would greatly increase if the drug was legitimately available to the population.

For instance, despite the prohibitions against distribution of alcohol to teenagers, many youngsters who are under the legal age drink alcohol today. Similarly, high percentages of the young population are currently smokers even though the law prohibit them from buying cigarettes. Therefore, it is expected that the usage of marijuana among teenagers would increase if marijuana was legalized. Notably, the marijuana use will impair the development process of teenagers, which will negatively affect their health in later life. Thus, the increased use of marijuana among teenagers is a great concern.

It will contribute to great dangers on the health of the youths. Like alcohol, marijuana use will affect a persons driving skills and decrease the ability to drive safely on the roads. Several medical studies have demonstrated that marijuana can impair motor coordination, alertness, ability to concentrate, and ability to react quickly (Butcher et al. , 2004, p. 416). Impairing these functions create a dangerous situation for anyone who is driving. As we know, drunk driving is a major problem in our society despite all the stiff penalties.

A lot of alcohol users drink irresponsibly which put themselves and others at risk. Similar pattern could also emerge among marijuana users. This problem would be accentuated if marijuana were more widely consumed, especially if the availability of the drug is increased. Hence, legalizing marijuana will increase impaired driving effects, which may lead to more fatal accidents. Therefore, public safety will be greatly threatened. Every year, large amounts of money have been spent on the treatments and preventions of health problems attributed to alcohol abuse in our society.

Undoubtedly, legalizing marijuana will increase the prevalence of marijuana abuse, which in turn will result in more expenditure in public health care. Variety of marijuana control programs and drug preventions campaigns should be implicated in society for keeping people from using the drug. Moreover, specialized health care services such as detoxification and rehabilitation services should also be increased to face the enormous health problems brought on by the additional use of marijuana.

Anti-marijuana messages should also be instilled to society through various kinds of advertisements. For this reason, the society has to invest large amounts of money and resources in this area in terms of hiring professional trainers, advertising anti-drug messages, and investing in facilities that help with drug prevention. These actions will largely increase the public health care expenses, and also the burden of our health care system. In conclusion, marijuana should remain criminalized in order to bring the greatest good for greater number of people.

In fact, marijuana should only be used for medical purposes and only be prescribed by qualified physicians to treat or cure diseases. Criminalizing marijuana prevents the occurrences of more problems and saves the society from enormous dangers. Also, it prevent the increased of public health care expenses, which is a crisis that faced by the health care system today. As a result, criminalizing marijuana will not only benefit those with medical purposes, but also protect other lives.

Biological And Psychological Effects Of Marijuana On Individuals

The use of marijuana is widespread by all classes, races, and cultures. Marijuana has been used for a multitude of purposes over thousands of years, and is still, today, is being used for many of the same purposes. (Hawks 1982) It is some of the possible outcomes of the usage of marijuana, and a brief history of marijuana that will be discussed in this paper. The outcomes associated with the use and abuse of marijuana is the major focus of this paper, and will be discussed and will be divided up in two groups. These groups include Medicinal/therapeutic users, and recreational users.

Recreational users will then be divided into 2 groups; acute (experimental) users, and chronic (habitual) users. The topic of marijuana use is very broad and has an intricate effect on society as a whole, however, for the purpose of this paper, the literature review is based on a very narrow fraction of the topic of marijuana, namely, the harmful biological and psychological effects of the drug. Marijuana is a naturally occurring plant with several species. Cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are the two most common types of marijuana in the developed world. These two species can be prepared for the use of people in a number of ways.

The plant may be dried and used for intoxication, or as resin can be collected from the plant by compressing the plant into a brick. Also by drying the plant and boiling it in alcohol and filtering the matter to make hash oil is a way of preparing the plant for human consumption. The potency of the marijuana substances depends on the climatic conditions, soil nutrients of the environment in which the plant is grown (Listin 1998) (Marijuana can be administered in many ways (Hawks 1982). These ways include inhaling the fumes by smoking the plant, or by eating the plant baked into biscuits.

The levels of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana consumed from the different methods of administering varies, and hence, so does the effect of the administered amount. THC is lipid soluble and is stored readily in fatty tissues in the body. As a consequence, traces of THC can be detected in the urine up to 2 – 3 months after marijuana use. The reason for the extended period of time that THC stays in the body is that unlike alcohol, which is excreted through the kidneys, THC very slowly seeps out of the fat cells.

Therefore, a trace of THC in the urine of a person is not necessarily an indication of recent marijuana use (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994). Medical/therapeutic use of marijuana is largely concealed because of the known fact that marijuana is an illegal drug in Australia and most countries. However, history shows that marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for over 3000 years. Medical uses of marijuana include pain management, as an antispasmoic, as an antimeric and for constipation, and epilepsy. (Mathre 1997)

The recreational use of marijuana is one area where harmful biological and psychological effects occur. Recreational can be divided into the 2 above-mentioned groups; experimental and habitual. According to the National Drug Strategy (1994) experimental use of marijuana is statistically the most prevalent in Australia, with an estimate of 80% of marijuana users being experimental users. Regular users of marijuana are those who use marijuana on a weekly basis, the prevalence of regular users is 15% of users in Australia.

Chronic habitual users are those users who have used marijuana on a daily basis for a number of years. Prevalence of habitual users is 5% of the total amount of marijuana smokers in Australia. The main focus of this paper is on the 2 last mentioned groups classified as ‘chronic’ users. The effect of marijuana is varied from individual to individual. This is because of the variables in route of administration, the mood of the user, the environment in which marijuana is smoked, the amount smoked, the body’s ability to absorb, previous use, and the potency of the drug (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services 1995).

The human body has cannabinoid receptors, which respond to THC and absorb and distribute THC to the nervous system. THC is rapidly distributed throughout the body starting with the brain, liver, and kidneys, and later distributes right through to the extremities with less blood flow (Liston 1998). THC levels peak at 30 – 40 minutes after smoking marijuana, and within 2 – 3 hours if ingested orally. The THC will have a half-life of 20 – 30 hours for daily (chronic habitual) users and a half-life of 50 – 70 hours in occasional (recreational acute) users.

This slower release of THC and it’s metabolites is due to their high fat solubility and the consequent slow release back into the blood from the ‘storage’ areas, namely the fat supplies, of the body. (National Health Strategy 1994). Harmful effects of Marijuana can be divided up into 2 groups: biological and psychological effects. Both the biological effects and the psychological effects can be divided into short term and long term damage. In other words, from the use of marijuana short term, and long term damage has been found in individuals.

This damage is psychological damage, physical damage, or both. Short-term damage is only temporary, and the individual will recover some weeks after cessation of taking marijuana. Long term damage, on the other hand, will last a lifetime (Mathre 1997). Initially, within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana smoke, users likely experience dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, some loss of coordination, a decreased sense of balance, and slower reaction times. Blood pressure is likely to increase and, in some cases the heart rate can double the baseline rate. (www. nida. nih. gov)

Marijuana smokes regularly encounter many of the same biological respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. These individuals may have daily coughs and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds than non-smokers. Continuing to smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of the lungs and airways (www. nida. nih. gov). Nahas (1992) agrees with this, and elaborates further on the harmful biological effects of marijuana use. Chronic use of marijuana can (by inhalation) causes some mutagenic effects, and hence, be of possible danger to having carcinogenic properties.

Hence, it can be concluded that chronic use of marijuana can have the harmful biological effect of causing lung cancer (Nahas 1992). Also, on the topic of mutatious damage from the effect of marijuana on human genetics, chronic use may also lead to decreased testosterone concentrations (M. mol/L in the blood stream) and cause impermanent, or inhibition of spermatocytes. Nahas (1992) Furthermore, THC suppresses the neurones in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for information processing, learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation (www. da. nih. gov).

McCance and Huether (1998) state that the neurones of the hippocampus are suppressed in chronic schizophrenics as opposed to in control groups of studies where the neurones are considered ‘normal’ and not suppressed. So, assuming that the facts of the American National Institute of Drug Abuse are correct, the suppressed neurones of the hippocampus caused by marijuana use, and McCance and Huether’s (1998) research into the suppressed neurones of the hippocampus the following can be concluded.

Presence of suppressed neurones in schizophrenia patients clearly links the common theory of a cause of drug induced schizophrenia as being contributed to by marijuana use/abuse. According to Continuing Medical Education, Inc. (www. mhsource. com) this is the reason as to why marijuana had the harmful psychological effect of contributing to drug induced schizophrenia on some individuals who are chronic smokers of marijuana. (www. mhsource. com) Chronic abuse of marijuana is also associated with the harmful psychological effects of impaired attention span and memory (www. da. nih. gov).

Prenatal exposure to marijuana has been associated with the psychological effects of impaired verbal reasoning and memory in preschool children. (www. nida. nih. gov). Of possible relevance are findings from animal studies showing chronic exposure to THC, biologically affects the animals because THC damages and destroys nerve cells and causes pathological changes in the hippocampus. This form of damage is irreversible and long term.

This illustrates the theory that the same damaging biological effect that marijuana has had on these animals’ nerve cells probably also occur in human beings. Hence, it can be reasoned that marijuana had the harmful biological effect of destroying nerve cells which, in turn, causes the psychological damage of impaired memory, and attention span of individuals using marijuana (www. nida. nih. gov). According to the Central Coast Area Health Service (1998) (CCAHS) the main effects of initial marijuana use is on cognitive functioning.

CCAHS (1998, P. states that these “. . . effects are exerted through cannabinoid receptors that are located in both the hippocampus and cortex of the brain. High densities of cannabinoid receptors also appear in the basal ganglia and cerebellum”. Furthermore, CCHAS (1998) also believes that this is consistent with the findings that cannabinoids absorbed from marijuana consumption has the harmful short-term effects of interfering with coordination. Another chronic harmful effect of marijuana use is the psychological effect that cannabis has on motivation.

Particularly in adolescents, chronic use of marijuana interferes with developmental tasks such as academic achievement, separation from parents, formation of peer relationships, the making of life choices and goal setting. THC simply affects individuals in such a way that from chronic use individuals loose all of the mentioned wants, goals, and relationship strengths (Baumrind and Moselle 1985). The acute harmful effects of marijuana, also referred to as “a high”, or ‘altered state of consciousness’.

This state is characterised by emotional changes, and increased sensory experiences such as increased perception of listening to music, sexual intercourse, or eating food. As stated earlier in the paper, each individual’s perception of a ‘high’ differs greatly. Some common unpleasant experiences, however, include anxiety, panic attacks and depressed mood. Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994) state that these effects are mostly found in the inexperienced user.

Are these effects of marijuana consumption psychologically harmful? Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994) describe these acute effects as harmful if marijuana is used often, however, this seems quite subjective, considering these are very short term effects. If the user continues smoking, it could definitely be considered harmful, however, as a single case experience for an individual, it is not considered harmful by Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994). Biologically, the acute effects of marijuana may be short term, and immediately not necessarily damaging.

An increase in heart rate will occur, when marijuana fumes are first inhaled, and the increased heart rate is likely to last up to 3 hours (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994). This is not of any concern to young healthy individuals, however, it may have an adverse effect on older users with illnesses such as ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, and cerebrovascular disease. Apart from the fact that cannabis causes an increased heart rate, which obviously can cause some problems for some people, cannabis can cause severe harm to other patients (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994).

Cannabis acts on the body to increase catecholamine production, which may cause arrhythmias and result in angina. This paper has merely touched the surface of the topic of marijuana. The acute and chronic harmful biological and psychological effects of marijuana on individuals has been thoroughly discussed. Further, the topic of marijuana is perpetual and complex, and, hence, purposely the question answered in this paper has been very narrow for the purpose of focusing in detail on a very narrow part of the marijuana issue.

It has been documented in this paper that the use of marijuana is widespread by all classes, races, and cultures. It has been discussed in that marijuana has been used for a multitude of purposes over thousands of years, and is still, today, is being used for many of the same purposes. Some of the outcomes of the usage of marijuana have been discussed with a major focus on the biological and psychological harm that marijuana causes on individuals.

A brief history of marijuana was been reviewed in order for the reader to comprehend the circumstances of the place marijuana has in society. The outcomes associated with the use and abuse of marijuana, have been discussed and were divided up in two groups for the purpose of simplifying the issue for greater understanding. Finally, this paper has achieved the aim of outlining the use of marijuana and has identified the acute and chronic harmful biological and psychological effects of marijuana on individuals.

The History Of Marijuana

Throughout history marijuana has been used to serve various purposes in many different cultures. The purposes have changed over time to fit in with the current lifestyles. This pattern is also true in American history. The use of marijuana has adapted to the social climate of the time. Marijuana, whose scientific name is cannibis sativa, was mentioned in historical manuscripts as early as 2700 B. C. in China. (Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia, 1995). The cultivation of the marijuana plant began as far back as the Jamestown settlers, around 1611, who used hemp produced from the marijuana plant’s fibers to make rope and canvas.

It was also used in making clothing because of it’s durability. These uses fit in with the social climate of the time, because the main focus was on survival rather than for psychoactive purposes. During the prohibition, marijuana was widely used because of the scarcity of alcohol. Prohibition was repealed after just thirteen years while the prohibition against marijuana lasted for more than seventy five years. This double standard may have resulted from the wishes of those in power.

Alcohol prohibition struck directly at tens of millions of Americans of all ages, including many of societies most powerful members. Marijuana prohibition threatened far fewer Americans, and they had relatively little influence in the districts of power. Only the prohibition of marijuana, which some sixty million Americans have violated since 1965 has come close to approximating the prohibition experience, but marijuana smokers consist mostly of young and relatively powerless Americans (American Heritage, pg. 47).

Alcohol prohibition was repealed and marijuana prohibition was retained, not because scientists had proved that alcohol was the less dangerous of the various psychoactive drugs, but because of the prejudices and preferences of most Americans (American Heritage, pg. 47). In 1937 the government issued the Marijuana Tax Act, which levied a dollar an ounce tax on marijuana, coupled with fines of $2,000 for drug possession and jail sentences for evasion of the tax. For this reason marijuana use in the United States appears to have gone into decline in the late 30’s (Grolier Wellness Encyclopedia, pg. ).

Then marijuana was outlawed in 1937 as a repressive measure against Mexican workers who crossed the border seeking jobs during the Depression. The specific reason given for the outlawing of the hemp plant was it’s supposed violent effect on the degenerate races (Schaffer, pg. 86). Beginning in the 60’s marijuana use saw a resurgence which may be attributed to many causes. One of the main causes was the rebellion of youth against the Vietnam War. They used marijuana as an escape from war to peace.

It was easy at this time to depict marijuana as a beneficial and completely harmless substance whose effects were far less harmful than those of legal drugs such as alcohol and nicotine because there was not enough scientific research done during the 60’s (Grolier Wellness Encyclopedia, pg. 54). Another cause may have been the discovery of the psychoactive component of marijuana- tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. Users found the relation between the doses and the effects (Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1995).

The current atmosphere provides for doctors to suggest synthetic marijuana (THC) in a pure and standardized form bp rescriptionon (called Marinol) for the treatment of nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. Also, although there is no scientific evidence that shows marijuana is beneficial in the treatment of glaucoma, it may prevent the progression of visual loss. Marijuana, along with alcohol and a host of other substances, can actually lower intraocular eye pressure. The medication however, must be carefully tailored to the individual to prevent further eye damage.

The evidence has clearly shown that marijuana has been around for a great deal of time and has served multiple purposes throughout history. History Of Marijuana Marijuana Through Time I cannot know now which of the several uses of Cannabis was earliest. Since plant uses normally proceed from the simpler to the more complex, one might presume that its useful fibers first attracted man’s attention.

Indeed remains of hemp fibers have been found in the earliest archaeological sites in the cradles of Asiatic civilization: evidence of fiber in China dating from 4000 B. C. and hemp rope and thread from Turkestan from 3000 B. C. Stone beaters for pounding hemp fiber and impressions of hemp cord baked into pottery have been found in ancient sites in Taiwan. Hemp fabrics have been found in Turkish sites of the late eighth century B. C. , and there is a questionable specimen of Hemp in an Egyptian tomb dated between three and four thousand years ago. ** Here is a passage about a picture map shown in the text, but not written into the article itself:

The original home of Cannabis is thought to be central Asia, but it has spread around the globe with the exception of Arctic regions and areas of wet tropical forests. Cannabis spread at a very early date to Africa (except for the humid tropics) and was quickly accepted into native pharmacopoeias. The Spaniards took it to Mexico and Peru, the French to Canada, the English to North America. It had been introduced into northern Europe in Viking times. It was probably the Scythians who took it first to China. **

The Indian Vedas sang of Cannabis as one of the divine nectars, able to give man anything from good health and long life to visions of the gods. The Zend-Avesta of 600 B. C. mentions an intoxicating resin, and the Assyrians used Cannabis as an incense as early as the ninth century B. C. Inscriptions from the Chou dynasty in China, dated 700-500 B. C. , have a negative connotation that accompanies the ancient character for Cannabis, Ma, implying its stupefying properties.

Since this idea obviously predated writing, the Pen Tsao Ching, written in A. C. 0 but going back to a legendary emperor, Shen-Nung, 2000 B. C. , may be taken as evidence that the Chinese knew and probably used the hallucinogenic properties at very early dates. It was said that Ma-fen (Hemp fruit) if taken to excess, will produce hallucinations [literally, ‘seeing devils’]. If taken over a long term, it makes one communicate with spirits and lightens one’s body. A Taoist priest wrote in the fifth century B. C. that Cannabis was employed by necromancers, in combination with Ginseng, to set forward time and reveal future events.

