Marijuana is a psychoactive drug made from the dried leaves and flowering parts of the hem plant (Dudley, 1999). Marijuana contains an active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC. It is one of the most strictly classified illegal drugs in the United States. Marijuana is a schedule I substance. Schedule I means that marijuana has a high potential for abuse. It is illegal to buy, sell, grow, or possess marijuana in the United States. Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States. Marijuana is derived from the plant Cannabis.
War on Drugs
Marijuana prohibition comprises a large part of the federal government’s War on Drug’s. Law enforcement ...view middle of the document...
Supporters of the California and Arizona initiatives maintain that marijuana is effective in alleviating the symptoms of medical conditions such as AIDS, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis (Frater, 2005). Anecdotal evidence of marijuana’s efficacy, advocates claim, comes from AIDS patients who have used marijuana to restore appetite and cancer patients who have smoked it to combat nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments- often as a last resort when legally prescribed medicines have failed (Dudley, 1999).
The psychological of THC and similar cannabinoids pose three issues for the therapeutic use of cannabinoid drugs. First, for some patients – particularly older patients with no previous marijuana experience – the psychological effects are disturbing (Frater, 2005). These patients reporting experiencing unpleasant feelings and disorientation after being treated with THC generally move severe for oral THC than for smoked marijuana. Second, for conditions such as movement disorders or nausea, in which anxiety exacerbates the symptoms, the anti-anxiety effects of cannabinoid drugs can influence symptoms indirectly. Third, for cases in which symptoms are multifaceted, the combination of THC effects might provide a form of adjunctive therapy; for example, AIDS wasting patients would likely benefit from a medication that simultaneously reduces anxiety, pain, and nausea while stimulating appetite.
Marijuana is not a completely benign substance. It is a powerful drug with a variety of effects. The harmful effects to individuals from the perspective of possible medical use of marijuana are not necessarily the same as the harmful physical effects of drug abuse. Most people that smoke marijuana, one effect they experience diminished psychomotor performance. It is, therefore, inadvisable to operate any vehicle or potentially dangerous equipment while under the influence of marijuana.
The chronic effects of marijuana are of greater concern for medical use and fall into two categories: the effects of the chronic smoking and the effects of THC (Bryson, 2001). Marijuana smoking is associated with abnormalities of cells lining the human respiratory tract (Gerdes, 2002). Marijuana smoke is an important risk factor for the development of respiratory cancer, proof that habitual marijuana smoking does or does not because cancer awaits the results of well-designed studies (Bryson, 2001).
Arguments for the legalization of marijuana
According to Stroup, “Marijuana can be harmful when abused, and its use by minors should be discouraged. However, when used responsibly and in moderation, marijuana is far less harmful than tobacco or alcohol. Its continued criminal prohibition by the government is a wasteful and destructive social policy that results in the needless arrests of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens. Marijuana should be legalized or decriminalized! At the very least, it should be made available by...