Marijuana is listed as the third most common drug in the, United Sates behind alcohol and tobacco use. More than 14 million Americans use marijuana regularly regardless of the laws against its use or possession. The problems with legalization and criminalization of marijuana use have been an extremely controversial matter and have been a debatable subject over many years. Currently it is a crime and is against the law to posse and use the drug regularly known as pot, weed and mary-jane. However, the United States government has spent billions of dollars for years attacking the war on drugs.
The medical profession has also spent millions in more profitable ways on medical marijuana research. There has not been much research to support the idea that marijuana can become physically addictive. Although people may abuse marijuana, it has been used for medical purposes. Many state their opinion that marijuana has not caused major harm to people such as deaths. Its most commonly use is for recreational purposes. More than 80 million individuals say that they have used marijuana, whereas 20 million people say that they have gotten high in a year.
Marijuana is illegal by law but alcohol and tobacco are legal and is highly addictive for some people, they are also known to play major roles for many deaths. Presently taxpayers pay to help for people incarcerated and housed in prison facilities. The taxpayer is also required to pay millions more to feed drug dealers in state, federal prisons, they make up one third for the prison population. More prisons are needed because of being over population. In 2002 there were a total of 1,538,800 arrested on marijuana charges alone.
The History of Marijuana: Marijuana was discovered back dating into the ancient times. A physician from Ireland named W. B. O’Shaughnessy originally discovered this plant while in India. This was the start of when people began to use marijuana in India, China, North Africa, and it eventually reached Europe. The very first evidence refers to cannabis as a psychoactive drug. In the Chinese history writings prove that a Chinese emperor named of Shen Nung. He focused on its powers as a medication for gout, malaria, rheumatism. In the early 1500s the Spanish brought marijuana to the America.
The Englishmen introduced marijuana to the people of Jamestown in 1839 in which it became one of their primary crops with tobacco. They used both products and grew them as a source of fiber. By the time of 1890, marijuana was replaced by cotton as one of their major cash crops in southern states. Many of their medicines during this time contained marijuana. In the 1920s this is when marijuana began its popularity. Historians have stated marijuana surfacing made its way through entertainment era. The recreational use for the drug was being used by jazz musicians and many people in the entertainment industry.
They had marijuana clubs, known as tea pads; they began to make their mark in every major city in the United States. Back in those days marijuana was legal and people were not arrested by the authorities. The authorities did not see marijuana as serious threat in communities. At this time marijuana was then listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942. Many years later in 1970 marijuana was considered as a controlled substance with heroin and LSD, and remains as an illegal drug today. (“Marijuana History”, 2009, p. 1) The Gateway Drug: Some people consider marijuana the drug as a recreational choice.
The side of marijuana remaining illegal is that if a person has already tried and has used the drug occasionally; they would consider it to be legal for themselves and this opens the door for this person. Once a person is labeled to be an illegal drug user, he or she is placed on the wrong side of the tracks. Many argue that marijuana can act as a stepping stone or as a gateway drug and it could lead people to the use harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. According to “The Office of National Drug Control Policy “ (“Extent of Use”, 2009, p. ) In 2008 marijuana was the most commonly drug used, as many as 102 million Americans age 13 and older has experienced the use of marijuana at least once in their lifetime. “The Office of National Drug Control Policy” is against legalizing medical marijuana use, implementing laws against these issues. They believe that people would sell and use marijuana for non-medical use and the “Food and Drug Administration” has stated in “2006 that contrary to their report in 1999, marijuana “has no tolerance and has not been confirmed in the United States. Advocates are ignoring the laws and have set up organizations for the selling and delivery of marijuana to people for medical marijuana purposes. Supporters in many States, says they have approved ways and have plans to make marijuana legal for medical use only. But as a consequence from a Supreme Court ruling in 2005, such steps do not support medical users with a prescription from federal prosecution. Another reduced court ruling allows physicians to discuss medical use of marijuana with their patients but opposes them to help patients in obtaining the drug with the help by their physicians.
Countries such as Canada have now permitted medical marijuana use today. Medical Marijuana: Interesting debates surrounding the use of medical marijuana, others have stated its beneficial purpose is for treating of pain, and it helps cancer patients with side effects and the increase of appetites for people suffering from AIDS. One of the active ingredients is known as THC. THC has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration 1985 is available by prescription. (Meyer, 2009, p. 1)
In 1999 the United States government has contributed to studies by the Institute of Medicine, and they found that marijuana appeared to be beneficial for certain medical conditions, such as nausea caused by chemotherapy and dumping affected by the AIDS illness. Currently there are 14 states that have legal laws for medical marijuana. Religious Views: Certain religious beliefs direct their followers to use marijuana. For example like Judaism and Christianity invites their members to partake in wine for communion.