In these early periods, use of Cannabis as an hallucinogen was undoubtedly associated with Chinese shamanism, but by the time of European contact 1500 years later, shamanism had fallen into decline, and the use of the plant for inebriation seems to have ceased and had been forgotten. Its value in Chine then was primarily as a fiber source. There was, however, a continuous record of Hemp cultivation in China from Neolithic times, and it has been suggested that Cannabis may have originated in China, not in central Asia.

About 500 B. C. e Greek writer Herodotus described a marvelous bath of the Scythians, aggressive horsemen who swept out of the Transcaucasus eastward and westward. He reported that they make a booth by fixing in the ground three sticks inclined toward one another, and stretching around them woolen pelts which they arrange so as to fit as close as possible: inside the booth a dish is placed upon the ground into which they put a number of red hot stones and then add some Hemp seed… immediately it smokes and gives out such a vapor as no Grecian vapor bath can exceed; the Scythes, delighted, shout for joy….

Only recently, archaeologists have excavated frozen Scythian tombs in central Asia, dated between 500 and 300 B. C. , and have found tripods and pelts, braziers and charcoal with remains of Cannabis leaves and fruit. It has generally been accepted that Cannabis originated in central Asia and that it was the Scythians who spread it westward to Europe. While the Greeks and Romans may not generally have taken Cannabis for inebriation, there are indications that they were aware of the psychoactive effects of the drug.

Democrats reported that it was occasionally drunk with wine and myrrh to produce visionary states, and Galen, about A. D. 200, wrote that it was sometimes customary to give Hemp to guests to promote hilarity and enjoyment. Cannabis arrived in Europe from the north. In classical Greece and Rome, it was not cultivated as a fiber plant. Fiber for ropes and sails, however, was available to the Romans from Gaul as early as the third century B. C. The Roman writer Lucilius mentioned it in 120 B. C. Pliny the Elder outlined the preparation and grades of hemp fibers in the first century A. C. , and hemp rope was found in a Roman site in England dated A. D. 140-180.

Whether the Vikings used Hemp rope or not is not known, but palynological evidence indicates that Hemp cultivation had a tremendous increment in England from the early Anglo-Saxon period to late Saxon and Norman times — from 400 to 1100. Henry VIII fostered the cultivation of Hemp in England. The maritime supremacy of England during Elizabethan times greatly increased the demand. Hemp cultivation began in the British colonies in the New World: first in Canada in 1606, then in Virginia in 1611; the Pilgrims took the crop to New England in 1632.

In pre-Revolutionary North America, Hemp was employed even for making work clothes. Hemp was introduced quite independently into Spanish colonies in America: Chile, 1545; Peru, 1554. There is no doubt that hemp fiber production represents an early use of Cannabis, but perhaps consumption of its edible akenes as food predated the discovery of the useful fiber. These akenes are very nutritious, and it is difficult to imagine that early man, constantly searching for food, would have missed this opportunity. Archaeological finds of Hemp akenes in Germany, dated with reservation at 500 B. C. ndicate the nutritional use of these plant products.

From early times to the present, Hemp akenes have been used as food in Eastern Europe, and in the United States as a major ingredient of bird food. The folk-medicinal value of Hemp — frequently indistinguishable from its hallucinogenic properties — may even be its earliest role as an economic plant. The earliest record of the medicinal use of the plant is that of the Chinese emperor-herbalist Shen-Nung who, five thousand years ago, recommended Cannabis for malaria, beriberi, constipation, rheumatic pains, absent-mindedness, and female disorders.

Hoa-Glio, another ancient Chinese herbalist, recommended a mixture of Hemp resin and wine as an analgesic during surgery. It was in ancient India that this gift of the gods found excessive use in folk medicine. It was believed to quicken the mind, prolong life, improve judgment, lower fevers, induce sleep, cure dysentery. Because of its psychoactive properties it was more highly valued than medicines with only physical activity. Several systems of Indian medicine esteemed Cannabis. The medical work Sushruta claimed that it claimed leprosy. The Bharaprakasha of about A. D. 00 described it as antiphlegmatic, digestive, bile affecting, pungent, and astringent, prescribing it to stimulate the appetite, improve digestion, and better the voice.

The spectrum of medicinal uses in India covered control of dandruff and relief of headache, mania, insomnia, venereal disease, whooping cough, earaches, and tuberculosis! The fame of Cannabis as a medicine spread with the plant. In parts of Africa, it was valued in treating dysentery, malaria, anthrax, and fevers. Even today the Hotentots and Mfengu claim its efficacy in treating snake bites, and Sotho women induce partial stupefaction by smoking Hemp before childbirth.

Although Cannabis seems not to have been employed in medieval Europe as an hallucinogen, it was highly valued in medicine and its therapeutic uses can be traced back to early classical physicians such as Dioscorides and Galen. Medieval herbalists distinguished manured hemp (cultivated) from bastard hemp (weedy), recommending the latter against nodes and wennes and other hard tumors, the former for a host of uses from curing cough to jaundice. They cautioned, however, that in excess it might cause sterility, that it drieth up… the seeds of generation in men and the milke of women’s breasts.

An interesting use in the sixteenth century — source of the name Angler’s Weed in England — was locally important: poured into the holes of earthworms [it] will draw them forth and… fisherman and anglers have use this feat to bait their hooks. The value of Cannabis in folk medicine has clearly been closely tied with its euphoric and hallucinogenic properties, knowledge of which may be as old as its use as a source of fiber. Primitive man, trying all sorts of plant materials as food, must have known the ecstatic hallucinatory effects of Hemp, an intoxication introducing him to an other-worldly plant leading to religious beliefs.

Thus the plant early was viewed as a special gift of the gods, a sacred medium for communion with the spirit world. Although Cannabis today is the most widely employed of the hallucinogens, its use purely as a narcotic, except in Asia, appears not to be ancient. In classical times its euphoric properties were, however, recognized. In Thebes, Hemp was made into a drink said to have opium-like properties. Galen reported that cakes with Hemp, if eaten to excess, were intoxicating.

The use as an inebriant seems to have been spread east and west by barbarian hordes of central Asia, especially the Scythians, who had a profound cultural influence on early Greece and eastern Europe. And knowledge of the intoxicating effects of Hemp goes far back in Indian history, as indicated by the deep mythological and spiritual beliefs about the plant. One preparation, Bhang, was so sacred that it was thought to deter evil, bring luck, and cleanse man of sin. Those treading upon the leaves of this holy plant would suffer harm or disaster, and sacred oaths were sealed over Hemp.

The favorite drink of Indra, god of the firmament, was made from Cannabis, and the Hindu god Shiva commanded that the word Bhangi must be chanted repeatedly during sowing, weeding, and harvesting of the holy plant. Knowledge and use of the intoxicating properties eventually spread to Asia Minor. Hemp was employed as an incense in Assyria in the first millennium B. C. , suggesting its use as an inebriant. While there is no direct mention of Hemp in the Bible, several obscure passages may refer tangentially to the effects of Cannabis resin or Hashish.

It is perhaps in the Himalayas of India and the Tibetan plateau that Cannabis preparations assumed their greatest hallucinogenic importance in religious contexts. Bhang is a mild preparation: dried leaves or flowering shoots are pounded with spices into a paste and consumed as candy — known as maajun — or in tea form. Ganja is made from the resin-rich dried pistillate flowering tops of cultivated plants which are pressed into a compacted mass and kept under pressure for several days to induce chemical changes; most Ganja is smoked, often with Tobacco.

Charas consists of the resin itself, a brownish mass which is employed generally in smoking mixtures. The Tibetans considered Cannabis sacred. A Mahayana Buddhist tradition maintains that during the six steps of asceticism leading to his enlightenment, Buddha lived on one Hemp seed a day. He is often depicted with Soma leaves in his begging bowl and the mysterious god-narcotic Soma has occasionally been identified with Hemp. In Tantric Buddhism of the Himalayas of Tibet, Cannabis plays a very significant role in the meditative ritual used to facilitate deep meditation and heighten awareness.

Both medicinal and recreational secular use of Hemp is likewise so common now in this region that the plant is taken from granted as an everyday necessity. Folklore maintains that the use of Hemp was introduced to Persia by an Indian pilgrim during the reign of Khrusu (A. D. 531-579), but it is known that the Assyrians used Hemp as an incense during the first millennium B. C. Although at first prohibited among Islamic peoples, Hashish spread widely west throughout Asia Minor. In 1378, authorities tried to extirpate Hemp from Arabian territory by the imposition of harsh punishments.

As early as 1271, the eating of Hemp was so well known that Marco Polo described its consumption in the secret order of Hashishins, who used the narcotic to experience the rewards in store for them in the afterlife. Cannabis extended early and widely from Asia Minor into Africa, partly under the pressure of Islamic influence, but the use of Hemp transcends Mohammedan areas. It is widely believed that Hemp was introduced also with slaves from Malaya. Commonly known in Africa as Kif or Dagga, the plant has entered into primitive native cultures in social and religious contexts.

The hotentots, Bushmen, and Kaffirs used Hemp for centuries as a medicine and as an intoxicant. In an ancient tribal ceremony in the Zambesi Valley, participants inhaled vapors from a pile of smoldering Hemp; later, reed tubes and pipes were employed, and the plant material was burned on an altar. The Kasai tribes of the Congo have revived an old Riamba cult in which Hemp, replacing ancient fetishes and symbols, was elevated to a god — a protector against physical and spiritual harm.

Treaties are sealed with puffs of smoke from calabash pipes. Hemp-smoking and Hashish-snuffing cults exists in many parts of east Africa, especially near Lake Victoria. Hemp has spread to many areas of the New World, but with few exceptions the plant has not penetrated significantly into many native American religious beliefs and ceremonies. There are, however, exceptions such as its use under the name Rosa Maria, by the Tepecano Indians of northwest Mexico who occasionally employ Hemp when Peyote is not available.

It has recently been learned that Indians in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Hidalgo, and Puebla practice a communal curing ceremony with a plant called Santa Rosa, identified as Cannabis Sativa, which is considered both a plant and a sacred intercessor with the Virgin. Although the ceremony is based mainly on Christian elements, the plant is worshipped as an earth deity and is thought to be alive and to represent a part of the heart of God. The participants in this cult believe that the plant can be dangerous and that it can assume the form of a man’s soul, make him ill, enrage him, and even cause death.

Sixty years ago, when Mexican laborers introduced the smoking of marijuana to the United States, it spread across the south, and by the early 1920s, its use was established in New Orleans, confined primarily among the poor and minority groups. The continued spread of the custom in the United States and Europe has resulted in a still unresolved controversy. Cannabis Sativa was officially in the United States Pharmacopoeia until 1937, recommended for a wide variety of disorders, especially as a mild sedative.

It is no longer an official drug, although research in the medical potential of some of the cannabinolic constituents or their semi-synthetic analogues is at present very active, particularly in relation to the side-effects of cancer therapy. The psychoactive effects of Cannabis preparations vary widely, depending on dosage, the preparation and the type of plant used, the method of administration, personality of the user, and social and cultural background. Perhaps the most frequent characteristic is a dreamy state. Long forgotten events are often recalled and thoughts occur in unrelated sequences.

Perception of time, and occasionally of space, is altered. Visual and auditory hallucinations follow the use of large doses. Euphoria, excitement, inner happiness — often with hilarity and laughter — are typical. In some cases, a final mood of depression may be experienced. While behavior is sometimes impulsive, violence or aggression is seldom induced. In relatively recent years, the use of Cannabis as an intoxicant has spread widely in Western society — especially in the United States and Europe — and has caused apprehension in law-making and law-enforcing circles and has created social and health problems.

There is still little, if any, agreement on the magnitude of these problems or on their solution. Opinion appears to be pulled in two directions: that the use of Cannabis is an extreme social, moral, and health danger that must be stamped out, or that it is an innocuous, pleasant pastime that should be legalized. It may be some time before all the truths concerning the use in our times and society of this ancient drug are fully known.

Since an understanding of the history and attitudes of peoples who have long used the plant may play a part in furthering our handling of the situation in modern society, it behooves us to consider the role of Cannabis in man’s past and to learn what lessons it can teach us: whether to maintain wise restraint in our urbanized, industrialized life or to free it for general use. For it appears that Cannabis may be with us for a long time. A fifteenth-century manuscript of Marco Polo’s travels depicts the Persian nobleman Al-Hassan ibn-al-Sabbah, who was known as the Old Man of the Mountain, enjoying the artificial paradise of Hashish eaters.

His followers, known as ashishins, consumed large amounts of Cannabis resin to increase their courage as they slaughtered and plundered on behalf of their leader. The words assassin and hashish were derived from the name of this band The Cuna Indians of Panama use Cannabis as a sacred herb. This mola of applique work depicts a Cuna council meeting. An orator is shown addressing two headmen, who lounge in their hammocks and listen judiciously; one smokes a pipe as he swings. Spectators wander in and out, and one man is seen napping on a bench.

The Cora Indians of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico smoke Cannabis in the course of their sacred ceremonies. Rarely is an introduced foreign plant adopted and use in indigenous religious ceremonies, but it seems that the Cora of Mexico and the Cuna of Panama have taken up the ritual smoking of Cannabis, notwithstanding the fact that, in both areas, it was brought in by the early Europeans. In the nineteenth century, a select group of European artists and writers turned to psychoactive agents in an attempt to achieve what has come to be regarded as mind-expansion or mind-alteration.

Many people, such as the French poet Baudelaire, believed that creative ability could be greatly enhanced by the use of Cannabis. In fact, Baudelaire wrote vivid descriptions of his personal experiences under the influence of Cannabis. At the upper left is Gustave Dore’s painting Composition on the Death of Gerard de Nerval, inspired probably by the use of Cannabis and Opium. At the upper right is a contemporary American cartoon humorously epitomizing the recurrence of this belief (it shows caveman around a fire, one saying Hey, what is this stuff?

It makes everything I think seem profound. ). It was not only among the French literati that psychoactive substances raised expectations. In 1845, the French psychiatrist Moreau de Tours published his investigation of Hashish in a fundamental scientific monograph Du hachisch et de l’alienation mentale. Moreau de Tours’s scientific study was on the effects of Cannabis. He explored the use of this hallucinogen in Egypt and the Near East and experimented personally with it an and other psychoactive plant substances.

He concluded that the effects resemble certain mental disorders and suggested that they might be used to induce model psychoses. This marvelous experience often occurs as if it were the effect of a superior and invisible power acting on the person from without…. This delightful and singular state… gives no advance warning. It is as unexpected as a ghost, an intermittent haunting from which we must draw, if we are wise, the certainty of a better existence. This acuteness of though, this enthusiasm of the senses and the spirit must have appeared to man through the ages as the first blessing.

Should Marijuana Be Legalized And Can It Be Used In Positive Ways

In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act prohibited the use, sale, and cultivation of hemp/marijuana in the United States. Marijuana is a drug that is highly used through out the world. It comes from the cannabis plant. THC which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the major psychoactive ingredient. Over sixty five million Americans today use marijuana. Today it is a lot stronger than how it used to be in the 1970s because of careful cultivation. It can be smoked threw a pipe, joint, or it can even be used as an ingredient in food. Although the effect it has as an ingredient isnt as strong as it would be if you smoked it.

It all depends on how long the person smoking it holds in it their lungs. The more you hold it in the more the drug gets into your bloodstream. Marijuana is not just a drug to be used as to get high with. It is a drug that needs to become legal so it can help heal people with certain diseases and it can be useful for industrial reasons as well. There are different feelings a person can have when you use marijuana. In low to moderate doses, marijuana typically creates a mild sense of euphoria, a sense of slowed time, a dreamy sort of self-absorption, and some impairment in thinking and communicating (Hales 491).

Usually the sense of being high happens within thirty minutes and usually lasts about three hours. Sometimes when someone is new at smoking marijuana they can experience an anxiety attack. The immediate physical effects of marijuana include increased pulse rate, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and throat, slowed reaction times, impaired motor skills, increase appetite, and diminished short-term memory (Hales 492). Some of these effects can help someone as unbelievable as it seems. If marijuana is more harmful to society than the laws, then the laws should be retained.

If the laws are more harmful than the substance, the laws should be changed (Rosenthal 1). Marijuana can reduce suffering for some illnesses out there today. A cancer patient by the name of Richard Brookhiser responded to the contention that marijuana has not allowed the necessary testing. He also rejected the argument that allowing sick people to use the drug would encourage people to use take the drug. In November 1996, the voters of California and Arizona make it legal to use marijuana as a medicine. The Clinton administration said these actions were too rash.

But for me, they came in the wrong states and four years too late. In 1992, my doctor in New York told me that I had metastasized testicular cancer, which required chemotherapy. To deal with the resulting nausea, I took legal antiemetic drugs, but after a while they didnt work. Then, I turned to pot (qtd. In Bender 149). Brookhiser had used marijuana to help him have cravings for food. When someone goes threw chemotherapy you lose your appetite and you are really nauseated. Marijuana can increase your appetite and help you want to eat your food. Cancer patients are not the only sick people who get relief from smoking pot.

It has a wide variety of therapeutic applications, and is frequently beneficial in treating many conditions. Some are people who have the AIDS virus, it can help them reduce the nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite caused by the ailment itself and by treatment with AZT and other medicines. It can help people with Asthma. Several studies have shown that THC reacts as a bronchodilator and reverses bronchial constriction. Although conventional bronchodilators work faster, THC has been shown to last longer and with considerable less risk (Rosenthal 68).

New evidence has shown that marijuana is an autoimmune modulator in arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Marijuana can alleviate the debilitating, chronic pain caused by myriad disorders and injuries. Marijuana has been shown to help gently and naturally for people with depression and other mood disorders. In contrast, conventional antidepressant drugs like lithium, tricyclics, and MAO inhibitors have serious health risks and side effects (Rosenthal 68). Marijuana is used to prevent both grande mal and other epileptic seizures in some patients.

