Marijuana Essay

Length: 897 words

Cannabis Sativa (marijuana) has been thought to be an illegal and very harmful drug for many years. But as you read this report you will learn that marijuana has been around for many years (most years legal) and isn’t as harmful as some people may think.

Marijuana has been used for many things in the past, including medicine, hemp rope, crude cloth and enjoyment. Now it is mainly used as a narcotic. Marijuana is an illegal weed that grows up to eighteen feet tall with little or no cultivation. The plant has many branches that extend with large, hairy, pointed leaves with saw tooth edges. Marijuana grows wild all over the world and in some states and countries it’s legal. Cloth and rope are made from the stem which contains a tough fiber called “hence.” The mind-altering drug in marijuana is called “Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannibinol,” or THC. The mildest form of marijuana contains between zero to three percent of THC. Most of the THC is contained in the resign, which is secreted around the flowers, seeds, and topmast leaves. Until recently it was thought that only the female plant contained the drug. But it is now known that both the

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female and the male plants contain THC. THC stays in the body for about 28 days.

Marijuana can be prepared many different ways therefore it has many different ways of entering the body. When smoked the THC goes into the lungs, directly into the bloodstream and to every cell in your body. The effects depend upon the level of potency and how much is consumed. The main effects of smoking are: the heart rate may increase from 80 beats to 150 beats a minute, the bronchial tubes enlarge and become relaxed allowing extra oxygen to enter the body, giving a “High” like feeling.

There are no immediate physiological effects. The feeling usually lasts from one to three hours. Marijuana can also be ingested as a drink, cakes, brownies or many other foods. When consumed in foods the effects start after one half-hour and last from three to four hours. The potency of Marijuana has increased at least ten times or 275% since the 1960’s. Marijuana can be measured by it’s “therapeutic ratio,” (the difference between the size of the dose needed for the desired effect and the! size that produces poisoning). The therapeutic ratio in marijuana has yet to be found.

The negative long term effects of heavy marijuana use are, possible lung cancer, heart attacks in juveniles, strokes in people under forty, and it depletes the brain of serotonin and the user may lose his sense of well being or may become depressed. The user may lose his short-term memory, but after a week of not using it is usually regained. “High Times Magazine.” Marijuana contains about 400 chemicals that break down into 2000 or more. One joint contains as much tar as fourteen cigarettes. “Human Relations Media” The traditional medications used to treat AIDS sufferers cause a wide range of side effects. Virtually the only medicine capable of treating the entire spectrum of side effects without causing harm to the user is marijuana.

There are now 30 diseases listed under the condition known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS. Most AIDS sufferers will contract several of these 30 during the course of their illness before finally succumbing to one of them. The traditional medications used in both their treatment and as prophylaxis-or prevention-cause a wide range of side effects, including loss of appetite, nausea, headaches, depression, pain, disorientation and fevers. Virtually the only medicine capable of treating the entire spectrum of side effects without causing harm to the user is marijuana. Naturally, it remains illegal. Provided by the “High Times” website.

Marijuana is one of the oldest and widely used drugs in the world. It is the second most popular intoxicant, next to alcohol. There are two hundred million users in the country, and sixty million say that they have tried it. Only 40% of high school students graduated in 1995 without ever trying it. Approximately 33% of people who try it become regular users within three to five years.

Smugglers traveling to the U.S.A. from Columbia, Jamaica, and Mexico bring in five billion dollars worth each year. Recently a large ship was spotted off of the U.S. coast unloading thirty-three tons of marijuana onto American soil.

There have been over 9 million arrests for marijuana-law violations in the United States since 1965, with another arrest every 2 minutes. Over 80% of these arrests are for possession for personal consumption, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. Many of the 20% that are labeled “sale/manufacturing” in the FBI’s report actually involve cultivation for personal use or possession of an amount large enough (usually over an ounce) that the police infer possession with “intent” to distribute, even though it might actually have been for personal consumption.

But in Singapore and Malaysia it’s another story. There, the death penalty is handed out to anyone in possession of drugs. In twenty years two hundred and fifty people have been hung for possession. Marijuana can be used for more than just the illegal use of getting high. As you have read, it helps in medicine and the stem can be used to make clothes or rope. Marijuana is one of the mildest drugs out there and the one of the only drugs that serves another purpose besides a “trip” or a “buzz”.

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