Marijuana vs Alcohol and Tobacco

Topics: Tobacco, Nicotine, Cannabis Pages: 5 (1865 words) Published: February 26, 2012
Marijuana VS Alcohol and Tobacco
Cassandra Pratt
February 26, 2012
Raquel Wanzo

Marijuana VS Alcohol and Tobacco
Marijuana has been a greatly debated subject for hundreds of years. Marijuana is illegal under federal law. However, under state law it can be prescribed by a medical physician in 16 out of 50 states, for its scientifically proven medicinal uses. Although marijuana has medicinal uses, it is also used recreationally just like alcohol and tobacco, while alcohol and tobacco with no medicinal uses remain legal. Tobacco even states on a pack of cigarettes: SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health; Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy. Alcohol also states a warning: SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: The Consumption of This Product, Which Contains Alcohol, Can Increase the Risk Of Developing Hypertension, Liver Disease, And Cancer. There are thousands of alcohol- and tobacco-related deaths in America alone, but there has yet to be a marijuana related death ever in history. Marijuana is not just a drug, but a medication. Marijuana is a safer drug than alcohol or tobacco because one cannot overdose from it, and it is used by doctors to help treat diseases.

“Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. You may hear marijuana called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are more than 200 slang terms for marijuana.” (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010 page 1). The most common slang term used today (2012) is pot. Every form of marijuana alters the mind and contains THC (tretrahydrocannabinol), which is the main active chemical in marijuana. Marijuana also contains more than 420 other chemicals. There are many potencies of marijuana, it all depends on the amount of THC the marijuana contains. Marijuana is usually consumed by smoking it. It is smoked like a cigarette (called a joint) or a blunt which is as big as a cigar. Marijuana also can be smoked out of a pipe or a bong and also can be mixed into foods (brownies, cookies, and chocolate). It also can be brewed to make tea. When smoked, the effects of marijuana can be felt within seconds. Some of the effects of marijuana are: an increased heart rate, feeling relaxed, reddening of the eyes, dryness of the mouth, impaired motor skills and concentration, an increased desire for salty and sugary foods, and frequent hunger. Marijuana is not legal in the US unless it is consumed for medical puposes only. As of 2012 there are 16 states that have legalized marijuana for medical use, they are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. If a person were to compare marijuana with any other substance, it is very obvious that marijuana is the least harmful to the user. After learning about marijuana, it is time to examine the drug alcohol. “Alcohol is a clear drink that is made from corn, barley, grain, rye, or a beverage containing ethyl. When a person drinks alcohol, about 20 percent is absorbed in the stomach, and 80 percent is absorbed in the small intestine. The concentration of alcohol, the type of drink, and whether the stomach is full or empty depends on how fast the alcohol is absorbed. Once the alcohol is absorbed into the tissue, it affects your mind and body. Blood alcohol concentration can rise up to 20 minutes after having a drink. After alcohol is absorbed it leaves the body in three ways: the kidneys, lungs, and liver.”. (TQ0310171, 2003 page. 1) Alcohol is consumed as a beverage. The effects of alcohol can be felt after the first drink. After the first drink (glass, beer, shot) the user will have a feeling of warmth, slightly impaired judgment, flushed skin, and decreased inhibititions. After the next couple of drinks...

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