Legalization of Marijuana

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Mark Ramsbottom
Professor Holliday
ENGL 1550
30 October 2010
Up In a Puff Of Smoke: Legalism and Marijuana
People have been smoking marijuana for thousands of years while also using hemp for everything from fabric to make clothes and other items. Unfortunately, Harry J. Anslinger with a bit of power and enough determination decided pot was evil and addictive. The struggle continues to this day to overcome the lies about marijuana (“Marijuana (Weed) History and Facts”). There are many benefits to legalizing marijuana and the government should take advantage of it. Marijuana is even more popular now then it was in the sixties or seventies. Someone knows someone who smokes it. It is almost as easy to get as a pack of cigarettes now, maybe even easier. People always give it a bad reputation because it is an illegal drug and kills countless amounts of people. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2007, 14.4 million Americans aged 12 or older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed, which is similar to the 2006 rate. About 6,000 people a day in 2007-used marijuana for the first time—2.1 million Americans. Of these, 62.2 percent were under age 18. (“Marijuana - InfoFacts – NIDA”) These statistics are truly astounding. The fact that kids under the age of twelve are already exposed to something like that shows that it is becoming widely spread and known. This just shows that it is reaching so many people in the United States and thinks the government should take advantage of that. The biggest pro for marijuana becoming legal would be for medicinal purposes. There are people out there now who use medicinal marijuana but technically they are breaking the law but it helps with their illness. Some of the biggest users of it are people who are on cancer chemotherapy, AIDS-related wasting, pain and muscle spasms, and Glaucoma ("Pro's of Marijuana Legalization). It must be noted that there are two major differences between medicinal marijuana and commercial or "street" marijuana. Commercial marijuana can come from any number of cannabis strains. Different strains have varying pain relieving potencies. The potency of commercial marijuana can't be guaranteed. Medicinal marijuana strains, on the other hand, are chosen for specifically for their potency and effect. Also, some commercial marijuana has been fertilized with unsafe fertilizers. These fertilizers may contain metal derivatives and other toxic substances or by-products. Medicinal marijuana is fertilized carefully, with the health of the patient in mind, with nontoxic fertilizers (Pranger para 4).

CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, spinal cord, and periphery. CB2 receptors are on the immune tissues. Specific molecules are produced by the body that interact with these CB1 and CB2 receptors, much like endorphins interact with the body's opioid receptor system. These findings initiated a new era of scientific interest and research in cannabinoids. There are many components in marijuana and probably the most abundant would be THC. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) disrupts the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed. This key component in marijuana helps reduce vomiting, nausea, and helps alleviates anxiety. The usage of marijuana was treating twenty-one adults who complained of chronic pain. They would take a single inhale of a small dosage of marijuana. They would do this process three times a day for five days straight. Also, there were three different levels of strength to the THC that was in marijuana and a control substance that had no THC in it. Patients smoking the highest potency marijuana reported less pain than those smoking samples containing no THC. Patients also reported better sleep and less anxiety, according to the Canadian study. Side effects are a real problem with using smoked cannabis. While recreational users are seeking an altered state of mind, research shows that legitimate...
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