Medical Marijuana Controversy
Medical Marijuana Controversy
Jacqueline L. Wilson
The use of marijuana has become a very well talked about topic, more so this year. Legalization of marijuana has been very much talked about in your upcoming 2012 Presidential elections. This topic has and is being heard around the world. People in my generation are more like to smoke marijuana then they are to smoke a cigarette. Legalizing marijuana is not an easy topic to discuss. This also should be taken lightly. I believe that marijuana should be legalized. It is no more addictive as alcohol or cigarettes. Also, by legalizing marijuana we would save a lot of money in law enforcement and our tax dollars going in to the prison system. Medical Marijuana Controversy
For centuries, marijuana has been used by different cultures for religious, recreational, and medical use, dating back to the stone ages, in ancient China. Considered to be a gateway drug and the reason for the downfall of our youth today, marijuana has developed a negative reputation. Lester Grinspoon, a professor at Harvard University, states, “Few drugs in the United States have produced as much hoopla as marijuana, particularly during the last decade. The controversy essentially circles around the question of how dangerous or safe the drug is” (Grinspoon, 1). However, many people are long-standing users and believe this drug is no more harmful than smoking cigarettes. Despite its useful medical effects for relieving pain and nausea, marijuana is a psychedelic drug that will continue to be looked down upon because of false claims about it, and people that can really benefit from its effects, will continue to suffer.
Cannabis has been legalized in European countries for several years. Civil Liberty groups on the Internet has quoted Great Britain’s Guardian saying, “Italy, Spain and Portugal are reported to be considering similar moves for cannabis" (Europe Goes To Pot) With this the United States is wavering on legalizing marijuana, and if they do then it has to be classified as medical marijuana. Why?
What Marijuana Is.
Marijuana is a dried leaf from the top of the hemp plant. This plant is able to reach heights of sixteen to twenty feet, depending on climate and growing conditions. Both male and female plants are produced; and interestingly enough, the male plant is thought to have little effect when used for intoxication. With a hollow stem, the female marijuana plant can have seven to eleven leaves and a very strong odor. The part of the marijuana plant that is responsible for intoxication is the sticky, golden resin, which contains the highest amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the drug per se, and where naysayers contend it destroys short memory brain cells, or to quote a common slangs “Fries your brain” or “baked”. Climate plays a big role in the production of resin. A hot, muggy climate is needed for growing marijuana; however marijuana has been found in climates as far north as Virginia. Most commonly, the plants are grown and harvested in expensive and elaborate indoor labs, with hydroponic drip systems, ultraviolet light, prime soil and fertilization.
The use of marijuana dates as far back as 10,000 years to the Stone Age. One of the earliest records regarding the use of marijuana comes from Taiwan. Used by Chinese doctors, marijuana was used to ward off evil spirits, which the people at that time believed they could be infected by these spirits. Marijuana leaves, and the hemp plant were also a useful resource in Europe for many centuries. However, the United States’ first founders used the hemp plant to make rope, twine and other essential items, but didn’t notice it’s use for intoxication or getting high, in the U.S. until the 1900’s. When the Jazz Era was in full swing in the 1920’s, marijuana was very common amongst musicians and patrons that would visit jazz bars and clubs. New...
Abel, Ernest L. Marihuana The First Twelve Thousand Years. New York: Plenum Press, 1980
Grinspoon, Lester M.D. Marihuana Reconsidered. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971
Sloan, Irving J. Alcohol And Drug Abuse And The Law. Dobbs Ferry, New York: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1980
Trebach, Arnold S. The Great Drug War. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987
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