Other patients find that they can reduce dosage of other medications while using cannabis (Rosenthal 68). In Glaucoma marijuana can reduce intracular, alleviating pain and slowing (and sometimes stopping) the progress of the condition (Rosenthal 69). Other things like labor pains, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms and migraine headaches are all things that marijuana can help alleviate the pain. Many paraplegics and quadriplegics have discovered that cannabis not only relieves their pain more safely than opiates, but also suppresses their muscle twitches and tremors.

Insomnia is a disorder where you have serious trouble sleeping. Researches have shown that pot can help people sleep, with out side effects or tolerance problems of other hypnotics. Cannanbidiol is the active ingredient in pot, which induces sleep. In 1988, Judge Francis Young of the DEA found marijuana to be the safest therapeutic substance know to man and urged its reclassification and distribution for medical uses. Marijuana prohibition depends on the drugs demonization. In the name of sustaining the drug war, we are taught that marijuana is lethal, carcinogenic and addictive.

While marijuana has its risks, especially for children, none of this is true. Neither is it most half the oncologists who answered a Harvard Medical school survey said they would prescribe marijuana for relief of chemotherapy side effects where it was legal, and most had already recommended it to their patients (Bender 161). Cannabis and hemp are the same. Marijuana was the Mexican name given to cannabis. Cannabis was first cultivated in China around 4000 B. C. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp.

Washington, our first president, declared, Make the most of the hemp seed. Sow it everywhere. Hemp seed is natures perfect food. The oil from hemp seeds has the highest percentage of essential fatty acids and the lowest percentage of saturated fats (Potter 29). Sterilized hemp seed is commonly sold as bird seed (Potter 95). It is really too bad that people didnt take Washingtons wisdom of advice. Since hemp was made illegal, petrochemicals came to dominance. Instead of natural hemp, we turned plastics and polyester made from mostly foreign oil (Rosenthal 60).

So many trees are cut down each year and used for paper. Hemp only takes about six months to reach maturity, is a fine substitute for wood pulp (Rosenthal 60). Industrial hemp is very clean and so easy to grow. It is one of the most environmentally sound sources of industrial fiber in the world (Rosenthal 61). Hemp fabrics are far stronger and more resistant to mold than any other natural fiber. Builders in France and Germany use hemp for construction material, replacing dry wall and plywood (Rosenthal 63). In 1991 the U. S. hemp industry grossed about five million.

In 1995 it was a fifty million industry. There are already several clothing industries that are producing hemp clothing and shoes. There are so many other things that marijuana can be used for and help. Marijuana would also be a huge help in the economy as well. Despite the fact that there is no evidence that pot has ever caused a single death and that there is clear evidence that cannabis is actually useful in treating certain medical conditions, the federal government continues to spend millions of dollars each year to eradicate plants and harass users.

In 1992, according to the FBI, 535,000 people were arrested for possession, sale, or manufacture of marijuana. In six cases, life sentences were imposed (qtd. In Rosenthal 37). Marijuana prohibition is costing taxpayers billions each year in enforcement costs. It is also costing us billions of dollars in missed opportunities in taxes, profits, and wages. If marijuana were legalized, probably the first economic effect to be felt would be a significant drop in price because of elimination of the risk factor incidental to contraband substances (Rosenthal 38).

Take the example of when alcohol prohibition was ended. The cost of liquor plummeted to about a third of its black market cost. The second effect it would have on the economy would likely be greater availability of supply, and so increased usage. Using a conservative fifty percent reduction in marijuana prices to the consumer and a relatively small increase in amount bought, the marijuana industry could gross fifty to fifty-three billion year (Rosenthal 40). The third effect would be a new tax revenue stream for governments.

Just take a look at the experience with the vice taxes on cigarettes, liquor, and other substances the government controls. There is no doubt that the marijuana industry is here to stay and is part of the nations economic life. This industry is unique in that is subject to no government regulation regarding consumer protection, quality of product, distribution, imports, and taxation (Rosenthal 46). If the industry remains illegal, it will continue to produce revenue, and profits, but United States society will lose out on the economic benefits. Marijuana needs to stay illegal because it is a negative change.

Yes, there are some negative sides to marijuana becoming legal but everything has a negative side effect to them. There will always be this argument. Some people say that marijuana provides no medical benefits (Randall 40). There are thoughts that all the medical uses for marijuana would just be excuses to get high. Some users may be under the delusion they are being helped, but pot users typically smoke for the THC while still taking the standard medication got their disease (Bender 155). Listing the negative effects that marijuana have is no different in any arguementive situation.

There are always two sides to a matter. Some people say that using marijuana for illness would be like a physician prescribing moldy bread (containing penicillin) for pneumonia or suggesting cigarette smoking for stress or weight loss (Bender 155). Some doctors are just nave about the damage that marijuana causes or perhaps are users themselves. Yes, marijuana does have some side effects. These side effects are a negative downfall to making it legal. Individuals who smoke this drug heavily can feel a lessening or loss of pleasure in activities, and persistent attention and memory roblems.

Chronic marijuana use seems to impair thinking, reading comprehension, verbal and mathematical skills, coordination, and short-term memory. Some long-term regular users of marijuana may experience burnout, a dulling of their senses and responses termed motivational syndrome (Hales 492). You really have to look at these effects for people who are abusing the drug. The writer of this essay is not saying make marijuana legal so anyone can get it and just use it to get high. Marijuana needs to be legal for medication purposes and its use for the hemp seed.

Almost any type of medication you get prescribed will have a side effect, so there is no difference in marijuana having a side effect compared to any other drug. Chronic use can also lead to bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. Smoking a single joint can be as damaging to the lungs as smoking five tobacco cigarettes (Hales 492). Cigarettes cause lung cancer and are one of the leading causes of heart attacks, yet cigarettes are legal. There are so many contradicting points that can be made with this issue. Yes, there are several reasons why marijuana remains illegal.

The most powerful of these is the combined law enforcement-judiciary-penal systems. This group sees the elimination of marijuana laws as a threat to their jobs. Add to this group defense lawyers, who stand to make millions of dollars defending marijuana offenders. Consciously or not, they support anti-marijuana laws (Rosenthal 2). Another reason is because the government funds marijuana research. If marijuana were legalized, they would lose millions of dollars in research grants intended to prove the deleterious effects of the herb. This is a perfect example though of how selfish the government is with their money.

They only care about losing money. Just like how there are so many cures out there for different diseases like AIDS and other infectious diseases but because of how much money someone can lose, it doesnt become legal or known to the public. Anti-legalization groups argue that if marijuana were legalized, there would be no way to regulate its use by or sales to minors. In addition, opponents cite marijuana is supposed threat to health. They postulate that if it is harmful, then it should remain illegal (Rosenthal 3). The damage marijuana does is outweighed by the documented damage that the marijuana laws cause society.

Today in society there are so many drugs out there that are being used to help people with diseases and other viruses. There are also many diseases out there that need cures for them. Marijuana is a drug that is overlooked and needs to become legal. It can be used in many positive ways and the hemp seed can be used as well. The damage marijuana does is outweighed by the documented damage that the marijuana laws cause society. Millions of arrests, tens of thousands of people incarcerated each year, thousands of lives ruined, polarized society and hypocrisy that extends from the cop on the beat to the highest levels of government.

In the end, society has nothing positive to show for its efforts (Rosenthal 102). Therefore, to stop people from using a natural herb is really looked over. Nearly everyone knows the government is lying about pot (Rosenthal 103). Even the DEAs own judge agrees that is wrong to keep marijuana from sick people. Yet the government remains frozen on the issue of marijuana, perpetuating the same lies in a feeble effort to cover up the lies of the past. It is time for change. If society wants to have some control over marijuana, then it must be legalized and placed under a civil regulatory format (Rosenthal 104).

Should Marijuana be Legalized for Medical Purposes

Marijuana has been used extensively as a medical remedy for more than five thousand years. In the early 1900s, medical usage of marijuana began to decline with the advent of alternative drugs. Injectable opiates and synthetic drugs such as aspirin and barbiturates began to replace marijuana as the physician’s drug of choice in the twentieth-century, as their results proved to be more consistent than the sometimes erratic effects of the hard-to-dose potencies of marijuana (Grinspoon).

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 made cannabis so expensive to obtain that its usage as a medical remedy in the U. S. ame to a halt. Although now illegal in the U. S. , marijuana continues to be used for both medical and recreational purposes by many Americans. There are a variety of opinions both for and against the re-legalization of marijuana today. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the legalization debate is whether marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes.

All drugs, both prescription and non-prescription, are federally ‘Scheduled’ by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). A drug’s scheduling under Federal law is determined according to [its] effects, medical uses, and potential for abuse (Claim V). In this classification system, marijuana is a Schedule I drug, grouped with heroin, LSD, hashish, methaqualone, and designer drugs. These are drugs having unpredictable effects, and [causing] severe psychological or physical dependence, or death (Claim V).

A closer analysis of the DEA’s Federal Scheduling system reveals that, according to various studies by physicians on both sides of the legalization debate, marijuana does not meet the requirements of a Schedule I drug, but not those of Schedule II. The difference between the two classes is that Schedule I drugs may lead to death, while those on Schedule II are less likely to do so. Proponents of legalization cite information that indicates marijuana is a relatively safe drug.

There is no known case of overdose; on the basis of animal models, the ratio of lethal to effective dose is 40,000 to 1 (Grinspoon). Even some opponents of marijuana legalization support reclassification. Two physicians, in a widely distributed opinions piece entitled Marijuana Smoking as Medicine: A Cruel Hoax, wrote; While the reclassification of THC to Schedule II might be understandable, this would not be the result of smoking the crude drug marijuana, which would as a result become more available and more eadily diverted for non-medical use (Nahas).

Although this evidence clearly does not support the legalization of marijuana, it highlights one of many discrepancies that cloud this smoky debate. Lester Grinspoon, MD, is a proponent of the medical legalization and re- classification of marijuana. In the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Grinspoon wrote an article entitled A Plea for Reconsideration. In this plea, Grinspoon suggests that marijuana should be reclassified to a Schedule II class drug, so that it might be legally prescribed.

He writes: In a 1990 survey, 44% of oncologists said they had suggested hat a patient smoke marihuana for relief of the nausea induced by chemotherapy. If marihuana were actually unsafe for use under medical supervision, as its Schedule I status explicitly affirms, this recommendation would be unthinkable. It is time for physicians to acknowledge more openly that this present classification is scientifically, legally, and morally wrong. (Grinspoon) Like many other physicians fighting for the re-classification of marijuana, Dr. Grinspoon makes claims only towards the drug’s medical benefits.

However, their rhetoric in calling the issue morally wrong suggests that they may have other otives as well. Furthermore, the fact that 44% of oncologists suggested their patients use marijuana, despite its illegality, may suggest that many of these physicians have little respect for post-prohibition laws. The article also fails to address the negative side-effects of marijuana that result from smoking the plant. While there are many physicians who support the reclassification (and, sometimes, legalization) of marijuana, still others make different claims.

In July of 1995, one month after Marijuana as Medicine- A Plea for Reconsideration was published in JAMA, the Department of Health and Human Services held its irst research conference on marijuana. At this conference, several respected physicians noted that marijuana use during pregnancy has harmful effects on children’s intellectual abilities… compulsive marijuana use may lead to an addiction similar to that of other illicit drugs… (Claim V); and, finally, that marijuana use can put a serious choke-hold on users who try to quit (Claim V).

Conflicting reports, such as these, are at the center of the smoke filled battle concerning medical legalization. In this case, the physicians assembled at the conference commented only on the drug’s negative effects, and hey failed to discuss any possible beneficial effects. Although there are physicians both for and against the medical legalization of marijuana, the DEA enforces the laws. The DEA regularly makes publications against legalization. Claim V of these publications is entitled There are no Compelling Reasons to Prescribe Marijuana or Heroin to Sick people.

In this claim, the DEA makes contradictory claims to those published in JAMA by Dr. Grinspoon. The DEA claims that Not one American health association accepts marijuana as medicine. Statements issued by these organizations express concern ver the harmful effects of the drugs and over the lack of solid research demonstrating that they might do more good than harm (Claim V). However, in reading the DEA’s clam, one must keep in mind that drugs (as they use it) includes both marijuana and heroin, and therefore may be partially invalid when applied to the central marijuana debate.

By using the word they, the DEA groups marijuana with more dangerous drugs. It should also be recognized that the DEA has an obvious bias against legalizing drugs; if all drugs were legal, who would continue to pay their salaries? Doctors and the DEA, however, are not the only ones with opinions about arijuana’s medical re-legalization. Mike Dooley, a member of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), made news when he recommended that Elvy Musikka, a patient legally supplied with marijuana from the U. S. overnment, spoke to an Experimental Living class at Western Michigan University: Elvy Musikkia, a professional speaker, has glaucoma and take marijuana as part of her treatment for the eye disease.

Glaucoma patients smoke marijuana cigarettes because it relieves the eye pressure that leads to blindness (Kemp). However, Dooley supports more than the medical legalization f marijuana. Dooley says using marijuana for medical purposes is just one use of the plant, but people need to recognize that it has more positive uses (Kemp).

Like many other advocates of legalization, Dooley wants more than just medical legalization: ‘Why are we outlawing this particular plant? ‘ Dooley said. ‘What is wrong with adults smoking marijuana in their own environment? ‘ (Kemp). Opponents of legalization efforts worry that legalization for medical purposes will eventually lead to non-medical abuse. An example of this type of medical abuse can be found in the 1995 Comedy, Friday. In the film, a corrupted priest tries to obtain marijuana from Smokey, a neighborhood pot addict.

Upon noticing the marijuana, he says Excuse me brother, what we call drugs at 74th street Baptist Church, we call a sin (Friday), representing the views of many Christians today. Only a short time later, however, he changes his mind, saying: Why don’t you give me a little bit for my cataracts? (Friday). This film makes a comment on the attitudes of U. S. society today towards marijuana, and re-legalization. By making a medical excuse for using marijuana in the film, Brother William conveys the worries of any Americans today about medical legalization of the drug.

While it may be suggested that Friday is satirist comedy, and therefore not real, critics of the film and of legalization will point out that later in the movie, the characters make an outright plea for legalization. Religious figures in real life express stronger anti-legalization opinions than those in the movies. In 1986, representatives of four Oregon church groups, representing a combined membership of tens of thousands, unveiled a plan to attack the proposed legalization of marijuana from the pulpit (Danks).

The representatives cited experiences like those Reverend John Jackson; Jackson spoke about how his son’s drug habit broke up the family. ‘It got to the point that I kept a weapon,’ Jackson said. ‘My son didn’t act like my son. I got to the point where I thought if he came into the room I would kill him (Danks). Many would be quick t discount the reverend’s opinion, however, especially after hearing of his fatal mentality. It should also be noted that Jackson’s son, who is now in the army, graduated to harder drugs after using marijuana as a 10- year-old (Danks).

Other religious groups have more extreme views on legalization. In an n-line publication entitled Marijuana and Christians: Cure or Curse? , a group for Aggressive Christianity writes that: Through the innocently appearing guise of the ‘natural herbal high’ called marijuana, Satan has found an open doorway for invasion into the minds of millions of people (Marijuana and Christians). These Aggressive Christians decree that marijuana is one of Satan’s tools and should not be legalized for any purpose. However, in calling it Satan’s tool they incorporate little knowledge of the drug’s true effects, both positive and negative.

For these extremists, there is apparently no reason for Satanists not to use marijuana. Groups such as these Aggressive Christians represent the most conservative side of the battle over legalization. College campuses are often recognized for their liberal views and high drug consumption levels. Adam Djurdjulov, a journalism senior and Arizona Daily Wildcat opinions editor writes a column that appears in that publication on Mondays. In his column, titled Airing it Out, he recently wrote an article, Smoking marijuana is as accepted as the word ‘damn.

In this column, Djurdjulov criticizes the increasing acceptance of marijuana use. He states his un-professional medical opinion on marijuana, saying it [is] a substance that estroys motivation and wazzu brain cells (Djurdjulov). Although he makes a valid argument that drug use proliferates on today’s college campuses, Djurdjulov weakens his own credibility when he suggests that Americans ‘kick out’ Bill Clinton from President of the United States for exercising his right to free speech, writing Hell, on MTV in June 1992, Clinton quipped that if he tried marijuana again, he would inhale (Djurdjulov).

Although many Americans might disagree with Clinton’s liberal policies towards drug use, few would condone his removal from office, solely for exercising his first amendment rights. Like the Aggressive Christians, Djurdjulov’s non-scientific, extremist position somewhat destroys his credibility, along with the credibility of his statements. Other college students feel differently about legalization. Oliver Petri, a freshman at the University of Arizona, is a proponent of marijuana legalization for medical and recreational purposes. In an interview, Petri explains that I once knew a woman with cancer.

She grew [marijuana] plants in her backyard and smoked weed to relive her suffering. It should totally be legal (Petri). Petri’s comments epitomize the views of many college students who advocate legalization. Few of these students, however, have any knowledge of the medical uses and properties of the drug they consume for recreational purposes. Petri also admittedly supports medical legalization initiatives because he thinks it will make marijuana easier to find. California’s proposition 215 is an initiative that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Proposition 215] would permit patients with cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, arthritis, and other serious illnesses to grow, posses and use marijuana (Lacayo).

Despite criticism of Prop 215 that suggests the initiative is too loosely constructed, polls show that California voters favor t by almost 2-1 (Lacayo). Opponents of the initiative worry that anyone will be able to legally obtain and use marijuana under Proposition 215, ‘This proposition is not about medicine,’ charges Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates, co-chairman of Citizens for a Drug Free California, the campaign opposing Prop 215. It’s about the legalization of marijuana’ (Lacayo).

