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Marijuana Legal Or Illegal Essay, Research Paper

Marijuana Legal or Illegal

Cannabis, sold as marijuana, hashish and hash oil, is the most

frequently used illicit drug in Canada. Roughly one in four Canadian

adults report having used cannabis at some time in their lives. Cannabis

use has been on the rise among young people. ?For example, a 1997

Addiction Research Foundation survey found that 25 per cent of Ontario

junior high school students used cannabis in the previous year, up from 13

per cent in 1993.? (cannabae) Knowing this, should the United States

legalize cannabis? There are some questions that must be answered first.

What other uses does cannabis have and how would legalizing affect the

drug rings in the US.

In terms of health risks, some consequences of cannabis

are clearly known, while others, such as the effects of chronic exposure,

are less obvious. In terms of respiratory damage, marijuana smoke

contains higher concentrations of some of the constituents of tar and

tobacco smoke. In addition, it is hotter when it contacts the lungs and is

typically inhaled more deeply and held in the lungs longer than tobacco

smoke. In terms of physical co-ordination, Cannabis impairs co-ordination.

This brings with it the risk of injury and death through impaired driving or

accidents such as falls. When it comes to pregnancy and childhood

development, Cannabis use by pregnant women may affect the fetus.

As with tobacco smoking, risks such as low birth weight and premature

delivery increase with use.

Research has shown a link between chronic heavy marijuana use

and damage to the respiratory system similar to that caused by tobacco.

?Long-term marijuana smoking is associated with changes, such as injury

to the major bronchi, that leave the lungs open to injury and infection.

Frequent, heavy use has been linked with bronchitis.? (dope head) There

Is also no link between marijuana smoking and lung cancer.

Some interesting facts on cannabis; the impact of health problems

linked to cannabis is much less than that resulting from alcohol or

tobacco use. Survey data from the U.S., show that dependence on

nicotine among smokers is several times more damaging than cannabis

dependence among marijuana users. ?Moreover, the legal drugs

tobacco and alcohol account for the bulk of the economic costs of

substance use. A recent Ontario study found that annual health care

costs resulting from cannabis use were 8 million dollars when compared to

those for tobacco 1.07 billion dollars and alcohol 442 million dollars.?


Is Marijuana a gateway drug? Researchers are looking into using

marijuana to help crack cocaine addicts to quit. ?There are 40 million

people in the United States who have smoked marijuana for a period of

their lives.? (cannabae) Knowing this, Why aren?t there millions of


or cocaine users? In Amsterdam, both marijuana use and heroin use went

down after marijuana was decriminalized, even though there was a short

rise in cannabis use right after decriminalization. ?Unlike addictive


cannabis causes almost no tolerance. Some people even report reverse

tolerance. That is, the longer they have used marijuana the less they

need to get high.? (dope head) So users of marijuana do not usually get

bored and look for something more powerful.

The idea that using marijuana will lead you to the use of heroin or

speed is called the Gateway Theory. The Gateway Theory was created

by the CIA and anti-drug prohibitionists to try and explain the increase in

heroin use after the Vietnam War. There have never been any concrete

statistics to back up this idea, but somehow it was the single biggest thing

which the newspapers yelled about during Reefer Madness II. So the

theory that marijuana is a gateway drug has been thrown out and is no

longer accepted by the medical community.

The marijuana plant is not just used for smoking. It has many other

uses. Hemp is also produced by Cannabis plant. It is the strongest known

natural fiber. It can be used for ropes, clothing, netting, etc. Also the

hemp oil can be used for scents such as patchovel. Cannabis is also used

for medical reasons such as cancer side effects, migraine head ache,

and many other related causes.

If the United States were to legalize cannabis there would have to

be some realistic changes in the law. Taxing cannabis would be a good

way to strengthen the economy. In Canada they only used 8 million

dollars for health care related expenses, therefore, there would be a

considerate amount of extra money. That money could go to

strengthening the schools, roads, or even lower taxes on property or food.

In Amsterdam when cannabis was decriminalized the popularity rose in

the beginning, but dropped to a new low. Would the same be the case

for the United States? Crime would possibly drop because cannabis

would be legal and it would eliminate the criminal element. If the

government was to regulate marijuana, such as alcohol. This would

eliminate most of the drug dealers. Drug dealers wouldn?t be able to

make money off of marijuana, therefore, they would have to work a

regular job and be forced to make an honest living.

I purpose that marijuana be legalized and alcohol be illegal. I

believe that DUI related deaths would dope to a new low. People can

overdose or die of cirrhosis from alcohol. People can?t overdose or die

from marijuana.

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