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Engl 104 - Marijuana

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Need for Weed

AuQuan Mack

ENGL 104

Mr. Dobner



                “There’s no need for weed!”, or is there? In today’s society, one of the longest and immensely debated topics is whether or not cannabis should be legalized in the U.S. According to a CNN-ORC International poll (2014), forty-four percent of American adults believe marijuana should remain illegal. Also the U.S. government has deemed marijuana as illegal and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorized marijuana as a Scheduled I Controlled Substances while almost half of the U.S. population “believes” that cannabis is one of the most dangerous drugs and should not be legalized. But believing is different from knowing. I am certain that cannabis should be legal because many products can be made from cannabis that would benefit Americans, and cannabis is less harmful than legal drugs, the U.S. government is losing billions of dollars because of the drug war

Review of Research

In Mitch Earlywine’s “Understanding Marijuanna” (2002), he explained that cannabis had been used for thousands of years, not only in America but across the world because of its many uses and products. Hemp, which comes from the stalks of the cannabis plant, provides fiber, cloth, paper, and food. Hemp also provides many soaps, shampoos, and oils. Earlywine explained how “people grew hemp widely for these industrial uses, which helped the plant spread from Asia, through India, Africa, Europe, and the Americas” (page 4).

        In Jack Here’s “The Emperor Wear no Clothes” (1985), he details the many uses of cannabis in early America which made it a competitor of Elite companies such as DuPont chemical and health care company and forest companies. Business men, journalists, and politicians who could benefit from slandering and outlawing hemp in America, made it their goal to ensure laws would be made to prohibit all forms of the cannabis plant.

        The DEA’s “Drugs of Abuse” (2011), is a book that describes all the controlled substances that has harmful effects if abused. One of the Scheduled I drugs that it described as highly dangerous is the marijuana/cannabis plant. According to this book, marijuana has a high potential for abuse when smoked and currently has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. The short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. Short-term physical effects from marijuana use may include sedation, blood shot eyes, increased heart rate, coughing from lung irritation, increased appetite, and decreased blood pressure.

        According to the National Drug Intelligence Center’s (NDIC) online source “Marijuana Fast Facts Questions and Answers” (2003) High doses of marijuana can possibly result in image distortion, hallucinations, and loss of personal identity. It also states that people who abuse the drug regularly may experience the same problems as tobacco smokers.

The CNN/ORC International survey (2014) shows that fifty-five percent of those questioned nationally said marijuana should be made legal, with forty-four percent disagreeing. The CNN/ORC poll surveyed one thousand and ten Americans and possesses a margin of error of plus or minus three percent. The percentage is the highest ever reported by the survey, which has been tracking public opinion on the issue since 1973, and marks a twelve percentage point jump in support since the last time pollsters posed the question in 2012. In addition, only thirty-five percent of those polled responded that consuming cannabis was “morally wrong”.

Dale Gieringer, Ed Rosenthal, and Gregory T. Carter’s “Practical Guide to Therapeutic Uses of Marijuana” (2008) describes marijuana as a very safe drug and that has no reported causes of deaths compared to all other controlled substances. It explains that when marijuana is smoked, the psychoactive ingredient THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) passes from the lungs and into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain. Once in the brain, the THC connects to endogenous cannabinoid and endocannabinoid receptors on nerve cells which do not cause any life-threatening affects. It also states that new clinical studies have found that cannabis ingredients are effective in treating symptoms of HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and Tourette’s syndrome. Also it can be used to help in treating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

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