Voters like Sheriff Gates are unable to consider medical legalization because of their fears of increased recreational use. There opinion, then, means nothing when applied to the issue on a smaller scale. Reputable sources on marijuana’s true effects are hard to come by. Conflicting reports suggest that personal opinion might be more of a factor than it should be in many reports about the drug’s effects and toxicity.

Words such as dangerous and harmful are often used by figures on both sides of the legalization debate, with little explanation of their definitions. No-one knows what the results of a non-biased study on marijuana’s medical future might contain, because conflicting non-biased studies continue to proliferate on both sides of this debate. Because of the wide availability of marijuana today, it is not surprising that marijuana usage for many today is a personal, rather than legal, decision.

Is The Illegalization of Marijuana Valid

The debate over the legalization of Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as marijuana, has been one of the most heated controversies ever to occur in the United States. Its use as a medicine has existed for thousands of years in many countries world wide and is documented as far back as 2700 BC in ancient Chinese writings. When someone says ganja, cannabis, bung, dope, grass, rasta, or weed, they are talking about the same subject: marijuana.

Marijuana should be legalized because the government could earn money from taxes on its sale, its alue to the medical world outweighs its abuse potential, and because of its importance to the paper and clothing industries. This action should be taken despite efforts made by groups which say marijuana is a harmful drug which will increase crime rates and lead users to other more dangerous substances. The actual story behind the legislature passed against marijuana is quite surprising.

According to Jack Herer, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, the acts bringing about the demise of hemp were part of a large conspiracy involving DuPont, Harry J. Anslinger, commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), and many other influential industrial leaders such as William Randolph Hearst and Andrew Mellon. Herer notes that the Marijuana Tax Act, which passed in 1937, coincidentally occurred just as the decoricator machine was invented. With this invention, hemp would have been able to take over competing industries almost instantaneously.

According to Popular Mechanics, “10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average [forest] pulp land. ” William Hearst owned enormous timber acreage so his nterest in preventing the growth of hemp can be easily explained. Competition from hemp would have easily driven the Hearst paper-manufacturing company out of business and significantly lowered the value of his land. Herer even suggests popularizing the term “marijuana” was a strategy Hearst used in order to create fear in the American public.

Herer says “The first step in creating hysteria was to introduce the element of fear of the unknown by using a word that no one had ever heard of before… ‘marijuana'”. DuPont’s involvement in the anti-hemp campaign can also be explained with great ease. At this time, DuPont was patenting a new sulfuric acid process for producing wood-pulp paper. According to the company’s own records, wood-pulp products ultimately accounted for more than 80% of all DuPont’s railroad car loadings for the 50 years the Marijuana Tax Act was passed.

It should also be said that two years before the prohibitive hemp tax in 1937, DuPont developed nylon which was a substitute for hemp rope. The year after the tax was passed DuPont came out with rayon, which would have been unable to compete with the strength of hemp fiber or its economical process of manufacturing. DuPont’s point man was none other than Harry Anslinger… who was appointed to the FBN by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, who was also chairman of the Mellon Bank, DuPont’s chief financial backer. Anslinger’s relationship to Mellon wasn’t just political, he was also married to Mellon’s niece” (Hartsell).

The reasoning behind DuPont, Anslinger, and Hearst was not for any moral or health related issues. They fought to prevent the growth of this new industry so they wouldn’t lose money. In fact, the American Medical Association tried to argue for the medical benefits of hemp. Marijuana is actually less dangerous than alcohol, cigarettes, and even most over-the-counter medicines or prescriptions. According to Francis J. Young, the DEA’s administrative judge, “nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal affects, but marijuana is not such a substance…

Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care” (DEA Docket No. 86-22, 57). It doesn’t make sense then, for marijuana to e illegal in the United States when alcohol poisoning is a major cause of death in this country and approximately 400,000 premature deaths are attributed to cigarettes annually.

Dr. Roger Pertwee, Secretary of the International Cannabis Research Society states that as a recreational drug, “Marijuana compares favorably to nicotine, alcohol, and even caffeine. Under extreme amounts of alcohol a person will experience an “inability to stand or walk without help, stupor and near unconsciousness, lack of comprehension of what is seen or heard, shock, and breathing and heartbeat may stop. Even though these effects occur only under an extreme amount of alcohol consumption, (. 2-. 5 BAL) the fact is smoking extreme amounts of marijuana will do nothing more than put you to sleep, while drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will kill you.

The most profound activist for marijuana’s use as a medicine is Dr. Lester Grinspoon, author of Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine. According to Grinspoon, “The only well confirmed negative effect of marijuana is caused by the smoke, which contains three times more tars and five times more carbon monoxide than tobacco. But even the heaviest marijuana smokers rarely use as much as an average tobacco smoker. And, of course, many prefer to eat it. ” His book includes personal accounts of how prescribed marijuana alleviated epilepsy, weight loss of AIDs, nausea of chemotherapy, menstrual pains, and the severe effects of Multiple Sclerosis.

The illness with the most documentation and harmony among doctors which marijuana has successfully treated is MS. Grinspoon believes for MS sufferers, “Cannabis is the drug of necessity. ” One patient of his, 51 year old Elizabeth MacRory, says “It has completely changed my life… It has helped with muscle spasms, allowed me to sleep properly, and helped control my bladder. ” Marijuana also proved to be effective in the treatment of glaucoma because its use lowers pressure on the eye. “In a recent survey at a leading teaching hospital, ‘over 60 per cent of medical students were found to be marijuana users. In the same survey, only 30 per cent admitted to smoking cigarettes” (Guardian).

Brian Hilliard, editor of Police Review, says “Legalizing cannabis wouldn’t do any harm to anybody. We should be concentrating on the serious business of heroin and amphetamines. ” In the UK in 1991, 42,209 people were convicted of marijuana charges, clogging courts and overcrowding prisons… and almost 90 per cent of drug offenses involve cannabis… The British government spends 500 million pounds a year on “overall responses to drugs” but receives no tax revenue from the estimated 1. billion pound illicit drug market” (Guardian).

Figures like this can be seen in the United States as well. The US spends billions of dollars annually on the war on drugs. If the government were to legalize marijuana, it could reasonably place high taxes on it because people are used to buying marijuana at extremely igh prices created by the risks of selling marijuana illegally. It could be sold at a convenient store just like a pack of cigarettes for less than someone would pay now, but still yield a high profit because of easy growing requirements.

An entire industry could be created out of hemp based products. The oils extracted from seeds could be used for fuels and the hemp fiber, a fiber so valued for its strength that it is used to judge the quality of other fibers, could be manufactured into ropes, clothing, or paper. Most importantly, the money the government would make from taxes and the money which would be saved by ot trying to prevent its use could be used for more important things, such as serious drugs or the national debt.

The recreational use of marijuana would not stimulate crime like some would argue. The crime rate in Amsterdam, where marijuana is legal, is lower than many major US cities. Mario Lap, a key drug policy advisor in the Netherlands national government says “We’ve had a realistic drug policy for 30 years in the Netherlands, and we know what works. We distinguish between soft and hard drugs, between traffickers and users. We try not to make people into criminals” (Houston Chronicle).

We can expect strong opposition from companies like DuPont and paper manufacturers but the selfishness of these corporations should not prevent its use in our society like it did in the 1930’s. Regardless of what these organizations will say about marijuana, the fact is it has the potential to become one of the most useful substances in the entire world. If we took action and our government legalized it today, we would immediately see benefits from this decision. People suffering from illnesses ranging from manic depression to Multiple Sclerosis would be able to experience relief.

The government could ake billions of dollars off of the taxes it could impose on its sale, and its implementation into the industrial world would create thousands of new jobs for the economy. Also, because of its role in paper making, the rain forests of South America could be saved from their current fate of extinction. No recorded deaths have ever occurred as a result of marijuana use, it is not physically addictive like alcohol or tobacco, and most doctors will agree it is safer to use. Marijuana being illegal has no validity at all. Due to all the positive aspects of marijuana it should be legalized in the United States.

Should Marijuana Be Legal

This is a topic that has become a bit of concern amongst people in the past few years. Marijuana has been illegal since the early 1900s, but lately scientists have figured out that there are some uses of marijuana that could benefit people in need, people who are sick of deadly diseases such as aids, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. These are all diseases that are hard for anyone to go through, especially without aid that helps the pain and misery from ceasing. Prohibiting marijuana has just made things worse, by increasing the price of marijuana, the illegal usage, and the money pent on trying to cease its use.

Abraham Lincoln once said two quotes about prohibition, Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a mans appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes, and A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. I believe that he is right for stating that we have rights and they should not be taken for granted. He may have not been thinking of marijuana when he made his speech, but it involves rohibition, meaning prohibition in general and of any kind. The first crop of American hemp was grown in 1611 (Grinspoon 11).

However, the modern practice of smoking marijuana was not introduced until the 1920s. This was a time of drug intolerance. America was in the stages of the prohibition of alcohol campaign. Marijuana was introduced and smoked by the early immigrants. In the 1930s it was a common belief that immigrants were inhumane and violent, so these attitudes were associated and blamed on the marijuana. By 1931 all but two states had anti-marijuana legislation. By 1937 all states had prohibited marijuana use and made it illegal to have anything to do with this drug. No research was ever made on marijuana at this time or its effects.

People simply believed in assumptions made about marijuana, such things as it provoked violent crime and caused insanity. Strategies of fighting marijuana were silence and exaggeration. People believed that by not telling their children about marijuana, then they would not become curious and not experiment with it. In the 1930s it was deemed that schools could not talk about marijuana. The Motion Picture Association of America banned all films that showed narcotics from 1934-1956 (Musto 46). This approach did not work so people quickly moved onto the next step, exaggeration.

The purpose of exaggerating was to scare possible users from trying marijuana. The American Journal of Medicine once wrote, Marijuana users will suddenly turn with murderous violence upon whoever is nearest to them (Musto 44). One modern cause of prohibition was the belief that if the marijuana policy was relaxed, then more people would use marijuana. In 1984 nationwide usage was at 26. %. In the eleven states that decriminalized it it was 27. 3%. In 1988 nationwide use was 15. 4% and the eleven states was at 16. 1%. The statistics show that by prohibiting it or allowing it, the use would be one and the same.

Holland is another example of the effect of legalizing marijuana. Holland legalized marijuana in 1976 and since then they have had a 40% reduction in marijuana users. Another statistic, in 1979 68. 2% of the population of 18-25 year olds had tried marijuana at least once, and 30% were users. Those numbers are down now to 50% and 13%, but he point is that after 30 years the drug is still being attained. Now if the purpose of prohibiting marijuana is to eliminate its use, then prohibition has failed. Prohibition has accomplished some things, one being it has made criminal drug dealers richer.

The risks of trafficking marijuana has increased, thus enabling these people raise the price of weed, which increases their profits. Second, marijuana has caused taxpayers tremendous amounts of money on police, court costs, and jails. Last, it has torn apart families with members that use marijuana. Did you know that 58% of marijuana felons ave no relevant prior crime history, 91% were not considered organizers, leaders, managers, or supervisors, and 92% did not even own guns (Schlosser 93). Now what does this say about our judicial system to put away people such as these.

I believe that we have far more important things to worry about. The average time served in prison for selling marijuana is four years, compared with just one year for rape or manslaughter. So apparently this proves that drug crimes are more important than violent crimes. It treats drugs as more important than God-given constitutionally protected rights. A way to look at marijuana in a positive point of view is to look at it for its medical purposes. In 1972, the federal government had an extensive research of marijuana and found that there is no physically addictive traits.

Dr. Jack Henningfield of the National Institute on Drug Abuses Addiction Research Center and Dr. Neal Benowitz, Of the University of California, ranked six drugs: heroine, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and marijuana, on their ability to produce psychological dependence. Nicotine was found to be the most addicting, and marijuana the least. Not only did marijuana rank as the least addictive, but it also ranked least likely to get a tolerance, and least likely to show signs of withdraw after quitting smoking marijuana (Schlosser 92).

In comparing marijuana to alcohol and tobacco you see that alcohol causes cirrhosis of the liver, cigarettes cause lung cancer, or the plain fact that both are carcinogens which speed up all cancers. Looking at this you could see that marijuana is not that different from things that are legal today. Alcohol and tobacco have no good points to them, they are harmful and are aking more lives everyday. Alcohol is the factor of half of all highway fatalities, half of all arrests, half of all homicides, and a fourth of all suicides (National 15).

So ask yourself this, how much worse is weed really? In January of 1997, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy asked the Institute of Medicine to conduct a review of the scientific evidence to assess the potential benefits and risks of marijuana and its constituent cannabinoids. They found that marijuana smoke contains 39 cannabinoid drugs, THC being the most common one. The cannabinoids in marijuana are ffective treatments for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.

It can also reduce anxiety, can cause sedation, and euphoria. The most adverse effect is reduced psychomotor performance, meaning it is dangerous to operate heavy equipment or automobiles. Patients would not be doing this anyway, the serious ones that are using it. There is no evidence that usage causes cancer. Dependence on the substance is rare, and withdraw symptoms are mild and short-lived. There are 30 symptoms for which people are currently claiming that arijuana help, however there has not been any studies on them.

Although, it is known that marijuana helps muscle spasms for multiple sclerosis sufferers. In closing, I hope that you have a better understanding of marijuana as a whole, keeping aside from the prejudices and long-term stereotypes. I believe that the government should freely educate all they want on the effects of using marijuana. The government should not be allowed to say if one can or cannot practice that behavior in the privacy of their home. People should be allowed to do whatever they please as long as it doesnt directly harm someone else.

Is There Any Medical Potential for Marijuana

Marijuana is one of the oldest cultivated plants (Nahas 8). Since it became illegal in 1967, there have been questions of whether or not it is good for purposes, such as medicine, other than being a leisure drug. Debates between pro and con groups for the use of marijuana in the medical profession, have been heated and in recent months, referendums have been pasted in a least three states to make it accessible for medical treatment. Personally, I feel that marijuana has the potential to be a significant help with certain aliments, however, more research needs to be done to maximize its potential.

According to Gabriel Nahas, the first people to introduce the potential healing properties of marijuana, were the Chinese. About five thousand years ago, the peoples of the plains of Central Asia, just of the north of the Himalayas, began cultivating the plant. Though it is not exactly certain what cultivation of the plant was for, whether it was for its oil, fiber or medical properties, most likely it was its fiber (11). The fiber of the plant is so strong that it can be used to make thick, sturdy ropes. Its seed also contains oil that can be used as a varnish.

In some countries the seed is used as bird and cattle feed and also in the manufacturing of soap (9). And something else that might not be common knowledge is that the seeds can be roasted and eaten. It is actually the flowers of a certain type of the plant that is used for its medicinal and intoxicating property (9). I say that the flower from a certain type of the plant because there is a common misconception that there is only one type of marijuana. Nahas reveals that marijuana is such a wild plant, that it easy adapts to any soil and new varieties then emerge.

Now is when the plants with stronger fibers, superior oils, and a more potent drug content is selected. Only around 1000 BC, in India and Southeast Asia, when the plant started to grow in that region, the intoxicating features were introduced and appreciated (9). So when was the plant introduced to the Western Hemisphere? There is archeological evidence that the plant was brought to Western Europe from Asia about 1500 BC, by the Scythian invaders and then later it reached the Mediterranean region (Nahas 9). However, the people of western Europe began cultivating it as a plant crop in their area about 500 AD for its fiber.

When the plant first came to Europe, it was not introduced to all the countries. Nahas states that the rest of Europe only got to know about the plant around the Christian era. No signs or evidence suggests that Europeans used marijuana for intoxicating purposes (9). Nahas book tells us that in the New World marijuana was introduced in the 16th century. It was brought over by both the Spanish and the British and in the Spanish settled areas of the New World, it was used for its fiber and its intoxicating properties were only discovered in the late 19th century.

In the United States, it was used for the production of rope and cloth until the 20th century and now it is widely a drug used preferably for pleasure (8-9) According to Nahas, it was about 1842, when an Irish physician, William O’Shaughnessy, who spent many years in India as a surgeon, introduced the Western world to the drug’s medicinal properties (247). Though Dr. O’Shaughnessy used marijuana for many different aliments and diseases, he found it most helpful in the relief of pain.

In his practice, he also found that the drug was most effective for convulsions occurring in rabies, rheumatism, tetanus, and epilepsy. It also seemed to be a help when it came to menstrual cramps and in the delivery room; helping with increasing uterine contractions and reducing childbirth pains (247). In more recent times, the National Institutes of Health-NIH has claimed that marijuana may be helpful in the alleviation of chemotherapy, to reduce nausea. The drug also helps in the stimulation of appetite and reduction of the loss of lean muscle mass in AIDS patients and in the prevention of epileptic seizures.

Plus, it aids in the reduction of fluid pressure in the eyes caused by glaucoma-which in fact causes serious damage to vision, if not blindness, and in the reduction of muscle pain and spasticity felt by multiple sclerosis patients (Marandino). In fact, many multiple-sclerosis patients say that when it comes to their motor functions marijuana has helped them a great deal. In other words it has help them to sustain and live a little better with the damaging disease (Dickinson). Some physicians even suggest that marijuana may be helpful to patients going through barbiturates, opiates, and alcohol withdrawal.

And though it has been said that the drug had very mild or no effects on asthmatic patients, (Nahas 252-53). Some patients claim that marijuana do help them: “I started to smoke the drug as my asthma became worse around 1992. I don’t believe in smoking and would not have until, you know, William suggested it. His cousin’s asthma was worse than mines and since he started to use marijuana it had cleared up. So, I decided to try it and it worked. It took about six months, smoking at least two joints a day and I also brew it to drink the tea.

