Is Marijuana Dangerous to your Physical Health?


Recreational use of marijuana has been going on for many years, and like
cigarettes many people refuse to listen to health reports. More and more
reports are coming out on the effects of marijuana on the body. Just how
harmful marijuana can be is questionable. Some health reports state that it is
very detrimental to the body while others are explaining how chemicals extracted
from the marijuana plant are being used as medication. The problem is, just what
are the effects, and how bad is it for someone who uses this drug?
I have picked this topic because I am very interested in the effects of
marijuana on the body. It is commonly known that marijuana is a widely used
drug. Many movies depict people having a great time, smoking marijuana, and
laughing as hard as they can. But is this really what is behind the drug?
Without looking at health reports, one may think so. If so many people use it,
how can it be bad for you? After seeing so much positive feedback about
marijuana, it would really be nice to see just what is behind this mysterious
plant.
In this paper, the researcher will explore whether or not marijuana is
harmful to your physical health. It will be shown that marijuana is popular and
that many people may not know what they are taking into their bodies. It will
be shown just what parts of the body marijuana effects and how it effects them.
The main purpose of this collection of information is to see just what marijuana
does to the body and to determine whether the effects are good, bad, or a
combination of both. Many different areas of research will be used.
The report "Marijuana Retains Popularity Despite Anti-drug Attitudes" in
The Dallas Times Herald by the Associated Press shows just how popular marijuana
remains despite health warnings. A 40-something woman referred to as Ruth has a
little something to say. "It\'s a very nice high," she said. "Often in these
drug stories, people forget to mention that part" (The Associated Press, A-6).
Ruth is among the 17 million Americans who use marijuana regularly. Part of the
reason for marijuana\'s popularity is its cheap price. John, a scientist who
uses the drug says an ounce can cost him from $40 to $100 (The Associated Press,
A-6). Another reason for its popularity that is that "the cops basically
ignored it" a few years ago, said Bill FitzGerald, of the County Attorney\'s
Office (The Associated Press, A-6). Today, the county boasts a "Do Drugs, Do
Time" program targeting all drug users (The Associated Press, A-6).
"Marijuana: Is there a new reason to worry?", an article in the March 88
issue of American Health by Winifred Gallagher had a lot to say about just what
parts of the body marijuana effects. The majority of the effects of marijuana
are caused by a chemical called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana,
when smoked, enters the body though the lungs and is passed to the blood stream.
According to Doctor Billy martin, a professor of pharmacology at the Medical
College of Virginia, THC seems to turn on a number of biological systems
(Gallagher, 92). Harvard\'s Dr. Norman Zinberg studied a group of marijuana
smoker and concluded that "essentially, marijuana doesn\'t cause psychological
problems for the occasional user" (Gallagher, 92). Heavy use however, is thought
to create a lack of motivation, or commonly called "burn-out". New York
Hospital\'s Millman prefers the term "aberrant motivation" to describe the inert
attitude of some heavy smokers" (Gallagher, 92).
"The Health Hazards of Marijuana," a report in the September 1990 issue of
World & I by Gabriel G. Nahas was very informative on the damage caused by
marijuana. Marijuana effects memory and behavior. "Marijuana really interferes
with short-term memory," says Dr. Richard Schwartz or Georgetown University, and
memory loss is one of the main problems with kids who smoke pot" (Nahas, 287).
Marijuana also effects the immune system. Guy Cabral of the Medical College of
Virginia reported that THC impairs the competence of calls to destroy virus
infected cells and tumor cells (Nahas, 293). Marijuana also has devastating
effects on human mental development, and cause metal disorders.
An article in Science News on February 20, 1988 by Rick Weiss called "Take
Two Puffs and Call Me in the Morning" had something completely different to say.
In the U.S., scientists have discovered that marijuana can ease the nausea from
chemotherapy in cancer patients. "Marijuana\'s use in reducing nausea appears to
be quite widespread..."