Marijuana, used by 80 million, used frequently by 11 million Americans, and has been debated its whole life (Norml). It goes way back to 8000 B.C. when textile industries began in Europe and Asia, for the use of hemp (Hempfest). To this date people rave on how people look at the drug. It’s extraordinary that this plant can be used for recreation, medicine, industrial, and religious reasons.
Some popular slang terms to describe marijuana are cannabis, weed, pot, cheeba, mary jane, and many more. The major active chemical, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), when smoked it releases THC into cannabinol receptors located in the brain, thus causing the “high” feeling (Norml). What is actually smoked is the dried and cured flower buds of the marijuana plant. Today, marijuana is grown with great science, like hydroponics, aeroponics, and usually grown inside. Unlike marijuana, tobacco is grown with radioactive fertilizers, this is why so many people get cancer from smoking tobacco (TheUnion). Some of the side effects of smoked marijuana can be bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and throat. It can also impair short term memory for some.
The recreational use of marijuana started in the 20th century for America, this is where most of the debate started, prohibition started, marijuana became illegal, and people thought of it as a “death drug”. So why did people still smoke it? Maybe they liked the feeling of it, wanted to show that the drug was harmless, they may even need it for medical purposes, not allowed by there state. Today 12 states have recreational marijuana use decriminalized, thus making possession of marijuana a simple fine, like a parking ticket (MPP). It’s known that every 36 seconds a person is arrested for marijuana, including the people using it medically (MPP). Medical use of marijuana means exactly what it sounds like, the only possible way to get permission to smoke marijuana for medical purposes is that you have to live in one of the 14 states that allow the use of marijuana, medically. The 14 states are California, New Mexico, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Michigan, Alaska, Washington, and Vermont (Norml). You also need a good reason. So for what possible reason would someone need to use medical marijuana? It can be used for Aids, chronic pain, nausea, and many more illnesses. People who say marijuana can’t be used medically may believe that to many people will abuse the system. Brain cells are also not diminished with the use of marijuana, this popular belief came from a study where the government pumped 35 Cuban strength joints into monkeys within 5 minutes, continuously for 90 days (AboveTheIgnorance).
Hemp, a plant within the cannabis family with less than 1% THC and can be used for clothing, paper, rope, textiles and even oil! So what’s so bad about hemp? It won’t get someone “high”, it contains less than 1% THC, if it was used, we would save money from buying foreign oil (Norml). It’s a known fact that an acre of hemp can make the same amount of paper as 4.1 acres of trees and can be re-grown within 100 days (Norml). So how can you argue with those stats? Some seem to think legalizing hemp production would lead to the legalization of all marijuana. Already 15 states allow the industrial use of hemp, these states are Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia (Norml). Hemp is also known for its amazing resistance to pests, it outgrows weeds and easy to harvest (AboveTheIgnorance).
The War on Drugs, the war that’s costing the government hundreds of billions of dollars. In year 2007, 872,721people were arrested for simple marijuana possession, a 250% increase from 1990 arrest for simple possession (Norml). Marijuana arrest have been increasing ever since 1990. Tobacco killing over 400,000 a year, alcohol about 80,000, second hand smoke around 50,000, cocaine, heroin, and asprin around 2,000 each (Drug Library). So how about marijuana? Surprisingly not one individual has died from smoking marijuana. The average cost to put a drug dealer in jail for the average 5 year sentence is $450,000! It is extremely unlikely that the drug dealer has ever handled $450,000 worth of drugs in his whole lifetime (Drug Library). The estimated savings of ending the drug war would be around $37 billion annually (Drug Library).
Legalization, so what would it be like if marijuana become legal? Some say crime rates will go down, which is logical counting that marijuana would be available at stores just like cigarettes. Kids wouldn’t be able to get a hold of it as easy, because most drug dealers would be gone, and it would be monitored heavily. Its also speculated that there can be huge profits within the marijuana business. Marijuana would be just like every other pleasure such as, cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine just not addictive and doesn’t kill.
No wonder people believe in this herb that gives food, pleasure, medicine, and fiber. People will always be there to support the legalization and regulation of marijuana, it’s a winning battle, but a slow one. Never the less, the marijuana community need more people with more to give, marijuana is just to easy to get to complain over. I encourage that everyone who supports marijuana regulation write there state senators, governors, congressmen, and even the president. Does it really make sense to lock up responsible marijuana users, that aren’t even risking there own lives doing it?