And since ’93, I haven’t a problem with asthma. ” (Latanya Williams) Also, Brent Toney says, “I’m not going to lie, I have been using marijuana for years. I smoke it. I use the bush to draw tea. And what a lot of people don’t know is that the ashes can be used for cuts and scrapes. Every time I burn a little ‘corn’, I save the ashes for whenever I have a bruise or I get a cut. It doesn’t matter how deep it is, it dries up the wound within two days. As for colds, I don’t suffer from them. I don’t have to go to the doctor. I can’t tell when last I seen a doctor.

And I ain’t worried about getting lung cancer or brain damage, cause’ Father put the herb here for us to use. It’s people along the way that put other chemicals in it and spoiled it. But if you grow your own, it is the best remedy for anything. ” (Personal Interview) As stated before there are many different types of marijuana plants. However, within one plant there are more than 60 different attributes. Between the sixty, there is basically only one component that is being investigated (Talarico). This component is called THC, also know as delta-9-THC (Nahas 249; Talarico).

Lori Talarico describes THC as the resinous oil in marijuana that can be extracted from the plant. There is already a THC counterpart on the market that is known as dronabinol. This is duly noted. You could say this is called “medical marijuana”. The dronabinol is made into sesame oil and supplied in gelatin capsules (Talarico). This is how the drug is described: Dronabinol is a controlled substance, which affects the receptors in the brain and spinal cord. It has been marketed for anorexia and AIDS patients for weight loss and cancer patients for vomiting and nausea.

Some physicians also use it alone or with other drugs to treat epilepsy and glaucoma, and to relieve MS patients. However, it is not a go-to drug; it is not the first drug that doctors recommend. It is only used when all else fails. But, it has proved itself most useful to treat the vomiting and nausea and stimulates the appetite when the other medications can not help (Talarico). Besides all the things marijuana has been suggested good for there is still a negative association when it come to the drug. Some researchers say it causes brain damage, low sperm count, and lung cancer (Nahas 139; Abel 179).

However, though it is true that the sperm count is lower in some marijuana users, however the infertility rate is the same as non-users (Dickinson). Though when it comes to background studies on the reproductive system and marijuana usage, it is mostly done on male, a study in 1982 focused on a group of women who had been chronic marijuana users for a least 3 years. During the length of the experiment they were smoking about five to sixteen marijuana ‘joints’ a day. The study found was there was no change in their sexual hormonal production levels or the length of their menstrual cycle (Nahas 146).

As for lung cancer and brain damage, some say: “If marijuana ever caused a single death, it didn’t leave any fingerprints. ” (Dickinson). What these people are basically saying is though there have been claims that marijuana is a killer drug, there is no documented case that someone has actually died from using too much marijuana. However, some adamantly stand by their beliefs that marijuana is a killer and has no place in medicine. They believe the whole campaign for marijuana to be drawn into medical mainstream is all a big mistake.

According to Steve Forbes, “an insidious effort is under way to legalize drugs” (Forbes). Marijuana adversaries argue that there are other alternatives to marijuana, like Marinol, serotonin antagonists ondansetron HCI dihydrate, and granisetron HCI (Forbes; Talarico). Marinol for example is a synthetic form of the chemical THC like dronabinol. It has already been approved by the FDA and is basically made for AIDS patients enduring chemotherapy (Forbes). The HCI drugs have fewer side effects and can be also given to children (Talarico).

Basically, there are two concerns of having marijuana as medicine. The first, and not to sway from the main concern, has to do with the belief that the drug will be more abused than it already is. That is safe to say, since there have been cases to prove this. For example in the Netherlands where marijuana usage is legal and they have little ‘hemp bars’, the rate of abuse is higher (Forbes). So for instance, when Measure 57, proposed in Washington DC, which states that all you would need for access to the drug is a recommendation from the doctor, not even a prescription, there must be controversy.

The proposal also allows the patient’s primary caretaker, even a “best friend”, could help grow, use, or buy marijuana for the patient (Forbes). Another controversial proposal was Washington State’s Initiative 685. It calls for the legalization marijuana along with LSD and heroin (Forbes). Again, no prescription is needed and anyone in the medical field can give a recommendation. Doctors, pharmacists, and even veterinarians can give the okay for the drug. Also the patient only needs to claim a “serious” illness, no definition of serious is explained.

And oddly enough the proposal calls for all drug-related criminals to be released (Forbes). Seems like it may reap more havoc than be positive in helping those who it actually supposes to. The main concern of having marijuana as an alternative medicine is the effects that it may have on the patients. The adverse effects that have reportedly happened to leisure users are a major concern. Marandino’s article reports that marijuana has been accused of many things, such as affecting immune systems, smoke related health problems, and increased heart rate.

Though these side effects are serious, supporters of marijuana as medicine say that these side effects are common when it comes to a number of prescription drug (Marandino). Also, marijuana has been credited with creating psychotic episodes, memory loses and other manipulations of the nervous system (Abel 179). AIDS patients are even discouraged from using marijuana because it is not known the actual extent that the drug may damage their immune systems further than it already is damaged (Talarico).

Some of the documented effects of leisure users are disorientation to time and place, and difficulty in controlling bodily parts, along with a great sense of anxiety and panic, a sense of floating-being one with their surroundings, and just mere hallucinations (Abel 182-83). One ex-marijuana user describes his experiences while he used the drug: “First I used to feel good, having the giggles, laughing, etc. It started out as a once in a while thing, then as time went on, I started smoking on weekends, then it went up to everyday, so I could get that ‘feeling’.

I had to smoke just to think well and to relax. This went on for 4-5 years, just so I won’t have to deal with everyday problems. I had to stop because is started to make me paranoid. I taught that everyone was looking at me, examining me, analyzing me, wondering if they could smell my clothes with the weed scent, or if they could see my eyes red. Then I started to lose all ambition and became lazier as the days went on. I became a dependent on the ‘smokes’. Then one, I decided it was either my life or the ‘smokes’. and I chose my life. ” (Kwabena Johnson)

Though marijuana has been associated with mental illness and just sheer craziness, early reports had to be discredited because of flaws and inadequacies (Abel 189). In 1969-70, a study on 100 marijuana users was conducted. Out of the 100, twenty-one percent had a probable affective disorder (affective meaning that there was a disturbance on the emotional state of the person); eight percent had definite affective disorder, six percent probable sociopath, and six percent definite sociopath. Three percent had asexual deviance other than homosexuality and there was even 1 who had a schzio-affective disorder.

All in all fifty-two percent of the group received a psychiatric diagnosis (Abel 193). Some other effects that have been reportedly been connected with marijuana are unplanned change in appetite and weight, sleep difficulty, including hypersomnia. Complaints of loss of energy, agitation, irritability, withdrawal, suicidal ideas or death wishes, and self-depreciatory ruminations (Abel 191). The risk of these side effects makes some doctors hesitant to prescribe or even suggest marijuana as a medicine. However, to sum it all up, I basically feel that there are more positives about this drug than negatives.

Since, there are basically so many components in marijuana and so many types of marijuana, there can be a lot more research done to get the full potential the drug has to offer. The Federal government has definitely enough resources to do the proper research that is needed to pick apart what is good and what is bad. Since there is obviously therapeutic properties to this drug, I feel that if it at least gives a little relief to those who really need it then the proper authorities such continue to do what they have to too ensure that it continues.

Though there is no concrete evidence so far that tells us that marijuana will be the best remedy for the aliments that has been suggested that it can relieve, there is enough proof that it helps in some ways. Besides providing relief in major aliments such as cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS, marijuana is also good for minor things such as colds, cuts, and scraps. For the most part, marijuana users say that marijuana has enriched their lives. It enhances their creativity and provides insight. “It’s a source of positive pleasure” (Abel186). And if that is all the sick patients’ experience in the last days of their lives, then so be it.

Marijuana Legal or Illegal

Cannabis, sold as marijuana, hashish and hash oil, is the most frequently used illicit drug in Canada. Roughly one in four Canadian adults report having used cannabis at some time in their lives. Cannabis use has been on the rise among young people. For example, a 1997 Addiction Research Foundation survey found that 25 per cent of Ontario junior high school students used cannabis in the previous year, up from 13 per cent in 1993. (cannabae) Knowing this, should the United States legalize cannabis? There are some questions that must be answered first. What other uses does cannabis have and how would legalizing affect the drug rings in the US.

In terms of health risks, some consequences of cannabis are clearly known, while others, such as the effects of chronic exposure, are less obvious. In terms of respiratory damage, marijuana smoke contains higher concentrations of some of the constituents of tar and tobacco smoke. In addition, it is hotter when it contacts the lungs and is typically inhaled more deeply and held in the lungs longer than tobacco smoke. In terms of physical co-ordination, Cannabis impairs co-ordination. This brings with it the risk of injury and death through impaired driving or accidents such as falls.

When it comes to pregnancy and childhood development, Cannabis use by pregnant women may affect the fetus. As with tobacco smoking, risks such as low birth weight and premature delivery increase with use. Research has shown a link between chronic heavy marijuana use and damage to the respiratory system similar to that caused by tobacco. Long-term marijuana smoking is associated with changes, such as injury to the major bronchi, that leave the lungs open to injury and infection. Frequent, heavy use has been linked with bronchitis. (dope head) There Is also no link between marijuana smoking and lung cancer.

Some interesting facts on cannabis; the impact of health problems linked to cannabis is much less than that resulting from alcohol or tobacco use. Survey data from the U. S. , show that dependence on nicotine among smokers is several times more damaging than cannabis dependence among marijuana users. Moreover, the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol account for the bulk of the economic costs of substance use. A recent Ontario study found that annual health care osts resulting from cannabis use were 8 million dollars when compared to those for tobacco 1. 07 billion dollars and alcohol 442 million dollars. cannabae)

Is Marijuana a gateway drug? Researchers are looking into using marijuana to help crack cocaine addicts to quit. There are 40 million people in the United States who have smoked marijuana for a period of their lives. (cannabae) Knowing this, Why arent there millions of heroin or cocaine users? In Amsterdam, both marijuana use and heroin use went down after marijuana was decriminalized, even though there was a short ise in cannabis use right after decriminalization. Unlike addictive drugs, cannabis causes almost no tolerance. Some people even report reverse tolerance.

That is, the longer they have used marijuana the less they need to get high. (dope head) So users of marijuana do not usually get bored and look for something more powerful. The idea that using marijuana will lead you to the use of heroin or speed is called the Gateway Theory. The Gateway Theory was created by the CIA and anti-drug prohibitionists to try and explain the increase in heroin use after the Vietnam War. There have never been any concrete tatistics to back up this idea, but somehow it was the single biggest thing which the newspapers yelled about during Reefer Madness II.

So the theory that marijuana is a gateway drug has been thrown out and is no longer accepted by the medical community. The marijuana plant is not just used for smoking. It has many other uses. Hemp is also produced by Cannabis plant. It is the strongest known natural fiber. It can be used for ropes, clothing, netting, etc. Also the hemp oil can be used for scents such as patchovel. Cannabis is also used for medical reasons such as cancer side effects, migraine head ache, nd many other related causes.

If the United States were to legalize cannabis there would have to be some realistic changes in the law. Taxing cannabis would be a good way to strengthen the economy. In Canada they only used 8 million dollars for health care related expenses, therefore, there would be a considerate amount of extra money. That money could go to strengthening the schools, roads, or even lower taxes on property or food. In Amsterdam when cannabis was decriminalized the popularity rose in the beginning, but dropped to a new low. Would the same be the case for the United States?

Crime would possibly drop because cannabis would be legal and it would eliminate the criminal element. If the government was to regulate marijuana, such as alcohol. This would eliminate most of the drug dealers. Drug dealers wouldnt be able to make money off of marijuana, therefore, they would have to work a regular job and be forced to make an honest living. I purpose that marijuana be legalized and alcohol be illegal. I believe that DUI related deaths would dope to a new low. People can overdose or die of cirrhosis from alcohol. People cant overdose or die from marijuana.

Marijuana Legal or Illegal

Cannabis, sold as marijuana, hashish and hash oil, is the most frequently used illicit drug in Canada. Roughly one in four Canadian adults report having used cannabis at some time in their lives. Cannabis use has been on the rise among young people. For example, a 1997 Addiction Research Foundation survey found that 25 per cent of Ontario junior high school students used cannabis in the previous year, up from 13 per cent in 1993. (cannabae) Knowing this, should the United States legalize cannabis? There are some questions that must be answered first. What other uses does cannabis have and how would legalizing affect the drug rings in the US.

In terms of health risks, some consequences of cannabis are clearly known, while others, such as the effects of chronic exposure, are less obvious. In terms of respiratory damage, marijuana smoke contains higher concentrations of some of the constituents of tar and tobacco smoke. In addition, it is hotter when it contacts the lungs and is typically inhaled more deeply and held in the lungs longer than tobacco smoke. In terms of physical co-ordination, Cannabis impairs co-ordination. This brings with it the risk of injury and death through impaired driving or accidents such as falls.

When it comes to pregnancy and childhood development, Cannabis use by pregnant women may affect the fetus. As with tobacco smoking, risks such as low birth weight and premature delivery increase with use. Research has shown a link between chronic heavy marijuana use and damage to the respiratory system similar to that caused by tobacco. Long-term marijuana smoking is associated with changes, such as injury to the major bronchi, that leave the lungs open to injury and infection. Frequent, heavy use has been linked with bronchitis. (dope head) There Is also no link between marijuana smoking and lung cancer.

Some interesting facts on cannabis; the impact of health problems linked to cannabis is much less than that resulting from alcohol or tobacco use. Survey data from the U. S. , show that dependence on nicotine among smokers is several times more damaging than cannabis dependence among marijuana users. Moreover, the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol account for the bulk of the economic costs of substance use. A recent Ontario study found that annual health care osts resulting from cannabis use were 8 million dollars when compared to those for tobacco 1. 07 billion dollars and alcohol 442 million dollars. cannabae)

Is Marijuana a gateway drug? Researchers are looking into using marijuana to help crack cocaine addicts to quit. There are 40 million people in the United States who have smoked marijuana for a period of their lives. (cannabae) Knowing this, Why arent there millions of heroin or cocaine users? In Amsterdam, both marijuana use and heroin use went down after marijuana was decriminalized, even though there was a short ise in cannabis use right after decriminalization. Unlike addictive drugs, cannabis causes almost no tolerance. Some people even report reverse tolerance.

That is, the longer they have used marijuana the less they need to get high. (dope head) So users of marijuana do not usually get bored and look for something more powerful. The idea that using marijuana will lead you to the use of heroin or speed is called the Gateway Theory. The Gateway Theory was created by the CIA and anti-drug prohibitionists to try and explain the increase in heroin use after the Vietnam War. There have never been any concrete tatistics to back up this idea, but somehow it was the single biggest thing which the newspapers yelled about during Reefer Madness II.

So the theory that marijuana is a gateway drug has been thrown out and is no longer accepted by the medical community. The marijuana plant is not just used for smoking. It has many other uses. Hemp is also produced by Cannabis plant. It is the strongest known natural fiber. It can be used for ropes, clothing, netting, etc. Also the hemp oil can be used for scents such as patchovel. Cannabis is also used for medical reasons such as cancer side effects, migraine head ache, nd many other related causes.

If the United States were to legalize cannabis there would have to be some realistic changes in the law. Taxing cannabis would be a good way to strengthen the economy. In Canada they only used 8 million dollars for health care related expenses, therefore, there would be a considerate amount of extra money. That money could go to strengthening the schools, roads, or even lower taxes on property or food. In Amsterdam when cannabis was decriminalized the popularity rose in the beginning, but dropped to a new low. Would the same be the case for the United States?

Crime would possibly drop because cannabis would be legal and it would eliminate the criminal element. If the government was to regulate marijuana, such as alcohol. This would eliminate most of the drug dealers. Drug dealers wouldnt be able to make money off of marijuana, therefore, they would have to work a regular job and be forced to make an honest living. I purpose that marijuana be legalized and alcohol be illegal. I believe that DUI related deaths would dope to a new low. People can overdose or die of cirrhosis from alcohol. People cant overdose or die from marijuana.

Alcohol And Marijuana

Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used and abused in the United States. Alcohol is the number one abused drug, while marijuana is number one among illegal drugs. While alcohol remains legal, and marijuana illegal, this does not necessarily mean that the alcohol is better for you. There have been many arguments where people suggest that marijuana should be legal because alcohol is more deadly. On the other hand, there are alcoholics who would tell a pothead that smoking weed is bad for you. Both substances are very bad for your health and should not be heavily used by anyone.

Marijuana has an immediate effect during and for about 2 hours after smoking. With alcohol, users feel slight effects after just one drink, and recover depending on the amount the person drank, how much they weigh, and how much they had to eat before ingesting the alcohol. Immediate effects of use are slurred speech, decreased inhibitions, poor judgment, and lack of motor coordination. Marijuana causes red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, slowed reaction, paranoia, hallucinations, decreased social inhibitions, and memory loss. Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol can lead to a coma or even death.

A person would have to smoke 40,000 times the amount to get high to overdose, so it is practically impossible. Alcohol is responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year. Marijuana kills less than 10,000 per year. Among the deaths caused by alcohol, drinking and driving is number one. Not only is it number one among alcohol related deaths, it is also one of the main causes of death and injury in the United States. Alcohol impairs judgment and vision, and causes speeding and reckless driving. On the other hand, there has been debate over the effect of marijuana on driving.

One study by a computer software company reported that people who smoked a small amount of marijuana drove faster and with fewer collisions in a driving computer game. Another study said that marijuana causes abnormally slow driving, proneness to distraction, and increases the time it takes to react, therefore greatly impairs your ability to drive. Long-term effects of alcohol are liver cirrhosis, stomach ailments, impotence, vitamin deficiency, increased stroke risk, decreased mental performance, heart disease, peptic ulcers, hepatitis, and various forms of cancer.

