The Legalization of Marijuana

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Marijuana is extracted mostly from the flowers of the Indian hemp plant, according to Cannabis Free World. Marijuana is brownish in color and is made up of dried-out hemp plant leaves, roots, and flowers. When weed is smoked, it emits a strong sweet odor. Marijuana and hashish contain “over 400 chemicals” (Charles 4). THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound that causes intoxication or the “high” in pot smokers. This chemical is responsible for generating effects that induce mental changes, thus classifying marijuana as a “drug.” Marijuana can be absorbed by the body through smoking, mixing with food or brewing as tea.

The use of marijuana is dubbed illegal as a result of its addictive properties and highly abusive nature. People who start to take marijuana ultimately get hooked and the drug ends up dictating their lives. Marijuana has also been acknowledged to have a permitted medical use. Even though marijuana has been linked with the treatment of glaucoma and cancer mostly amongst the Americans, “the deal has not been accepted widely enough on international grounds” (Connoly 55). Arguments such as this has made the medical value of marijuana appear controversial. Also, the usage of marijuana has been linked with narcotics such as heroin which are thought to have severe effects once abused. Narcotics has been under parameters in the early antidrug laws. Due to its closeness to heroin, marijuana has been labeled an unusual leisure drug. Furthermore, marijuana has been allied to losers and truant kids thus making it an out dated way of living. The drug has been linked with the oppressed ethnic people for example the Mexican Americans in the case of the US. The blanket ban on the drug was thus seen as a measure of discouraging the community sub groups from developing. Likewise, advocates do not regard in high esteem cases involving marijuana legalization. They generally reason on the basis of its medical gains, creativity promotion and ethical advancement. Specifically, it doesn’t seem that does not seem persuasive since the community appearance of a marijuana user is that of a loser at risk of either being taken to jail or arrest.

Marijuana is widely known around the world and is prohibited in most countries. Some countries have severe punishment for marijuana users while others are tolerant. Nevertheless, more and more people are choosing to side with pro marijuana legalization in the United States. Individuals who never had time for the legalization of marijuana or were heavily biased against it are now beginning to believe that making marijuana legal would turn out to be valuable to America. There are a number of arguments why marijuana should be legalized.

One of the popular arguments against the use of marijuana is that it’s detrimental to the human body, particularly when consumed in large quantities, but isn’t any substance toxic to the human body when consumed in big amounts? In case a person takes too much of what is unhealthy food, then is that not detrimental to them? Take the example of water. The human body is two-thirds composed of water, demonstrating its importance in preserving human life. In spite of this, “humans can die from drinking too much water over a short period” (Ireland 430). Similarly, this can be said in regards to the use of marijuana. It is just as unsafe to humans like cigarettes and alcohol. “Tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year worldwide” (CDC). Its active compound is nicotine, which is incredibly addictive when consumed. Conversely, overconsumption of alcohol leads to liver damage and “in 2012, about 3.3 million net deaths, or 5.9% of all global deaths, were attributable to alcohol consumption” (WHO). The reality is that the only factor dividing alcohol and tobacco from marijuana is its illegality.

Legalization of marijuana can have a big impact in the economy. By making marijuana legal, the government could tax marijuana in the same way tobacco is taxed, thus injecting money in the economy. In addition, imprisonment due to marijuana is very expensive due to the prison populations. The amount of money spent safeguarding the streets against marijuana could easily be utilized beneficially and productively by assisting in awareness raising, medication, and counteracting its use. This will subsequently reduce the number of people in jail purely because some people have been sent to prison merely because of smoking marijuana.

Building off its economic benefits, legalizing marijuana will lead to the reintegration of hemp into our society. An industrial “sister” to marijuana, hemp belongs to the cannabis family and is a “hardy herb that grows anew from seed each year” (Conrad 7). With its numerous commercial uses for its fiber and oil, “industrial hemp offers exceptional economic value to farmer and manufacturer alike, with no potential for drug use” (Conrad 9). Currently, farming of hemp has been prohibited since it is deemed to be marijuana. Hemp has several industrial uses that trump the present resources being used by America. Common among this is the manufacturing of textile based products. Fibers from hemp are significantly sturdy and are suitable in the making of a number of products such as paper, textile fabric and rope.

Hemp has a higher crop harvest per acre when compared to cotton, contains more protein than soy and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can produce four times as much paper from an acre of marijuana than an acre of trees; plus, marijuana can be harvested at a quicker rate than trees (Cannabis News).

The principal quality of hemp is its power to generate considerable amounts of cellulose. Through research, cellulose has been transformed into a biofuel termed cellulostic ethanol. This can be used to generate more power than gasoline and is being manufactured from corn and cotton seeds. The advantage of hemp over these is that it “can be produced more frequently than cotton, and it yields four times the amount of cellulose you can get from a corn stalk” (Cannabis News). All the hemp in use in America is imported from nations such as Canada and China who farm the crop. If hemp was grown here, it would bring revenue to the economy in addition to the trickling effects of job creation and the reduction in dependency on fossil fuels.

