Legalization Of Marijuana Term Paper

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Legalization of Marijuana

Marijuana refers to a mixture of leaves, and stems found on the cannabis sativa plant. It has hallucinogenic and pleasure-giving effects on the user when consumed through either smoking or eating. Tetrahydrocannabinal, better known as THC is the non-narcotic psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana use has been documented as far back as 3000 BC in Central Asia and China, where it was used as a folk medicine by village healers. By the 20th century the drug had been introduced to North America and it had started to be used as pleasure-inducing drug. Come the 60 s and 70 s, Marijuana was the second most popular drug in North America, falling second to alcohol. However, unlike alcohol, Marijuana has never been proven to be physically addictive, but users develop a psychological dependency. Users experience several phases of intoxication: initial stimulation, giddiness, and euphoria, followed by sedation and pleasant tranquility. When marijuana is smoked the user feels the onset of the "high" within about seven seconds and within about 30 minutes when eaten. The drug brings the user to a relaxed and peaceful state, and sometimes to a euphoric state of mind. Hallucinations can occur when taken in extremely high doses. The effects last between two to four hours following consumption. This is then followed by a short period of relaxation and drowsiness.

Marijuana can be used for several medicinal purposes. Marijuana is effective for treating AIDS-related wasting and the nausea from cancer chemotherapy. Other prescribed drugs are used but are often expensive and don't always work. The drugs also have harmful side effects. Many of them cause hives, impotence, difficulty in breathing, tremors and rigidity and leukopenia.. Marijuana isn't free of risks - it contains a number of toxins - but is far less toxic than many prescription drugs. Unlike many other drugs marijuana has no recorded cases of death from overdose. Since it is taken one puff at a time users can feel the effects as they go and regulate their intake according to their need. Many chronic pain sufferers report that marijuana works better than other prescribed drug for their pain. The fact that marijuana can be taken a puff at a time with almost immediate effects is also a big advantage to chronic pain sufferers or people with spastic disorders like multiple sclerosis. While other prescription drugs can incapacitate a patient for the whole day, marijuana allows patients to administer the desired amount. Marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease that increases the pressure within the eye and eventually can lead to blindness. Marijuana can reduce the pressure within the eye. The downside however, is that is may also reduce blood flow to the optic nerve, which can exacerbate the loss of vision. The reduced blood flow to the optic nerve is less serious to the side-effects of other leading conventional treatments. Beta-blocker eye drops, a more conventional treatment for glaucoma, can cause sluggishness and sometimes activates asthma attacks.

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