Alcohols effects on the brain are loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts. Long-term effects of marijuana are mouth, throat, and lung cancer, increased heart rate, decrease in testosterone levels for men, increased testosterone levels for women, diminished sexual pleasure, increased blood pressure, increased stress, decreased motivation, and respiratory problems. The THC in marijuana damages the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed, making it hard to remember things.

Both substances can lead to dependence, especially alcohol. If one abuses alcohol for to long and becomes dependent, they are considered to be an alcoholic. There has been debate on whether marijuana is addictive. Some experts believe that since there are no obvious withdrawal symptoms, it is not considered to be an addictive drug. Others claim that it is addictive because it takes the place of natural feel good chemicals in the brain, so people become physically addicted.

Alcoholism on the other hand, is considered a disease. Ten percent of people who drink will become alcoholics. There seems to be a genetic factor associated with alcoholism. Biological children of alcoholics have a greater chance of becoming alcoholics themselves than a child who is adopted into a family with a history of alcoholism. If an alcoholic abruptly stops drinking, he will go through withdrawal symptoms known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

The symptoms are nausea, tremors, sweating, anxiety, depression, weakness, hallucinations, and even death. Despite the talk about alcohol abuse and alcoholism, alcohol can actually be good for you. If one drinks in moderation (2-6 drinks per week in two or more sittings) it can lessen the chance of heart disease by thinning your blood. There are no known health benefits associated with moderate marijuana use. Both drugs have serious health effects when used heavily, but it seems that alcohol more detrimental to your health.

Marijuana, a cure for anorexia as well as glaucoma

To toke or not to toke that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of society or succumb to popular opinion and legalize Marijuana. Marijuana is a cure for anorexia as well as glaucoma. Marijuana is even a helping factor for relieving some symptoms of A. I. D. S. Still the government of our nation has Marijuana classified as a Division I drug. Which means it serves no medical use and does in no way benefit society. The studies outdated and scientifically proven to be incorrect still remain beliefs of our government.

Supporters of the legalization of Marijuana have many scientifically proven facts that point to the fact Marijuana should be legalized. Marijuana legalization would prove to be beneficial in a number of areas. The first bonus to legalizing Marijuana is its medical uses. Marijuana stimulates the immune system and serves as a cure for glaucoma. Marijuana helps people with AIDS retain and eat food. Marijuana use also has intellectual benefits. Marijuana increases alpha wave activity in the brain. The alpha waves are associated with creativity. This creativity is potentially the foundation of literary and musical evelation.

Bob Marley was one of the most influential musical composers of all times. Marley’s music has persevered throughout the years. He openly admitted, on many occasions, to smoking marijuana before he wrote and composed songs. Marley’s influence is global. His nickname of “the Legend” has distinguished him from many other musicians. His global fame separates him from all other musicians. Many people have attributed Marley’s creative genius to his use of marijuana. Socially, marijuana is better from the standpoint of addiction. Marijuana is less addictive than tobacco.

Essentially marijuana is neither as hysically nor mentally addictive as Nicotine. Another social benefit of marijuana is its not cancer causing when compared to legal drugs like caffeine or Cigarettes. These are only a few of the reasons that Marijuana legal. To really get into the legalization issue not only do you have to look into the facts of the case but also the employment effects it would have. Granted there are no hard facts that say marijuana needs to be legal (or illegal). If a person tries pictures the number of jobs a single American field of Marijuana would create, they find it’s an innumerable number.

The job’s cigarettes create through different aspects of preparation such as growth, harvest, manufacturing, distributing and selling, makes it is easy to see the widespread opportunities legalizing Marijuana would create. Marijuana if legalized would create an infinite number of jobs. These jobs would drastically improve the unemployment rate that is rampaging America now. The economy will also benefit from the legalization of Marijuana. If the government sets taxes high they can insure themselves a large profit from the sales of marijuana. This would make marijuana a cash crop.

A cash crop sed for exportation as well as internal use. The prices could be as severe as the cigarettes’ prices now are. This would cause a great boost in the economy. The legalization of Marijuana would also help save the environment. People could stop cutting down trees in search of paper and rope because hemp, the stem or trunk of a marijuana plant is the best maker of paper in the world. Not to mention the fact that Hemp rope is close to the strongest natural rope in the entire world. This would enable paper and rope companies to invest money into the growth of marijuana for industrial use.

The last facet of this debate on legalizing Marijuana comes when one looks at the widespread use of Marijuana in our society. Marijuana is one of the most widely used illegal substances in the world. In a recent survey performed in a suburban high school over 80% of the graduating class admitted to smoking pot. While over 80% may be a remarkable high statistic the survey also concluded that the under class students were also smoking their fair share of marijuana. The survey showed an increasing percentage of pot smokers (tokers) as they advanced through school.

The facts about Marijuana are simple. If examined, the facts about Marijuana’s potential beneficial possibilities to American society become apparent. The social, intellectual, economical, commercial, medical, and environmental benefits it would create if legalized are enormous and potentially a great help to our country. The supporters of the legalization of marijuana can not fathom how or why America as a country is denying our citizens the benefits of this helpful drug.. Supporters believe that the government is giving a drug that has NEVER killed anyone a bad reputation.

The facts that the upporters of Marijuana use are indisputable and unmistakably correct. These facts that they portray are driving America into legalizing Marijuana. The legalization of marijuana in Arizona for medical purposes was only a small step forward yet it pleased marijuana activists. Marijuana activists feel it was the first step to total legalization of Marijuana. Regardless of the marijuana activist’s case, the American public has to realize that Marijuana is a drug. Marijuana damages your body and your mind. The laws in America are simple in accordance to marijuana.

Marijuana is an llegal substance that which you cannot have possession of regardless of age. The scientists and politicians refer to many aspects of Marijuana in determining their basis for it being illegal. The scientists stand by six main points when referring to sustaining Marijuana as an illegal substance. The first point is that Marijuana causes brain damage. There have been many studies done on the cause of Marijuana on the brain. The most prolific however was the experiment by Dr. Robert Heath, who in the 1970’s tested Marijuana on laboratory monkeys. Dr. Heath concluded that Marijuana caused rain damage to those who smoke pot.

This is a cherished point by Marijuana protesters. They cling to this point as scientific reason Marijuana should remain illegal. Another reason is that Marijuana has been proven by Dr. Gabriel Nahas to be detrimental to the reproductive system. Dr. Nahas has isolated different tissues and cells of various animals in determining marijuana’s harm through laboratory testing. Dr. Nahas injected these cells with near lethal amounts of cannabinoids. The excess of cannabinoids reasoned to be the cause of the study’s being rejected by the scientific community but yet many people hold them o fact.

A major fight against Marijuana is that is a “gateway” drug. This means that the scientists and the other head honcho’s of our society believe legalizing Marijuana would cause for more hard drug use. This is a statistic that is unverifiable but yet still holds its claims. By looking at the statistics you would see that many of the cocaine users as well as the crack users and heroin addicts started off by smoking marijuana. This is a true and verifiably scary statistic. This point is a major setback for the Marijuana activists. The government spends millions of dollars on agencies like the Drug

Enforcement Agency to stop the hard and soft drug dealers. The legalization of Marijuana would cause such a varied effect on such agencies. The legalization of marijuana would cause an instant stop to marijuana offenses, but yet potentially skyrocket the hard drug crimes. This is a frightful thought for the government to comprehend. The government believes that there is no reason to give har d drugs an opening through which they could take over society. The government believes that the legalization of marijuana would cause even more death and destruction on the highways.

Alcohol is a major cause for accidents on the streets and if marijuana becomes legal it would just cause for an increase of destruction on roads. Marijuana brings people into a hypnotic state where the reaction time slows and likelihood of falling asleep is raised. The government links marijuana to almost as many accidents as alcohol. This again is a scary statistic in which so many human lives are potentially in danger by the legalization of Marijuana. Those who are against the legalization of marijuana believe that there is no reason that they should allow more dangerous drivers on the road.

Effects Of Marijuana

The use of marijuana is widespread by all classes, races, and cultures. Marijuana has been used for a multitude of purposes over thousands of years, and is still, today, is being used for many of the same purposes. (Hawks 1982) It is some of the possible outcomes of the usage of marijuana, and a brief history of marijuana that will be discussed in this paper. The outcomes associated with the use and abuse of marijuana is the major focus of this paper, and will be discussed and will be divided up in two groups. These groups include Medicinal/therapeutic users, and recreational users.

Recreational users will then be divided into 2 groups; acute (experimental) users, and chronic (habitual) users. The topic of marijuana use is very broad and has an intricate effect on society as a whole, however, for the purpose of this paper, the literature review is based on a very narrow fraction of the topic of marijuana, namely, the harmful biological and psychological effects of the drug. Marijuana is a naturally occurring plant with several species. Cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are the two most common types of marijuana in the developed world. These two species can be prepared for the use of people in a number of ways.

The plant may be dried and used for intoxication, or as resin can be collected from the plant by compressing the plant into a brick. Also by drying the plant and boiling it in alcohol and filtering the matter to make hash oil is a way of preparing the plant for human consumption. The potency of the marijuana substances depends on the climatic conditions, soil nutrients of the environment in which the plant is grown (Listin 1998) (Marijuana can be administered in many ways (Hawks 1982). These ways include inhaling the fumes by smoking the plant, or by eating the plant baked into biscuits.

The levels of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana consumed from the different methods of administering varies, and hence, so does the effect of the administered amount. THC is lipid soluble and is stored readily in fatty tissues in the body. As a consequence, traces of THC can be detected in the urine up to 2 – 3 months after marijuana use. The reason for the extended period of time that THC stays in the body is that unlike alcohol, which is excreted through the kidneys, THC very slowly seeps out of the fat cells.

Therefore, a trace of THC in the urine of a person is not necessarily an indication of recent marijuana use (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994). Medical/therapeutic use of marijuana is largely concealed because of the known fact that marijuana is an illegal drug in Australia and most countries. However, history shows that marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for over 3000 years. Medical uses of marijuana include pain management, as an antispasmoic, as an antimeric and for constipation, and epilepsy. (Mathre 1997)

The recreational use of marijuana is one area where harmful biological and psychological effects occur. Recreational can be divided into the 2 above-mentioned groups; experimental and habitual. According to the National Drug Strategy (1994) experimental use of marijuana is statistically the most prevalent in Australia, with an estimate of 80% of marijuana users being experimental users. Regular users of marijuana are those who use marijuana on a weekly basis, the prevalence of regular users is 15% of users in Australia.

Chronic habitual users are those users who have used marijuana on a daily basis for a number of years. Prevalence of habitual users is 5% of the total amount of marijuana smokers in Australia. The main focus of this paper is on the 2 last mentioned groups classified as ‘chronic’ users. The effect of marijuana is varied from individual to individual. This is because of the variables in route of administration, the mood of the user, the environment in which marijuana is smoked, the amount smoked, the body’s ability to absorb, previous use, and the potency of the drug (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services 1995).

The human body has cannabinoid receptors, which respond to THC and absorb and distribute THC to the nervous system. THC is rapidly distributed throughout the body starting with the brain, liver, and kidneys, and later distributes right through to the extremities with less blood flow (Liston 1998). THC levels peak at 30 – 40 minutes after smoking marijuana, and within 2 – 3 hours if ingested orally. The THC will have a half-life of 20 – 30 hours for daily (chronic habitual) users and a half-life of 50 – 70 hours in occasional (recreational acute) users.

This slower release of THC and it’s metabolites is due to their high fat solubility and the consequent slow release back into the blood from the ‘storage’ areas, namely the fat supplies, of the body. (National Health Strategy 1994). Harmful effects of Marijuana can be divided up into 2 groups: biological and psychological effects. Both the biological effects and the psychological effects can be divided into short term and long term damage. In other words, from the use of marijuana short term, and long term damage has been found in individuals.

This damage is psychological damage, physical damage, or both. Short-term damage is only temporary, and the individual will recover some weeks after cessation of taking marijuana. Long term damage, on the other hand, will last a lifetime (Mathre 1997). Initially, within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana smoke, users likely experience dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, some loss of coordination, a decreased sense of balance, and slower reaction times. Blood pressure is likely to increase and, in some cases the heart rate can double the baseline rate. (www. nida. nih. gov)

Marijuana smokes regularly encounter many of the same biological respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. These individuals may have daily coughs and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds than non-smokers. Continuing to smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of the lungs and airways (www. nida. nih. gov). Nahas (1992) agrees with this, and elaborates further on the harmful biological effects of marijuana use. Chronic use of marijuana can (by inhalation) causes some mutagenic effects, and hence, be of possible danger to having carcinogenic properties.

Hence, it can be concluded that chronic use of marijuana can have the harmful biological effect of causing lung cancer (Nahas 1992). Also, on the topic of mutatious damage from the effect of marijuana on human genetics, chronic use may also lead to decreased testosterone concentrations (M. mol/L in the blood stream) and cause impermanent, or inhibition of spermatocytes. Nahas (1992) Furthermore, THC suppresses the neurones in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for information processing, learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation (www. da. nih. gov).

McCance and Huether (1998) state that the neurones of the hippocampus are suppressed in chronic schizophrenics as opposed to in control groups of studies where the neurones are considered ‘normal’ and not suppressed. So, assuming that the facts of the American National Institute of Drug Abuse are correct, the suppressed neurones of the hippocampus caused by marijuana use, and McCance and Huether’s (1998) research into the suppressed neurones of the hippocampus the following can be concluded.

Presence of suppressed neurones in schizophrenia patients clearly links the common theory of a cause of drug induced schizophrenia as being contributed to by marijuana use/abuse. According to Continuing Medical Education, Inc. (www. mhsource. com) this is the reason as to why marijuana had the harmful psychological effect of contributing to drug induced schizophrenia on some individuals who are chronic smokers of marijuana. (www. mhsource. com) Chronic abuse of marijuana is also associated with the harmful psychological effects of impaired attention span and memory (www. da. nih. gov).

Prenatal exposure to marijuana has been associated with the psychological effects of impaired verbal reasoning and memory in preschool children. (www. nida. nih. gov). Of possible relevance are findings from animal studies showing chronic exposure to THC, biologically affects the animals because THC damages and destroys nerve cells and causes pathological changes in the hippocampus. This form of damage is irreversible and long term.

This illustrates the theory that the same damaging biological effect that marijuana has had on these animals’ nerve cells probably also occur in human beings. Hence, it can be reasoned that marijuana had the harmful biological effect of destroying nerve cells which, in turn, causes the psychological damage of impaired memory, and attention span of individuals using marijuana (www. nida. nih. gov).

According to the Central Coast Area Health Service (1998) (CCAHS) the main effects of initial marijuana use is on cognitive functioning. CCAHS (1998, P. states that these . . . effects are exerted through cannabinoid receptors that are located in both the hippocampus and cortex of the brain. High densities of cannabinoid receptors also appear in the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Furthermore, CCHAS (1998) also believes that this is consistent with the findings that cannabinoids absorbed from marijuana consumption has the harmful short-term effects of interfering with coordination. Another chronic harmful effect of marijuana use is the psychological effect that cannabis has on motivation.

Particularly in adolescents, chronic use of marijuana interferes with developmental tasks such as academic achievement, separation from parents, formation of peer relationships, the making of life choices and goal setting. THC simply affects individuals in such a way that from chronic use individuals loose all of the mentioned wants, goals, and relationship strengths (Baumrind and Moselle 1985). The acute harmful effects of marijuana, also referred to as a high, or ‘altered state of consciousness’.

This state is characterised by emotional changes, and increased sensory experiences such as increased perception of listening to music, sexual intercourse, or eating food. As stated earlier in the paper, each individual’s perception of a ‘high’ differs greatly. Some common unpleasant experiences, however, include anxiety, panic attacks and depressed mood. Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994) state that these effects are mostly found in the inexperienced user.

Are these effects of marijuana consumption psychologically harmful? Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994) describe these acute effects as harmful if marijuana is used often, however, this seems quite subjective, considering these are very short term effects. If the user continues smoking, it could definitely be considered harmful, however, as a single case experience for an individual, it is not considered harmful by Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994). Biologically, the acute effects of marijuana may be short term, and immediately not necessarily damaging.

An increase in heart rate will occur, when marijuana fumes are first inhaled, and the increased heart rate is likely to last up to 3 hours (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994). This is not of any concern to young healthy individuals, however, it may have an adverse effect on older users with illnesses such as ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, and cerebrovascular disease. Apart from the fact that cannabis causes an increased heart rate, which obviously can cause some problems for some people, cannabis can cause severe harm to other patients (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994).

Cannabis acts on the body to increase catecholamine production, which may cause arrhythmias and result in angina. This paper has merely touched the surface of the topic of marijuana. The acute and chronic harmful biological and psychological effects of marijuana on individuals has been thoroughly discussed. Further, the topic of marijuana is perpetual and complex, and, hence, purposely the question answered in this paper has been very narrow for the purpose of focusing in detail on a very narrow part of the marijuana issue.

It has been documented in this paper that the use of marijuana is widespread by all classes, races, and cultures. It has been discussed in that marijuana has been used for a multitude of purposes over thousands of years, and is still, today, is being used for many of the same purposes. Some of the outcomes of the usage of marijuana have been discussed with a major focus on the biological and psychological harm that marijuana causes on individuals.

A brief history of marijuana was been reviewed in order for the reader to comprehend the circumstances of the place marijuana has in society. The outcomes associated with the use and abuse of marijuana, have been discussed and were divided up in two groups for the purpose of simplifying the issue for greater understanding. Finally, this paper has achieved the aim of outlining the use of marijuana and has identified the acute and chronic harmful biological and psychological effects of marijuana on individuals.

Marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States

A dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, it usually is smoked as a cigarette (joint, nail), or in a pipe (bong). It also is smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, often in combination with another drug. Use also might include mixing marijuana in food or brewing it as a tea. As a more concentrated, resinous form it is called hashish and, as a sticky black liquid, hash oil.

Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive, usually sweet-and-sour odor. There are countless street terms for marijuana including pot, herb, weed, grass, widow, ganja, and hash, as well as terms derived from trademarked varieties of cannabis, such as Bubble Gum, Northern Lights, Juicy Fruit, Afghani #1, and a number of Skunk varieties. The main active chemical in marijuana is THC The membranes of certain nerve cells in the brain contain protein receptors that bind to THC.

Once securely in place, THC kicks off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Scientists have learned a great deal about how THC acts in the brain to roduce its many effects. When someone smokes marijuana, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to organs throughout the body, including the brain. In the brain, THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells.

Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement(5). Brain The short-term effects of marijuana can include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate.

Research findings for long-term marijuana use indicate some changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse. For example, cannabinoid (THC or synthetic forms of THC) withdrawal in chronically exposed animals leads to an increase in the activation of the stress-response system(6) and changes in the activity of nerve cells containing dopamine(7). Dopamine neurons are involved in he regulation of motivation and reward, and are directly or indirectly affected by all drugs of abuse.

Other Health Effects Some of marijuana? s adverse health effects may occur because THC impairs the immune system? s ability to fight off infectious diseases and cancer. In laboratory experiments that exposed animal and human cells to THC or other marijuana ingredients, the normal disease-preventing reactions of many of the key types of immune cells were inhibited(16). In other studies, mice exposed to THC or related substances were more likely than unexposed mice to develop bacterial infections and tumors(17, 18).

Mary Jane: The Devil Weed

Early in this century, the government waged a war of terrorism on marijuana, or cannabis sativa. “By 1937, forty-six states had laws against the use of marijuana, and its use had already been made a criminal offense under federal law” (Jaffe, 659). Andrews pointed out that “not until some time in the early 1930s did the Louisianna legislature pass a state regulation making use of the drug illegal” (5).

Jaffe noted that “since the early 1900s, marifuana has been considered the one drug that might introduce the susceptible to hard drugs. ” Jaffe pointed out that “since about 1950…. oking of marijuana has been linked statistically to the use of other illicit drugs…. Most observers have concluded that the link is sociological rather than biological and… marijuana is a marker for individuals who are more prone to seek new experiences even when these violate social norms and local laws. ”

Andrews related that “sensational newspaper stories relating… to crime is generally held to be accountable for the sudden enactment of a law prohibiting its use. ” He went on to note that “users were often subject to heavy penalties- -up to life imprisonment in Texas. After caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, marijuana is the fourth most popular abused substance” (O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, 175). does marijuana deserve this reputation? We must first consider what it is and what effects it has.

The active ingredient is tetrahydocannabinol, or THC (Andrews). THC, found only in the female plant, produces a mild euphoric effect. Marijuana is considered a hallucinogen, a Schedule 1 drup, under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, 177). A Schedule 1 drug means there is no known medical use.

Recently “a new drug application was pproved for THC (Marinol) to be used therapeutically for control of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy” (Jaffe, 663). This moved THC from Schedule 1 to 2 (medical use despite potential for abuse). How dangerous is marijuana? Jaffe notes that “any performance test shows impairment…. although no distinctive biochemical changes have been found in humans. ” Andrews writes, “Physical effects of marijuana use is probably the major question…. The answer? None. O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, reported that the National Institute on Drug Abuse found, “Marijunan now available is ive to 10 times more potent than it was a half dozen years ago” (178).

While these statements may not sound conclusive, the Institute of Medicine, according to O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, found, “What little we know now about the effects of marijuana on human health–and all we have reasons to suspect– justifies serious national concern. ” They noted, “More research has demonstrated marked disturbances in depth perception, time judgment, and coordination during cannabis use.

Coupled with surveys that that indicate that many traffic accidents occur to people using cannabis derivatives, these facts aise a significant public health concern. ” Is marijuana “devil weed”? Though marijuana “does not produce physical dependence,” it does produce “psychological dependence and the euphoric and sedative effects can result” (O’Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine, 179). They noted also, “Abstinence may result in feelings of irritability, nervousness, or insomnia. ”

Jaffe observed that cannabis “may directly produce an acute panic reaction, a toxic delirium,and accute paranoid state, or acute mania… It may} lead to sociopathy or even to the so-called AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME… and] aggravate schizophrenia” (661). Again we ask, Is marijuana “devil weed”? In conclusion we must say that marijuana might be, but the evidence is far from conclusive and far from complete.

That marijuana is a public health problem is clear. Marijuana is a dangerous substance for individuals to use and operate a motor vehicle of any kind. That marijuana is potentially dangerous and destructive is clear. Are there legitimate medical uses? There are some. It has been found to redce intraocular pressures in individuals with glaucoma by 45% (Jaffe, 662).

It has been used as an antiemitic for individuals taking cancer chemotherapy. Andrews concluded that “medical research indicates no physiological effect of any severity from use of the drug. Thus it has been assumed marijuana is harmless” (12). But is marijuana “devil weed”? The answers are mixed. The conclusions uncertain. Andrews’ answer is probably the most accurate: “Perhaps so. Perhaps not. Certainly more research is necessar. ” In other words, most of the reserach and most of the scientists have indicated that all the answers are not in yet.

Marijuana and Hemp, The Untold

The purpose of this brochure is to expose the numerous facts about marijuana and hemp that have been suppressed-facts the government does not want you to know. Hemp is a plant that can be used to produce thousands of products. Hemp is of the same plant species that produces marijuana; its scientific name is Cannabis Sativa. Hemp has been used for thousands of years to produce products like paper, textiles, oil, rope, and canvas. In fact, the word canvas is derived from the word cannabis. Hemp grown for industrial use is very low in THC (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana), thus making industrial hemp useless as a drug.

Although marijuana is most commonly known as a recreational drug, marijuana also has many medicinal uses. During the 1930s, the American media ran many blatantly-false stories depicting marijuana as an extremely dangerous drug. Because these lies went unchallenged, marijuana and hemp were effectively banned in 1938. Recently, hemp has been rediscovered as a natural resource that has great economic and environmental potential. Marijuana for medicinal use is also gaining renewed recognition.

Ironically, as will be explained shortly, it is possible that the real reason marijuana was banned was to prevent hemp from ever becoming a major natural resource. What follows are many astonishing facts about marijuana and hemp-facts that will shock most people. HEMP: THE WORLD’S MOST BENEFICIAL NATURAL RESOURCE? AMAZING FACTS ABOUT AN AMAZING PLANT On an annual basis, 1 acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as 2 to 3 acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is stronger and softer than cotton, lasts twice as long as cotton, and will not mildew. Many textile products (shirts, jackets, pants, backpacks, etc. ) made from 100% hemp are now available.

Cotton grows only in moderate climates and requires more water than hemp; but hemp is frost tolerant, requires only moderate amounts of water, and grows in all 50 states. Cotton requires large quantities of pesticides and herbicides-50% of the world’s pesticides/herbicides are used on cotton. But hemp requires no pesticides, no herbicides, and only moderate amounts of fertilizer. On an annual basis, 1 acre of hemp will produce as much paper as 2 to 4 acres of trees. From tissue paper to cardboard, all types of paper products can be produced from hemp. Global demand for paper will double within 25 years.

Unless tree-free sources of paper are developed, there is no way to meet future paper demand without causing massive deforestation and environmental damage. Cannabis Hemp is the world’s most promising source of tree-free paper. The quality of hemp paper is superior to tree-based paper. Hemp paper will last hundreds of years without degrading, can be recycled many more times than tree-based paper, and requires less toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process than does paper made from trees. Cannabis Hemp can be used to produce fiberboard that is stronger than wood, lighter than wood, and fire retardant.

Substituting hemp fiberboard for timber would further reduce the need to cut down our forests. Hemp can also be used to produce strong, durable and environmentally-friendly plastic substitutes. Thousands of products made from petroleum-based plastics can be produced from hemp-based composites. Mercedes Benz of Germany has recently begun manufacturing automobile bodies and dashboards made from hemp. It takes years for trees to grow until they can be harvested for paper or wood, but hemp is ready for harvesting only 120 days after it is planted.

Hemp can grow on most land suitable for farming, but forests and tree farms require large tracts of land available in few locations. Harvesting hemp rather than trees would also eliminate erosion due to logging, thereby reducing topsoil loss and water pollution caused by soil runoff. Hemp seed oil contains a protein that is as nutritious and more economical to produce than soybean protein. Hemp seeds are not intoxicating. Hemp seed oil/protein can be used to produce virtually any product made from soybean: tofu, veggie burgers, butter, cheese, salad oils, ice cream, milk, etc.

Hemp seed can also be ground into a nutritious flour that can be used to produce baked goods such as pasta, cookies, and breads. Hemp seed oil can be used to produce non-toxic diesel fuel, paint, varnish, detergent, ink and lubricating oil. Because hemp seeds account for up to half the weight of a mature hemp plant, hemp seed is a viable source for these products. Just as corn can be converted into clean-burning ethanol fuel, so can hemp. Because hemp produces more biomass than any plant species (including corn) that can grow in a wide range of climates and locations, hemp has great potential to become a major source of ethanol fuel.

Literally millions of wild hemp plants currently grow throughout the U. S. Wild hemp, like hemp grown for industrial use, has no drug properties because of its low THC content. U. S. marijuana laws prevent farmers from growing the same hemp plant that proliferates in nature by the millions. From 1776 to 1937, hemp was a major American crop and textiles made from hemp were common. Yet, The American Textile Museum, The Smithsonian Institute, and most American history books contain no mention of hemp. The government’s War on Marijuana Smokers has created an atmosphere of self censorship-speaking of hemp in a positive manner is considered taboo.

United States Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, used products made from hemp, and praised the hemp plant in some of their writings. Under the laws written by today’s politicians, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be considered a threat to society-they would be arrested and thrown in prison for the felony crime of growing plants. No other natural resource offers the potential of hemp. Cannabis Hemp is capable of producing significant quantities of paper, textiles, building materials, food, medicine, paint, detergent, varnish, oil, ink, and fuel.

Unlike other crops, Cannabis Hemp can grow in most climates and on most farmland throughout the world, with moderate water and fertilizer requirements, no pesticides, and no herbicides. Cannabis Hemp (also known as Indian Hemp) has enormous potential to become a major natural resource that can benefit both the economy and the environment. “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere. ” -President George Washington, 1794 During World War II, the U. S. government urged patriotic American farmers to grow Hemp For Victory

Fibers needed to make rope, textiles and other materials were in such short supply during World War II, the U. S. government temporarily re-legalized hemp cultivation so American farmers could grow it for the war effort. Although the government allowed more than 350,000 acres (550 square miles) of hemp to be cultivated during World War II, the U. S. experienced no increase in marijuana use during that period. Left: Introduction to the U. S. government’s 1942 pro-hemp film titled Hemp For Victory. Right: A farmer inspects his 8-foot-tall hemp crop, which is nearly ready to harvest. The surrounding images are from the 1942 U.

S. Dept. of Agriculture film titled Hemp For Victory, which was used to educate American farmers about growing hemp for the war effort. This film portrays the hemp plant in a very positive light. For years the government denied it made this film, and records of its existence in The Library of Congress were mysteriously missing. But in 1989, after an exhaustive search of government archives, researchers uncovered the original library records which prove Hemp For Victory was produced by the U. S. government. Video cassette tapes of Hemp For Victory are now available for sale to the public. See Page 11 for ordering information. ) Left: A Marijuana Tax Stamp permitted American farmers to grow hemp during World War II. Right: A Wisconsin farmer harvests his hemp crop in September. DO HEMP ADVOCATES HAVE AN AGENDA TO RE-LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? Many prohibitionists discredit the need for a hemp industry because they fear hemp is being used as a vehicle to re-legalize marijuana. The facts must be judged on their own merit. The economic and environmental benefits of hemp are very real. There are literally thousands of American farmers who want to grow industrial hemp.

The repeal of Hemp Prohibition is also advocated by numerous major farm organizations, including the conservative 4. 5-million-member American Farm Bureau. Many businesses are now producing hemp-based products and some large American corporations (International Paper, Inc. ) are beginning to advocate the repeal of Hemp Prohibition. It is entirely possible to repeal Hemp Prohibition without re-legalizing marijuana because Cannabis Hemp grown for industrial use has no drug properties. China and Eastern European nations are the world’s leading growers of Cannabis Hemp, but marijuana is still illegal in those nations.

Although marijuana is illegal in Canada, England, Germany, and Australia, those nations have recently begun growing Cannabis Hemp for the first time in decades. If the United States does not repeal Hemp Prohibition, a significant economic and environmental opportunity will be lost-the benefits will be reaped only by America’s economic competitors. MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE: FACTS THE GOVERNMENT IGNORES The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value. That classification contradicts mounds of evidence showing marijuana to be a very safe and effective medicine.

Marijuana is more effective, much less expensive, and much safer than many drugs currently used in its place. Marijuana can provide superb relief for those who suffer from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, insomnia, and depression. If knowledge of marijuana’s many medicinal uses, its remarkable safety, and hemp’s enormous potential as a natural resource become widely known, the DEA fears that support for Marijuana Prohibition will collapse, and thus threaten the DEA’s budget.

To maintain the myth that marijuana/hemp is useless and dangerous, the DEA prohibits the medicinal use of marijuana, denies researchers access to marijuana for use in clinical studies, and rejects all applications to grow industrial hemp. In 1988-after reviewing all evidence brought forth in a lawsuit against the government’s prohibition of medical marijuana-the DEA’s own administrative law judge (Judge Francis Young) wrote: “The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision.

It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the Drug Enforcement Administration to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence. ” Judge Francis Young of the Drug Enforcement Administration went on to say: “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. In strict medical terms, marijuana is safer than many foods we commonly consume. ” Judge Young recommended that the DEA allow marijuana to be prescribed as medicine, but the DEA has refused.

Although the federal government claims marijuana has no appropriate medicinal use, the federal government contradicts itself by supplying government-grown, FDA-approved marijuana cigarettes to 8 seriously ill Americans remaining from its discontinued medical marijuana program. The federal government closed its medical marijuana program to new patients in 1992 after the AIDS epidemic created a flood of new applicants. In November 1996, California voters approved an initiative (Proposition 215) that re-legalizes the personal use and cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes. MARIJUANA / HEMP WAS LEGAL, WHY WAS IT BANNED?

For the first 162 years of America’s existence, marijuana was totally legal and hemp was a common crop. But during the 1930s, the U. S. government and the media began spreading outrageous lies about marijuana, which led to its prohibition. Some headlines made about marijuana in the 1930s were: “Marijuana: The assassin of youth. ” “Marijuana: The devil’s weed with roots in hell. ” “Marijuana makes fiends of boys in 30 days. ” “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marijuana, he would drop dead of fright. ” In 1936, the liquor industry funded the infamous movie titled Reefer Madness.

This movie depicts a man going insane from smoking marijuana, and then killing his entire family with an ax. This campaign of lies, as well as other evidence, have led many to believe there may have been a hidden agenda behind Marijuana Prohibition. Shortly before marijuana was banned by The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, new technologies were developed that made hemp a potential competitor with the newly-founded synthetic fiber and plastics industries. Hemp’s potential for producing paper also posed a threat to the timber industry (see New Billion-Dollar Crop, pages 6-7).

Evidence suggests that commercial interests having much to lose from hemp competition helped propagate reefer madness hysteria, and used their influence to lobby for Marijuana Prohibition. It is not known for certain if special interests conspired to destroy the hemp industry via Marijuana Prohibition, but enough evidence exists to raise the possibility. After Alcohol Prohibition ended in 1933, funding for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Drug Enforcement Administration) was reduced. The FBN’s own director, Harry J. Anslinger, then became a leading advocate of Marijuana Prohibition.

In 1937 Anslinger testified before Congress in favor of Marijuana Prohibition by saying: “Marijuana is the most violence causing drug in the history of mankind. Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes. ” Marijuana Prohibition is founded on lies and rooted in racism, prejudice, and ignorance. Just as politicians believed Harry Anslinger to be a marijuana expert in 1937, many people still believe law enforcement officials are marijuana experts.

In reality, law enforcement officials have no expert knowledge of marijuana’s medical or health effects, but they do represent an industry that receives billions of tax dollars to enforce Prohibition. Before the government began promoting reefer madness hysteria during the 1930s, the word marijuana was a Mexican word that was totally absent from the American vocabulary. In the 1930s, Americans knew that hemp was a common, useful, and harmless crop. It is extremely unlikely anyone would have believed hemp was dangerous, or would have believed stories of hemp madness.

Thus, the words marijuana and reefer were substituted for the word hemp in order to frighten the public into supporting Hemp Prohibition. Very few people realized that marijuana and hemp came from the same plant species; thus, virtually nobody knew that Marijuana Prohibition would destroy the hemp industry. Bolstering the theory that marijuana was banned to destroy the hemp industry, two articles were written on the eve of Marijuana Prohibition that claim hemp was on the verge of becoming a super crop. These articles appeared in two well-respected magazines that are still published today.

The articles are: Flax and Hemp: From the Seed to the Loom (Mechanical Engineering, Feb. 1937) and New Billion-Dollar Crop (Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1938), which appears in its entirety on pages 6-7. This was the first time that billion dollar was used to describe the value of a crop. These articles praise the usefulness and potential of hemp by stating “hemp can be used to produce more than 25,000 products” and “hemp will prove, for both farmer and public, the most profitable and desirable crop that can be grown. ” Hemp Prohibition took effect within one year after both these articles were written.

