Despite over seventy years of criminal prohibition, cannabis, also known as marijuana, has become very popular among Americans. Studies show that over 102 million Americans (41 percent of the U.S.) have used the substance in their lifetime (Drehle). Cannabis contains anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer compounds. These are all compounds that fight off disease within the body (7). It has been proven that marijuana has many positive affects on human health. If this substance is being used for medical use, and is safer than alcohol or tobacco; it should be considered a medicine, and not an illegal harmful drug.
Cannabis contains 66 cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are cells that exist within cannabis. These cells are designed to fight cancer cells, and in some cases, eliminate them completely (7). Not nearly enough research has been done on marijuana due to the criminal prohibition. Unfortunately, most policies in the U.S. are not driven by science. Our policies are driven by the governments own understanding of the substance that marijuana is an addictive, harmful substance. What information do they base their opinion off of? Though the government does not have any factual evidence to support this, the controversy over marijuana dates back to 1936. During this time period, a movie titled, “Reefer Madness” was released. The movie was written to inform people of the dangers of “marijuana addiction”. The movie over exaggerated the symptoms of being “high” off marijuana. Characters in the film were portrayed as insane, and homicidal(7). Overall, the purpose of this film was to scare the public, making them believe that marijuana would literally lead to insanity, and it worked. Most people from then on viewed the
substance as addictive, and highly dangerous. And other than being illegal, the mere topic of marijuana was frowned upon.
From the past to now, marijuana is still considered a ‘Schedule I’ drug (most restricted category)...
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