Legalization or Prohibition of Marijuana
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Legalization or Prohibition of Marijuana
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Marijuana is the spanish name for a mixture of dried leaves, stems, seeds and flowering tops, which come from the Cannabis plant. The primary psychoactive ingredient that is isolated is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabolin or THC. This is concentrated from the resin of the plant and can be produced differently to prepare various potencies of marijuana. Environment and genetics can also effect the potency. The plant itself can grow in many conditions and often thrives as a weed in places where most other plants will not grow - waste places. The effects of marijuana and whether legalization of marijuana brings a great deal of controversy throughout our society.
"Mary Jane", otherwise known as marijuana, has become legalized in some states for medical purposes but the government and society do not agree whether or not that this is a safe judgment to make.
Marijuana pharmacology and effects
As mentioned earlier, the primary active ingredient in marijuana is THC.
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There are two different ways to ingest marijuana; One, you can smoke it, which is the most popular way or two, an individual can orally take it which end in more bothersome side effects.
When THC is smoked, it is rapidly absorbed into the blood, distributed to the brain and redistributed to the body. For oral intake, THC is absorbed much more slowly and less THC reaches the brain. Intoxication levels can occur within 5 to 30 minutes and last approximately two to four hours (Yudofsky, Hales, Ferguson, 1991). The half life of the THC remaining in the blood is 19 hours, but metabolites, commonly 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC, form in the liver and have a half life of 50 hours (Ray, Ksir, 1999). The drug subsides in fat cells and it might take two or three weeks to be completely eliminated. The marijuana "high" shows effects of a slow sense of time, increased appetite, keener sense of color, sound and other sensory.
Adverse effects that happen with marijuana use include increased heart rate, temporarily heart muscle contractions and reduces delivery of oxygen to the heart
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(Leavitt, 1995). There may some problems of concentrating, temporary impairment of memory and may also impair motor coordination. Speaking coherently can
sometimes be a problem also (Yudofsky, et. al., 1991).
Chronic or long-term use may cause anxiety, depression and paranoid thinking. Some other adverse effects include damage to the pulmonary system (Leavitt, 1995), predisposing individuals to lung disease or lung cancer (Yudofsky, et. al., 1991). Also with excessive use, illusions and pleasing, fanciful hallucinations are common and a person can sometimes experience disorientation and even delirium (McGraw-Hill, 1997).
Marijuana has many side effects, but there can also be benefits (medical uses). Cannabis extract can treat nausea and vomiting in cancer patients who are unresponsive to traditional treatment. Marijuana can also increase well-being and glaucoma - reduces introcular pressure - and additionally control weight in AIDS patients.
These effects of marijuana can either be beneficial or cause serious
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problems, but throughout history, marijuana has been used and is still being used today.
History of marijuana
Hemp, another form of the cannabis plant, has been cultivated by early colonial settlers like George Washington (Sloman, 1979). Hemp was a major crop in the United States from 1629 until the invention of the cotton gin (1979). Smoking marijuana was also practiced, but did not become a "problem" until late 1910s and early 1920s. Reports were made that it was also used in folk medicine in Poland, Russia and Lithuania (1979).
The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed because there was fear of marijuana users and the drug itself. the general characteristics of this tax act followed the regulation-by-taxation theme of the Harrison Act of 1914 (Ray, et. al., 1999). There was controversy over this law back then. Doctors and researchers argued for and against it, saying it was useful in medical conditions. It happened back then and is still in debate today.
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During the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act, there was a sharp reduction in reports of crime. During the \'50s and \'60s, marijuana use became the most common symbol of rejection for youths. Then in the 1970s, the Controlled Substances Act combined all the drug laws and categorized according to their abuse potential and
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Herbalism, Medicinal plants, Cannabis, Entheogens, Legality of cannabis, Medical cannabis, Marijuana, Decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States, Removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act
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