New Billion-Dollar Crop From: Popular Mechanics Magazine, February 1938 New Billion-Dollar Crop appeared in the February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine. This article predicted that hemp was on the verge of becoming a super crop. Marijuana Prohibition, which destroyed the hemp industry, took effect just as this article went to print. Highlights are in bold type. American farmers are promised a new cash crop with an annual value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has been invented that solves a problem more than 6,000 years old.

It is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by underpaid coolie and peasant labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers throughout the land. The machine that makes this possible is designed for removing the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without prohibitive amounts of human labor. Hemp is the standard fiber of the world.

It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody “hurds” remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than 77 percent cellulose, which can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane. Machines now in service in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, and other states are producing fiber at a manufacturing cost of half a cent per pound, and are finding a profitable market for the rest of the stalk.

Machine operators are making a good profit in competition with coolie-produced foreign fiber, while paying farmers $15 a ton for hemp as it comes from the field. From the farmer’s point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from three to six tons per acre on any land that will grow corn, wheat, or oats. It can be grown in any state of the Union. It has a short growing season, so that it can be planted after other crops are in. The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for next year’s crop.

The dense shock of leaves, eight to twelve feet above the ground, chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land that has been abandoned because of Canadian thistles or quack grass. From this point on, almost anything can happen. The raw fiber can be used to produce strong twine or rope, woven into burlap, used for carpet warp or linoleum backing, or it may be bleached and refined, with resinous by-products of high commercial value. It can, in fact, be used to replace foreign fibers which now flood our markets. New Billion-Dollar Crop (Continued) From: Popular Mechanics Magazine, February 1938

Thousands of tons of hemp hurds are used every year by one large powder company for the manufacture of dynamite and TNT. A large paper company, which has been paying more than a million dollars a year in duties on foreign-made cigarette papers, now is manufacturing these papers from American hemp grown in Minnesota. A new factory in Illinois is producing bond paper from hemp. The natural materials in hemp make it an economical source of pulp for any grade of paper manufactured, and the high percentage of alpha cellulose promises an unlimited supply of raw material for the thousands of cellulose products our chemists have developed.

It is generally believed that all linen is produced from flax. Actually, the majority comes from hemp–authorities estimate that more than half of our imported linen fabrics are manufactured from hemp fiber. Another misconception is that burlap is made from hemp. Actually, its source is usually jute, and practically all of the burlap we use is woven from laborers in India who receive only four cents a day. Binder twine is usually made from sisal, which comes from the Yucatan and East Africa. All of these products, now imported, can be produced from home-grown hemp.

Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen, and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on American farms. Our imports of foreign fabrics and fibers average about $200 million per year; in raw fibers alone we imported over $50 million in the first six months of 1937. All of this income can be made available for Americans. The paper industry offers even greater possibilities. As an industry it amounts to over $1 billion a year, and of that, 80 percent is imported.

But hemp will produce every grade of paper and government figures estimate that 10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average pulp land. One obstacle in the onward march of hemp is the reluctance of farmers to try new crops. The problem is complicated by the need for proper equipment a reasonable distance from the farm. The machine cannot be operated profitably unless there is enough acreage within driving range and farmers cannot find a profitable market unless there is machinery to handle the crop.

Another obstacle is that the blossom of the female hemp plant contains marijuana, a narcotic, and it is impossible to grow hemp without producing the blossom. Federal regulations now being drawn up require registration of hemp growers, and tentative proposals for preventing narcotic production are rather stringent. “the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems to be exaggerated. ” However, the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems to be exaggerated.

The drug is usually produced from wild hemp or locoweed, which can be found on vacant lots and along railroad tracks in every state. If federal regulations can be drawn to protect the public without preventing the legitimate culture of hemp, this vast new crop can add immeasurably to American agriculture and industry. MARIJUANA MYTHS Myth: Today’s marijuana is more potent-therefore more harmful-than it was many years ago. Fact: There is no medical evidence that shows high-potency marijuana is more harmful than low-potency marijuana.

Marijuana is literally one of the least toxic substances known. High-potency marijuana may actually be preferable to low-potency marijuana because less marijuana is consumed to obtain the desired effect; thereby reducing the amount of smoke that enters the lungs and lowering the risk of any respiratory health hazards. Claiming that high-potency marijuana is more harmful than low-potency marijuana is like claiming wine is more harmful than beer. Myth: Smoking marijuana can cause cancer and serious lung damage. Fact: The chance of contracting cancer from marijuana smoke is minuscule.

Tobacco smokers typically smoke 20+ cigarettes every day for decades, but virtually nobody smokes marijuana in the quantity and frequency required to cause cancer. A 1997 UCLA study (see page 12) concluded that even prolonged and heavy marijuana smoking causes no serious lung damage. Cancer risks from common foods (meat, salt, dairy products) far exceed any cancer risk posed by smoking marijuana. Respiratory health hazards and cancer risks can be totally eliminated by ingesting marijuana via baked foods or tincture. Myth: Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, thus proving that marijuana is dangerous.

Fact: Coffee contains 1,500 chemicals. Rat poison contains only 30 chemicals. Many vegetables contain cancer-causing chemicals. There is no correlation between the number of chemicals a substance contains and its toxicity. Prohibitionists often cite this misleading statistic to make marijuana appear dangerous. Myth: Marijuana is a gateway drug-it leads to harder drugs. Fact: The U. S. government’s own statistics show that over 75 percent of all Americans who use marijuana never use harder drugs. The gateway-drug theory is derived by using blatantly-flawed logic.

Using such blatantly-flawed logic, alcohol should be considered the gateway drug because most cocaine and heroin addicts began their drug use with beer or wine-not marijuana. Myth: Marijuana is addicting. Fact: Marijuana is not physically addicting. Medical studies rank marijuana as less habit forming than caffeine. The legal drugs of tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine, but marijuana is one of the least habit forming substances known. Myth: Marijuana use impairs learning ability. Fact: A 1996 U. S. government study claims that heavy marijuana use may impair learning ability.

The key words are heavy use and may. This claim is based on studying people who smoke marijuana every day-a sample representing less than 3 percent of all marijuana smokers. This study concluded: 1) Learning impairments cited were subtle, minimal, and may be temporary. In other words, there is little evidence that such learning impairments even exist. 2) Long-term memory was not affected by heavy marijuana use. 3) Casual marijuana users showed no signs of impaired learning. 4) Heavy alcohol use was cited as being more detrimental to the thought and learning process than heavy marijuana use.

Myth: Marijuana is a significant cause of emergency room admissions. Fact: The U. S. government reports that “marijuana-related emergency room episodes” are increasing. The government counts an emergency room admission as a “marijuana-related episode” if the word marijuana appears anywhere in the medical record. If a patient tests positive for marijuana because he/she used marijuana days or weeks before the incident occurred, if a drunk driver admits he/she also smoked some marijuana, or if anyone involved in the incident merely possessed marijuana, the government counts the emergency room admission as a “marijuana-related episode. Less than 0. 2% of all emergency room admissions are “marijuana related. ” This so-called marijuana-causes-emergencies statistic was carefully crafted by the government to make marijuana appear dangerous. 1997: Canada Repeals Hemp Prohibition After a successful two-year trial period of permitting experimental hemp cultivation, Canada repealed Hemp Prohibition in 1997. Canada’s hemp industry is now poised for rapid expansion. The United States of America remains one of the last industrialized nations on Earth where growing hemp can result in a prison sentence. These photos show an August 1997 hemp harvest in Ontario, Canada.

Detailed information about Canada’s brand-new hemp industry can be found on the Internet at: http://www. kenex. org DOES PROHIBITION CAUSE MORE HARM THAN MARIJUANA? Recently, narcotics officers raided the house of a suspected marijuana dealer in Wisconsin. The unarmed suspect, who offered no resistance, was shot to death in front of his 7-year-old son. His crime? Possession of 1 ounce of marijuana. In Oklahoma, a wheelchair-bound paraplegic who used marijuana to control muscle spasms caused by his broken back was sentenced to 10 years in prison. His crime? Possession of 2 ounces of medical marijuana.

Another Oklahoma man is serving 75 years in prison for growing only 5 marijuana plants. (These are not misprints. ) Prohibition is the number one cause of America’s exploding prison population. Many non-violent drug users are now serving longer prison sentences than murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals. It costs taxpayers $30,000 per year to imprison just one non-violent drug offender. Politicians are spending billions of tax dollars to build new prisons and jails so more and more non-violent drug users can be warehoused. Meanwhile, funding for education and other services is being strained.

Reducing drug abuse is a desirable goal, but law enforcement methods used to obtain that goal are counterproductive. Prohibition costs billions to enforce, creates a black market that generates violence and corruption, and makes criminals out of millions of productive and harmless adults. Adult use of alcohol and tobacco is accepted, but adult use of marijuana is considered criminal behavior. Why? The main rationalization for Prohibition is to keep marijuana away from children. That rationalization does not reflect reality. Several surveys reveal that teenagers can obtain marijuana easier than they can obtain the legal drugs of beer or wine.

In Holland, where sale of marijuana to adults is openly accepted, the percentage of teenagers using marijuana is less than half that of American teenagers. Because the marijuana trade is totally unregulated, marijuana dealers are on the streets and in the schools selling to anybody-especially teenagers. Regulating marijuana like wine would put street dealers out of business, would make marijuana dealers pay taxes, and would restrict sales to adults only. Prohibition does not make it difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana. Tougher marijuana laws have not reduced marijuana use. Marijuana use has increased every single year since 1991.

Marijuana – The Perfect Plant

Prior to the twentieth century, the marijuana plant (then more commonly referred to as hemp) was the single most important industrial plant, or non-food producing crop in America and the world (Getpman 1990). Archeologists report that marijuana was possibly the first plant cultivated by humans. They estimate that date at approximately 8000 BC (Columbia University). As early as 4000 BC, pottery with marijuana markings and hemp textiles were found in North Central China. In those years, such things as clothing, rope, fishnets, pottery, and oils were made from the marijuana plant.

The early Chinese also knew about the medicinal uses of marijuana. 2737 BC was the first recorded use of marijuana for medical purposes by the Chinese emperor Shen-nung. Also, in 105AD, the worlds first paper, made from hemp, was invented by a Chinese man, Ts a Lon. The first ships to come across the Atlantic Ocean used a lot of materials made from marijuana. To say that America was founded on marijuana would not be at all untrue. Many historic people and items that, to us, symbolize freedom are, or were, closely related to marijuana.

The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution were both written on hemp paper. Betsy Ross used hemp cloth to make the first American flag. Hemp canvas (the word canvass comes from cannabis, Latin for hemp) covered the pioneers wagons as they headed west to settle America. Abraham Lincoln was said to have used a hemp oil lamp to read and study by. In the 1930s, a corporation called Du Pont and a man named William Randolph Hearst were two major leaders in a quest to make marijuana illegal. They were both afraid that hemp would compete with certain paper and synthetic products of theirs.

Since Hearst owned newspapers, he had a perfect opportunity to write and publish many false stories about hemp and give it an evil face in the eyes of Americans. When Hearst acquired a patent for the sulfuric acid paper-making process to be used with tree pulp, and oddly enough owned timber holdings in Oregon, he had two major reasons to fight for marijuana becoming illegal. He used his money and political influence to make a movie entitled Refer Madness, which falsely exaggerated the negativity of marijuana. In 1938 the US government made marijuana illegal.

However, in 1942 the United States Department of Agriculture made its own film which they called Hemp for Victory. This movie was made to reemphasize hemps usefulness and encourage farmers to grow the plant because of the need for materials during the War. After the War, however, when hemp was again able to be acquired from Asia, American production again came to a halt. There have been many questions about medical problems that marijuana has said to create. The most popular question is if people have died from smoking marijuana. The answer to that question is no.

From research done by the US Government Bureau of Mortality Statistics in 1987 the following statistics on deaths attributed to substances in a year were found: Tobacco.. 340,000-395,000 Alcohol (excluding crime/accidents)125,000+ Drug Overdose (prescription). 24,000-27,000 Drug Overdose (illegal).. 3,800-5,200 The only deaths from an overdose of marijuana recorded were mice. The ratio that doctors came up with for a lethal dose of marijuana is 1 to 40,000. This means that in order for someone to overdose they would have to consume 40,000 times as much marijuana as it would take them to get stoned or high.

Strangely enough, the ratio of alcohol can vary between 1 to 4 and 1 to 10. Looking at these statistics it is pretty easy to see how nearly 5,000 people die from alcohol overdoses a year. Many people also believe that marijuana flattens peoples brain waves. This is untrue. A few years ago the Partnership for a Drug-Free America ran a TV ad that showed a normal brain wave, and then showed a flat brain wave from a fourteen your old supposedly on marijuana. Researchers then complained to the TV networks that the Partnership had faked the second brain wave and then had to pull it from the air.

Actually, marijuana slightly increases brain wave activity that is mostly associated with a persons creativity. People also believe that marijuana is more dangerous than tobacco. Marijuana contains the same amount of harmful carcinogens as an equal amount of tobacco. But, people should also remember that a tobacco smoker smokes more and more often than a marijuana smoker. Thats because smoked tobacco has a 90% addiction rate. That makes it the most addictive of all drugs, marijuana on the other hand is less addictive than caffeine(Hager).

The only harmful thing about marijuana is the possibility of bronchitis. The best way to prevent this from happening is the same way you would from smoked tobacco. Stop smoking. It has been a proven point that there are over a thousand chemicals in marijuana smoke. The August 31 issue of the magazine Science in 1990 noted that there are over 800 volatile chemicals present in roasted coffee, only 21 have actually been tested on animals and 16 of these caused cancer (Hager). Even with these studies coffee is still legal, has no real uses, and is considered fairly safe.

The public has been lead to believe that marijuana makes people violent. This statement is untrue according to the Federal Bureau of narcotics director Harry Anslinger. He told congress that just the opposite was true, that it leads to non-violence and pacifism. He also said that re-legalizing marijuana could be considered as one way to curb violence in cities (Family Council on Drug Awareness). Re-legalizing could also redirect a lot of the money spent on the fight against drugs to more useful things like communities and children.

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye characterized by excessive accumulation of fluid causing increased ocular pressure, distorted vision, and ultimately blindness. In December of 1975, a man diagnosed in the early stages of glaucoma was given large doses of marijuana. The result was that it reduced the inter-ocular pressure to a safe level for the duration of a complete test day. The only option to having expensive surgery was to prescribe him to smoke marijuana daily. Marijuana is said to be a gateway drug that leads to more harmful drugs. This is a huge and persistent myth.

An actual real world example of this comes from Holland. In Holland marijuana was partially legalized in the 1970s. Since that time the use of more harmful drugs like heroine and cocaine has dropped. I have not heard of any examples of the opposite, so people really cant use this as a credible argument. Marijuana could be a major contribution to farmers. Farmers could benefit from marijuana greatly if they were allowed to grow it. The government is blind enough to pay farmers around $26 billion a year not to grow a crop that would replace something that we import for the price of around $100 billion a year.

I personally could do the math there and see what is being done wrong. To think of all the farms that could have been saved in the 1980s if they would have been allowed to grow marijuana. We would also be doing a lot to help mother Earth if more were grown. For one thing, and probably the most important, it does not require a lot of heavy pesticides and fertilizers, compared to cotton. Cotton, which only yields 1/3 as much as marijuana, is the most chemical using crop in production. This would take a lot of the abuse off the ground.

Another factor is that the roots of the plant are much longer than other crops(about 10 to 12 inches long, compared to a 1 inch long root of rye and barley). This allows the root system to bring valuable nutrients towards the surface from deeper soil layers for the use by the next crop, as well as break up the soil more efficiently. According to Popular Mechanics, two crops of marijuana will reclaim land from thistles. All the farmer has to do is harvest the stalks before they go to seed. Doing this, one acre can yield 3 to 6 tons of hemp (The Free Press). Also the nutrients in a marijuana plant tend to migrate to the leaves and flowers.

The good thing about this is when the plant is grown for the stalk, the leaves are left on the soil when harvested and are then able to return those nutrients back to the ground. This make fertilizers for rotation purposes unnecessary. Marijuana can out-yield trees 3 to 1. Long ago the US Department of Agriculture found that one acre of hemp could provide the same quantity of pulp as four acres of trees. Pulp is what is used to make paper. Marijuana could take a great deal of the burden off our forests leaving more timber for things like construction and a refuge for the wildlife.

Hemp is also said to be able to absorb four times the amount of carbon dioxide than trees can per acre. The seeds from the marijuana plant can also be very useful. The oil from the seeds can be used for soaps, salves, and even lip balms. They contain the most fatty acids of all seed oils. Most of the moisturizing products on the market today are made from saturated oils, which are not absorbed by the skin and only coat the skin and stop moisture loss. Fatty acids are absorbed by the skin and that replenishes moisture, vitamins, and minerals.

Hemp seeds are about 20-25% protein and contain eight amino acids, soybeans have only four. The seeds can also be used for food products such as non-dairy milk, cheese, ice cream, flour, porridge, and protein burgers. In my eyes marijuana is hurting America more being illegal than it would if it were legal. There are so many positive uses for it. Every 90 days one acre can produce 3-4 tons every 90 days. Because it is so bulking factories would have to be set up near the places that it is grown. This could create a very large amount of jobs.

The foam-like stalk can also be used as an insulator like biodegradable fast food containers. That alone could take away a lot of the damage done to the Earth. New ideas and equipment are making it possible to produce strong construction materials also. Marijuana was never feared until it threatened big corporations. Arizona and California to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. I believe that is a pretty good start. The fight to legalize it now will bring out even more opposition from companies whos business will be effected. The road to legalize marijuana is going to be a long and hard one.