Some Buddhists, Hindus, and members of many other religions believe in use marijuana as part of their spiritual and religious gatherings. People can express their freedom to practice their religion as they see fit. The First Amendment in the United States Constitution stated that the government could not prohibit the freedom of expression concerning people’s religion beliefs. Some people would ask if marijuana should become legal for religious reasons. Marijuana is Illegal: Why is marijuana illegal with all the scientific proof that marijuana has not been an extreme danger, others believed that it is?
By giving a number of facts of why marijuana remains illegal and unfortunately there are many economic reasons just like the original reason for its criminalization purposes. The prison communities have allowed the doors for funds to be made concerning crimes and their doors to remain open. Taking into account of the large number inmates are incarcerated on non-violent offense and are sometimes arrested for marijuana use or selling, does it makes sense of trying to keep it illegal or does it? The amount of money made by the courts in restitution fines and expenses as a result of drug charges is extremely high.
For a first time offense if someone is arrested for possession of marijuana will result in one to two years probation and his or her license possibly suspended court fees and fines depending on each state. If a person is given probation, he or she must submit to random drug testing and other court ordered requirements. Why Legalize Marijuana? In the 1920s the United States Congress experimented with prohibition of alcohol and tobacco. Later in February 20, 1933 Congress acknowledged their failure of alcohol and tobacco prohibition.
Today Congress must face a similarly failed prohibition policy. Advocates of the legalization for marijuana believe prohibition reduces marijuana trafficking and use. Advocates believe that this would limit crimes, and improve productivity for the United States economy. Critics against this feel that crime will only increase and the number of deaths will also increase from drug trafficking and this will become the Drug dealers play ground. The United States should take a look at some implications for the supply and demand for marijuana at this time.
Although marijuana is illegal and is punishable by law this makes it more dangerous to become a producer and supplier of this product. If marijuana should become legalized will it make the competition possible for the product to increase substantially thus bringing the prices down on gas prices and other price increased products. Addition versus Non-Addition: Today people have many disagreements and debates whether or not if marijuana is additive or not. Some interesting statistics that state that marijuana addiction is the least drug to have an additive affect.
Tobacco is the leading factor at 21%, Alcohol is second at 11%, Heroin has an addictive rate at 7% and Marijuana has an additive rate at 4% (“Is Marijuana Addictive? ” 2010, p. 1) Can marijuana really become habituating? Some has said yes but no universally. Smokers of marijuana use this drug describe it as non- habit forming for them. Many have used marijuana for years but in a habitual cycle. With the consumption of marijuana people have stated that this drug has not caused them to go out and commit crimes and steal for the supply to become high.
They believe that if they choose to stop using this drug today that it would not become a problem to quit. Marijuana has an active ingredient in called Cannabis sativa known as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is highly active in but is very low in dosages, many scientists and smokers believe that marijuana as non-addictive. TCH is also responsible for its psychoactive effects. Effects of Marijuana: When a person consumes the marijuana, its effects begin immediately and enter the brain. The effects from smoking the marijuana will last from one to three hours.
If marijuana is consumed in food it will cause short-term effects in which will have a more slowly affect however; it will have a much longer effect as long as four hours. Smoking marijuana will deposit more of the active chemical THC into the blood after drinking or eating the drug. Minutes after smoking marijuana the heart rate will begin increase by twenty to fifty beats per minute or it can double its rate. This effect can be more powerful if drugs are consumed along with marijuana.
Blood vessels in the eyes will expand making the persons eyes red, and the bronchial passages will relax and become enlarged. Once marijuana has been consumed, the active chemical THC travels through the body, as well as to the brain, it will produce many effects. The THC will attach to sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells in the brain. This will cause a reaction by affecting the way those cells work. Cannabinoid receptors are will increase in parts of the brain that control movement such as pleasure, physical coordination, sensory function, and memory.
When a person smokes marijuana their senses are dulled and their physical mobility becomes impaired and they do not have to coherency is reduced. Some people believe that U. S. government should decide on if marijuana should become legal because of the benefits. It would help the United States economy turn around with marijuana taxing. Some examples of how it would be beneficial are; the decrease of inmates in jails and over-crowding prisons and reducing crime. However, others believe it is the total opposite saying that marijuana is from the devil’s garden.