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The Legalization of Marijuana

Essay by   •  April 30, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,202 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,479 Views

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Abstract

The legalization of marijuana will help control the drug as well as bring in revenue for the states that approve it. Legal marijuana will help reduce the crime and let the police focus on other crimes. Having this money now with the recession is going to be a good thing. It will help the economy dig its way back up to the surface.

Legalization of Marijuana

Marijuana is one of the names given to the hemp plant Cannabis sativa (Marijuana, 2003). Marijuana is a mind-altering drug that enhances the senses and can encourage relaxation (Marijuana, 2003). Marijuana contains a drug called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short (Marijuana, 2003). It will depend on how much THC that is in the marijuana in order to determine how strong the drug actually is (Marijuana, 2003). If marijuana was legalized in the U.S. this would significantly decrease crime, have more positive influences on medicine and produce a more productive society through the positive uses of marijuana.

Marijuana looks like dried up leaves that are shredded, leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of the cannabis plant. Marijuana can come in a few different colors usually being green, brown or gray. This plant can resemble tobacco.

There are a few ways in which marijuana is used. Marijuana can be used in pipes that are glass or metal, water pipes or bongs, tightly rolled cigarettes that can be made from cigars wrappers or paper wrappers (Marijuana, 2003). These are known as joints. Marijuana can also be baked into some foods mostly brownies called pot brownies or into cookies. Some people have even made it into a tea (ACDE, 1999).

Marijuana has mild hallucinogen properties to it there are depressants and dis-inhibiting properties to it. The way that marijuana affects people is different for everyone. It will depend on past experiences and if there are any other drugs laced into the marijuana (ACDE, 1999). Marijuana is usually felt within ten to thirty minutes (ACDE, 1999). The symptoms to marijuana can sometimes include a dry mouth and throat, known as cotton mouth; an increase in the users heart beat, it can go really fast; coordination and balance is impaired; short term memory is reduced and the user will have delayed reaction to things that are happening. The more a user smokes the more of a dream like state they will be in. They will feel relaxed and their mind will wonder. If a user uses too much then they could feel paranoid or maybe even hallucinate (ACDE, 1999). Marijuana usually is short term lasting only about two or three hours (ACDE, 1999).

There are many different ages and types of people who use marijuana. Some people use marijuana for fun and others use it to control pain. So the users of marijuana could vary from medical patient, to junkie, students, to business person (Marijuana, 2003).

There are a few risks that are involved when using marijuana. Which would be the short term memory loss or the affected coordination and balance. The risks get higher the more you smoke or eat. There are physical and mental problems with frequent use of marijuana. The health issues that are involved with marijuana are basically the same as smoking tobacco cigarettes (Marijuana, 2003).Over the years marijuana has inherited some interesting names like 420, ganja, Indo, Mary Jane, shake, pot, grass and weed marijuana is illegal(Marijuana, 2003).

There are many ways in which marijuana helps patients medically. Smoking marijuana has helped patients with their pain, loss of appetite and nausea (Taylor, 2010). So far marijuana has not proven to be effective for medicine, but they are still researching it to make sure (Taylor, 2010). Many doctors do not find a medical use for it even though it helps with nausea, pain and appetite because they believe that it is not a usable substance (Taylor, 2010). A physician Joycelyn Elders posted on March 26, 2004 her opinion on medical marijuana. Elders stated that the evidence to marijuana being used for medical treatments is overwhelming. Elders, believes that there is a place in the medical world for marijuana. There are also medical organizations willing to try and re-classify marijuana (ProCon, 2010). The American college of physicians believes that marijuana is misclassified as a schedule I (ProCon, 2010). Even some judges like Francis Young have stated that marijuana can relive distress and pain for ill people (ProCon, 2010). Marijuana has been around since 2737 B.C. to the present time of 2010. Marijuana has even become legal in some states medically (ProCon, 2010).

Medical marijuana has been used in addition to other treatments for fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a constant pain in a person's body and is hard to treat. Fibromyalgia is also impossible to cure so some patients seek a pain and muscle relief. Marijuana has those types of properties (Taylor, 2010). Marijuana helps with nausea that can be caused by some medications. Marijuana also helps with pain and appetite (Taylor, 2010).

Medical marijuana also has been used with AIDS patients. AIDS patients suffer from some debilitating pain. Some of the medications that AIDS patients need to take for the pain come with side effects and smoking marijuana gave them relief of the pain without the side effects. There was a controlled five day study that was performed under controlled conditions. The patients were each given three marijuana cigarettes per day at 8am, 2pm and 8pm. The patients in the study ranked their pain and went through two painful tests. This study lasted for five days. There was a calibrated puff method used to smoke the marijuana cigarettes. The calibrated puff method involved inhaling for five seconds, holding one's breath for 10, then waiting 45 seconds before the next (Weiss, 2007). The marijuana was kept frozen and was thawed and humidified 24 hrs before use. Marijuana was kept locked up and all the unused portions of the marijuana after a test was collected and locked up too. The findings of the study were that marijuana helped ease the pain for 34% of the users (Weiss, 2007).

If marijuana was legalized this would allow the police to focus on more violent crimes. If marijuana was legalized this would free up a lot of space in prison which would save the taxpayers' money. In 2003 there were 60,000 individuals who were sent to jail just for using or having marijuana this cost taxpayers about $1.2 billion dollars that year (Stevens, 2004). It also cost the taxpayers another $10 billion in 2003 for prosecuting and policing marijuana users (Stevens, 2004). Marijuana charges are made far more often than violent crimes like rape,

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