In recent years, the campaign towards legalization of marijuana has been gaining ground as most states and territories across America have approved the use of marijuana for medical or recreational use with some reducing penalties for being in possession of marijuana. The federal government also “is massively cutting down on the amount of funds allocated to interdiction and prosecution” (Free American). According to Gallup, “Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is the highest Gallup has measured to date, at 58%” (Gallup). In addition, “almost half of all U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes” (McKenzie et al. 340). Am certain that if a national referendum were to be held today in America, which doesn’t happen, legalization of marijuana would win with a resounding victory. In parts for instance Washington and Denver, states which are tolerant to cannabis, the general way of life has not fallen apart nor the overwhelming of state prisons or resources due to the effects of cannabis. Marijuana should consequently be legalized since it’s only a matter of time before all states will succumb to pressure for legalization and no adverse effects has been realized in those states where marijuana is legal.

Marijuana has demonstrated health benefits. Making marijuana legal will expand the capabilities of doctors to practice in their field and enable researchers to discover new ways of making use of marijuana. It can be used in the treatment and averting glaucoma, a condition which leads to pressure build up in the eye ball causing injury to the optical nerve with corresponding loss of vision. “Marijuana decreases pressure inside the eye” (Loria et al.). Marijuana also does not weaken lung operations and “can even increase lung capacity” (Loria et al.). According to a research carried out over a period of 20 years in search of risk factors of heart ailments, “tobacco smokers lost lung function over time, but pot users actually showed an increase in lung capacity” (Loria et al.). It is likely that the amplified lung capacity was due to taking deep breaths at the same time as inhaling the drug and not from a healing chemical found in the drug.

Marijuana has been proved to control epileptic seizures. Cannabinoids like the active ingredients in marijuana has been seen to control seizures in rats by regulating the brain cells responsible for controlling relaxation. Indeed, the results that were presented offered “evidence that warrants a comprehensive assessment of cannabinoid use in the control of refractory epilepsy via the use of animal models and placebo-controlled clinical trials” (Wallace et al.). Marijuana users who have consumed medical marijuana have alluded to the fact that the drug assisted them in easing their pain and subduing nausea – the two major purposes it’s often utilized to get rid of chemotherapy side effects. Marijuana has been said to reduce apprehension in humans. This was attributed to researchers at Harvard Medical School who mentioned that the drug improved the “smoker’s mood and acted as a sedative in low doses” (Loria et al.)).

Marijuana has also been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2006 study, discovered that THC, an active chemical in marijuana, was a “considerably superior inhibitor of Alzheimer’s” (Molecular link). It did this by reducing the creation of plaques by hindering the brain enzymes that produces them.

Marijuana can also reduce the painful signs of multiple sclerosis. Jody Corey-Bloom “studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients” (Corey-Bloom et al.) with hurting spasms in their muscles. The patients had no response to other medical care, but they experienced less aching after smoking marijuana for a few days. Patients with hepatitis C suffer from severe treatment that has adverse side effects such as exhaustion, vomiting, muscle pain, loss of taste buds, and depression. Many individuals do not complete their treatment due to the negative side effects they face. Nevertheless, a 2006 study discovered that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully finalized their treatment. The results suggested that “modest cannabis use may offer symptomatic and virological benefit to some patients undergoing HCV treatment by helping them maintain adherence to the challenging medication regimen” (Cannabis use )

In conclusion, marijuana like any other substance has both its merits and demerits. Nevertheless, it’s a substance that has the power to be both useful to humans and destructive to them. Notwithstanding the many disadvantages of marijuana, the advantages of making marijuana legal far overshadow the disadvantages.

Works Cited

“A Molecular Link between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology.” ACS Publications. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.

“Alcohol.” WHO. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.

“Cannabis use improves retention and virological outcomes in… : European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.” LWW. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.

Cannabis News – marijuana, hemp, and cannabis news. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.

Connoly, Sean. Marijuana. South Broad St, Mankato: Black Rabbit publishers, 2006. Print.

Conrad, Chris. Hemp for Health: The Medicinal and Nutritional Uses of Cannabis Sativa. N.p.: Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 1997. Print.

Corey-Bloom, Jody, Tanya Wolfson, Anthony Gamst, Shelia Jin, Thomas D. Marcotte, and Heather Bentley. “Jody Corey-Bloom.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. N.p., 14 May 2012. Web. 09 May 2017.

Gallup, Inc. “In U.S., 58% Back Legal Marijuana Use.” N.p., 21 Oct. 2015. Web. 09 May 2017.

“Global Smoking.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 08 Feb. 2011. Web. 09 May 2017.

Ksir, Charles. What Chemicals Are in Marijuana and Its Byproducts. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Loria, Jennifer Welsh and Kevin. “23 Health Benefits Of Marijuana.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 20 Apr. 2014. Web. 09 May 2017.

McKenzie, James F., Robert R. Pinger, and Denise Seabert. An Introduction to Community & Public Health. N.p.: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2016. Print.

Tiffany.nguyen6. “Free American.” March 2017. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 09 May 2017.

Wallace, Melisa J., Robert E. Blair, Katherine W. Falenski, Billy R. Martin, and Robert J. DeLorenzo. “The Endogenous Cannabinoid System Regulates Seizure Frequency and Duration in a Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.” Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 01 Oct. 2003. Web. 09 May 2017.

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