Marijuana is also referred to as cannabis, marihuana, or ganja. Herbal form of marijuana is the most common drug, consisting of flowers and leaves which subtend and mature pistillate stalks. Cannabis history dates back to 3rd millennium B.C. In the modern world, the drug has been applied for religious, recreational, medical or spiritual purposes. UN’s estimation in fiscal 2004 revealed that 4% of the adults in the world population, which entails 162million people, use marijuana yearly, while 0.6% or 22.5million use it daily (Smith 50).
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Marijuana use is termed to be illegal due to its addictive aspect since it’s rated to be a highly abusive drug. When individuals start to abuse marijuana, they eventually become hooked up and the drug ends up dominating their lives. Marijuana has also been declared not to have an approved medical use. Although the drug has been associated with healings from glaucoma to cancer especially among the Americans, the deal has not been accepted widely enough on international grounds (Connoly 55). Such an argument has therefore rendered the medical value of marijuana an actual controversy. Similarly, use of marijuana has been associated with narcotics like heroin believed to have serious health repercussions once abused. Narcotics had been on regulation under the early antidrug laws. Marijuana has been termed to be an abnormal recreational drug, due to its links to narcotics. In addition, marijuana has been associated with hippies or losers hence rendering it unfashionable lifestyles. Imposition of criminal sanctions to the drug possession acts as type ‘tough love’ for the community. The drug has been associated with the oppressed ethnic groups. For example, within the Americans, it was associated with Mexican Americans. A ban on marijuana was therefore seen as a way of discouraging the community subcultures from developing. Similarly, court cases presented for marijuana legalisation has never been rendered appealing by the advocates. Advocates normally argue on the basis of its medical benefits, creativity promotion and moral progression among others. Particularly, that does not seem convincing since the public image of a marijuana user is that of a loser at risks of either imprisonment or arrest (Smith 194).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Marijuana
Marijuana has physical benefits that are widespread, long-term or far reaching. The drug is known to impact on the automatic nervous system. Such an impact expands the breadth and gives the body a relaxation. Similarly, the drug has enormous healing and health potential which have actually not been realised by the Western medicine. Opposing action of the drug is essential in balancing an individual entire system, which can be understood to be a charged equilibrium. Such a state is defined as a physiological expansion or psychological satisfaction which is responsible for our health. For example, a study by Costa Rican revealed that cancer developments are less within the smokers of chronic marijuana, considered to be cigarettes smokers as well (Smith 46). Psychologically, marijuana’s balancing of the nervous system has an effect on the mind which is energising and relaxing in a simultaneous trend. This means that an individual thinking is more clear and efficient. Also, Marijuana is associated to poses spiritual benefits. Normally, whatever that enlivens is perceived to be a spirit. Marijuana has been found to facilitate the search for universal core values. Together with its ability to enhance the processes of our mind plus balancing of the body, the drug also assists in the understanding of the abiding reality by enhancing an individual consciousness.
However, the drug has its disadvantages. First, the drug facilitates hindrance of shorter memory such that any complex or simple tasks may be quite demanding for the addict to undertake. Similarly, drug abuses result into decayed moral behaviour among users. For example, Marijuana users can be highly involved in risky sexual behaviour such that the HIV spread will be inevitable. For students, marijuana will make learning and study hard and athletes’ performance maybe brought down since movements, timing or coordination will be affected is affected as well. Safe driving will also be affected since concentration, alertness, reaction time or coordination will interfere (Shohov 98). Thirdly, Combination of marijuana use and tobacco smoking will increase the risks of contracting lung diseases. Among first users, the drug can cause panic, anxiety, paranoia or feelings of Impending doom. Finally, short-term effects can also involve distortion in perception, thinking or problem solving lapses plus increased heart rate. Heart attacks are also evident among the marijuana users due to impact on the blood pressure or heart rate in addition to reduction in oxygen carrying capacity in the blood. Effects on the immune system may also reduce the ability in fighting infectious diseases or cancer. A marijuana addict may also experience anxiety, depression or personality disturbances. On pregnant women, marijuana can cause the babies born to show altered responses in visual stimuli, high pitched cries or increased tremulousness. Lastly, long term use of marijuana can cause an addictive potential to the users.
Problems Associated with marijuana
Due to its illegal nature, the drug is associated with jails, courts or prison cases. Scientifically, the drug has been rated to be harmful due to its addictive value. Physiological effects are also problems linked to marijuana use which in addition entails effects on smell, taste or even sound. Distortions on depth perception can result into serious accidents when driving. The drug use has resulted to uncontrolled system in its production to guarantee consumers of a pure product through the use of doctors or pharmacist. Being an illegal product, the prices are very high causing the users to involve in criminal activities in search of good money to acquire the herb. Un-attainability caused by the high prices places the drug in the hands of the mobs, gangs or even drug lords increasing the crime rate. Legalization would mean a widespread access by the general public hence unhealthy babies will be borne due to the perceived increased consumption among mothers (Shohov 118).
Marijuana causes increased and rapid heart rate, initiating harmful irritation feelings to the respiratory airways or lungs. Cancer causing chemicals are said to be contained within the drug. Within the endocrine system, the drug triggers short term drop within the hormones responsible for development and growth (Smith 25). Similarly, sperm production is lowered among males and hormone balance is also affected, which is fully responsible in control of menstrual cycles among girls. In addition, marijuana affects the brain behavior and function since it affects the chemical balance in the brain responsible for energy, appetite, attention or normal mood. Similarly, effects are evident on the learning, memory processes concentration or forgetfulness. Lastly, marijuana has been found to cause miscarriage or still births among the pregnant women and also developmental problems to the fetus.
Solutions to the problems
Solutions to the problems that come by marijuana use can be achieved through legalizing the herb. Also, public school education should be improved, investment on programs on drug treatment. Some other solutions may involve conducting and investing more time on anti-drug education within schools, encouraging more partnerships between the police and the community. In addition, increased drug interdiction efforts within the borders would also assist plus legalizing all types of drugs. Other solutions would involve revising of our common laws on the marijuana trading in order to regulate the cultivation as well as commercial aspect of the drug (Connoly 33).
Connoly, Sean. Marijuana. South Broad St, Mankato: Black Rabbit Books publishers, 2006.
Smith, Sandra. Marijuana: the drug abuse prevention. Princeton, U.S.A: Rosen Pub. Group publishers, 1999.
Shohov, Tatiana. Medical use of marijuana: policy, regulatory, and legal issues. London, UK: Nova Publishers, 2003.