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Legalazation Of Weed

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Legalization of Marijuana

The use of marijuana as a drug began in the United States while the country was still in its infancy. Cannabis was cultivated and used by some of our founding fathers but its use in this country was criminalized in 1937 with the Marijuana Tax Act. Fast forward to the 1970's and one can see the first steps towards the public acceptance of marijuana use and the attempts to legalize its cultivation and use. In this paper one will see a brief history of marijuana before and after its rise in modern culture along with the methods and effects of marijuana usage. We will also cover the medical benefits, legalities and public opinions regarding the legalization of this drug.

In the United States before 1937, Cannabis was used for industrial, medical and recreational purposes because it was not illegal. Back in those days the use of marijuana was associated mostly with Mexican immigrants and black jazz musicians. There were wild and undocumented tabloid newspaper articles about how people who used marijuana became drug crazed, murderous maniacs and how this scourge on society must be stopped. These articles helped in the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act, which criminalized the possession of marijuana by imposing exorbitant taxes on its possession and use. Since then there have been progressively more restrictive laws passed on not only the use and possession of marijuana but of all drugs. "By 1969, the possession of drugs resulted in penalties that were higher than for virtually all other crimes in many states" (Economics Resource Center, 2005). Over the years we have seen a relaxing of the laws in various states regarding the use of marijuana, especially for medical use. There are many people who actively lobby for the complete legalization of marijuana not only on a state level but a national level as well. This has put many state laws at odds with the laws enacted by the federal government regarding the cultivation and use of marijuana.

Now that we have a brief history of the marijuana usage and restrictions lets look at the various methods in which marijuana is used. The first method of usage we will discuss is the most common and well known method and that is to smoke marijuana. The second method of usage we will touch on is the ingestion or eating of marijuana. And finally we will discuss the vaporization method. These are not the only three ways you can use the drug, but they are the most common and well known methods. There are many different ways and techniques of smoking marijuana and inhaling the drug into your lungs, including rolling a joint (marijuana cigarette), smoking out of a bowl, using a water pipe (or bong) and a gravity bong. Joints are very common and well known throughout the drug community. Joints are better known for a relaxed atmosphere and typically related to "if you are listening to Bob Marley you are smoking a joint" (Chamelion, 2005). Joints can be made with automatic tobacco rollers, papers and even a dollar bill can be used. It is said that smoking from a bowl is one of the best methods to smoke marijuana. There are many different ways to make a bowl; the simplest is to go out and buy one for an average price of $25. Aluminum cans, apples, and even certain sticks can be used as bowls. Using water pipes, or bongs as they are most commonly known, is a popular bowl smoking method. The smoke is filtered through water to cool down, allowing you to keep it in your lungs longer. Water pipes can be bought and made from jars, aluminum cans and PVC pipe. Water pipes are a more intense version of a bowl and can affect you sooner and harder. Finally, using a Gravity bong you can get an extreme amount of concentrated smoke in your lungs at once. The general purpose of a gravity bong is to fill your lungs with a large amount of smoke and overwhelm the individual.

Ingesting the drug is something that is most commonly accomplished by mixing "pot" in with brownie mix and baking it into the brownies to eat. There are not any other popular ways of Ingesting marijuana other than the most famous pot brownies; people have been known to eat the plant by itself, but has little or no effect.

The last method of using marijuana is vaporization, which is a technique used to avoid irritating respiratory toxins in the smoke by heating Cannabis to a temperature that allows the psychoactive ingredients (THC) to evaporate without using combustion. Vaporization is commonly used with medical patients that rely on marijuana but are concerned about the respiratory hazards of smoking the drug. The method of vaporizing marijuana is done by heating the drug to a temperature of 180-200 degrees Celsius. At this point any harmful toxins are cooked out of the drug and the person will only get the affects of the plant without the harmful toxins that are contained in the smoke.

We just have covered the three most common methods that are being used to take advantage of the benefits that are contained in marijuana. There may be many more, but the three we have covered are the most common methods that are in practice with the "Marijuana Community" today. It is said that there are two sides to every story; such a statement can be applied to marijuana. There are effects of marijuana usage which are desirable and effects that are undesirable. No matter what the perceived effects, they both pose points that can be used on either side of the issue of legalization and health issues.

The desirable effects associated with marijuana are made possible by the active ingredient, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). THC that has been manufactured into an oral medication is currently being used to treat the nausea experienced by patients who are involved in cancer chemotherapy and radiation treatments. THC is also used to stimulate the appetites of patients with wasting due to AIDS. Clinical trials related to the use of smoked marijuana for therapy have been done but due to inconsistent dosage of THC that is delivered to the patient, trial results have not proved to be valid. Other research is currently underway to study smoked marijuana and the benefits that may be realized in the effects it may have on appetite stimulation, plasticity due to multiple sclerosis, and certain types of pain.

In regard to undesirable effects personality disturbances, anxiety, and depression have been associated with marijuana and its use. Other short-term effects of marijuana include memory and learning problems, trouble with thinking and problem-solving, increased heart rate, loss of motor coordination, and distorted perception. Heavy marijuana users struggle in accumulating intellectual, job, or social skills because the drug affects the ability to learn and remember information. Workers who



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