Marijuana: And Illegal Drug and its Image

The Free essays given on our site were donated by anonymous users and should not be viewed as samples of our custom writing service. You are welcome to use them to inspire yourself for writing your own term paper. If you need a custom term paper related to the subject of Health or Marijuana: And Illegal Drug and its Image, you can hire a professional writer here in just a few clicks.
Cannabis, hemp, or commonly known as marijuana, the third most widely used drug in the United States, is a drug made from its dried leaves and flowers smoked in cigarettes to produce a narcotic effect (Barnhart 1272). Marijuana is not only smoked, but also used in cookies, brownies or tea (Hermes 49). Marijuana, an illegal drug, has harmful side effects, but in the United States it is being prescribed as medication for relief from some diseases. The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiol (THC). The THC percent in marijuana has increased since the 1960's from 0.1% to containing at least 13.49% in the early nineties (Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons 355). At least 68.5 million Americans have tried marijuana once; 18 million in the past year. In 1994, 137,564 people were under treatment because of abusing the drug (NIDA 1). What are some harmful side effects of marijuana use? Of course, because marijuana is smoked, it will cause lung cancer. One to three "joints" a day is the same risk as five times as many cigarettes. It destroys nerve cells and can cause problems in the brain's limbic system which controls learning, memory, emotions, and motivation in a person (NIDA 2-3). According to J. H. Williams, marijuana causes "anxious personality traits" in healthy people, may cause "magical thinking", and after a long term use a person could develop schizophrenia (869-870). Marijuana brings about changes in emotions, such as: anxiety, panic, depression, depersonalization, bizarre behaviors, delusions, illusions, and hallucinations. Physical effects can include faintness, dizziness, drops in skin temperature, bronchitis, decrease of sperm count in males and the GH levels in females, and weakening of the immune system. Use of marijuana can result in a sense of well-being, relaxation, laughter, talkativeness, and increased sociability. Mental effects can be loss of short-term memory, difficulty in concentrating, and dreamlike states. It also can cause a change in a person's perception of time and distance, as well as the impairment of driving because of slow reaction time and loss of peripheral vision ("Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana" 16-17). Then, with all of these side effects, why do doctors want to prescribe it to their patients? Marijuana was first documented as being used as a medication in China (Hermes 50). Use of the drug also appears in Egyptian Ebers back in 1600BC (Zias 215). In the Aryan culture it was used in religious ceremonies (Hermes 50). There is also mentioned usage of the drug in Assyrian texts and as a minor drug in Greek and Roman texts (Zias 215). It was given to women for relief during labor (Zias 215) , for headaches, insomnia, and menstrual cramps (Hermes 51). Marijuana was used as a drug until the 1930's. Use stopped because people began abusing the drug (Crystal 210). Present day research on the effectiveness of the drug has been done in a lab setting. Testing is mostly done on young males who are usually experienced with the drug. Females and older people have rarely participated. In the testing, people afflicted with serious diseases have hardly participated. Through all of the studies done, marijuana clearly relieves pain for patients ("Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana" 12). Marijuana can suppress vomiting in a person who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer (Crystal 210). It is also used for patients who are unable to take sumatiptan succinate for migraine headaches (Voelker 802). There have been no controlled studies of patients with HIV but smoking of any kind increases the risk of developing bacterial pneumonia. For patients with appetite related diseases, it will increase food enjoyment. Marijuana lowers intraocular pressure of patients with glaucoma and relieves spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury in patients with neurological and movement disorders. It is also used in the treatment of epilepsy ("Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana" 5-14). Medical marijuana comes in three forms, as a "joint", pill, or IV. Smoking marijuana has better effects on a patient than the pill does ("Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana" 5-14). Marijuana is more efficient when smoked because the aerosol goes straight to the brain and is absorbed within seconds. On the other hand, smoking has greater physical and psychological consequences than if it is taken orally or through IV (Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana 13-14). The dosage for each patient will range because each patient will react differently to the drug. Doctors prescribe marijuana because it provides relief to their patients. Yet, for all the disorders that marijuana has been tested for, there is already an alternate drug being used as treatment for the disease ("Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana" 7). There is currently an issue of legalizing this drug. It is up to the states to decide whether the drug will be legalized for mediclinal usage. It has already been legalized in California. In response to California's legalization of the drug, George J. Annas, J.D., M.P.H. wrote: Virtually no one thinks it is reasonable to initiate criminal prosecution of patients with cancer or AIDS who use marijuana on the advice of their physicians to help them through the conventional medical treatment (436). People in other states are afraid of legalizing marijuana because they think it might give the wrong message to children (Annas 368). In the United States today, only eight people can legally smoke marijuana ("Seeing Through the Haze" 60). Marijuana has been used as a medicine for many years. Until 1930, it was legal to use the drug. "A recent Harvard survey of oncologists showed that almost half would prescribe marijuana if it were legal (Ingfei Chen et al 23)." It is an illegal drug because of its harmful side effects. Marijuana affects a person physically, mentally, psychologically, and emotionally. By using marijuana patients get relief from diseases such as glaucoma, cancer, migraines, and eating and movement disorders. Marijuana is harmful in some ways, but also a helpful medicine. Legalizing marijuana will help patients that need the drug to have better access to use marijuana. But, legalizi

Our inspirational collection of essays and research papers is available for free to our registered users

Related Essays on Health

lung cancer

bibliography Anku, Vincent. treatment of cancer. Seattle, Washington: Doubleday and company Inc., 1986. "Lung, Cancer". 4 November 1998. http://www.evnet.com/f...

read more
Anger

Anger The definition of anger is, a feeling of displeasure, hostility or exasperation toward someone or something. Anger is also when you feel lonely or in certain situations you feel depresse...

read more
Huntington's Disease

The condition Huntington's Disease got its name because it was first described by George Huntington, a physician in New York, in 1872. It use to be commonly known as Huntington's Chorea - chorea be...

read more
Asthma

Asthma is a disease involving a type of breathlessness. In the late 1980's, about ten million people in the U.S. suffered from asthma. Asthma related deaths in the U.S. increased forty percent b...

read more
Asthma

Asthma Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects people of all ages. It can be severe and is sometimes fatal. It is primarily caused by inflammation of the airways which causes them to be h...

read more
Auguments about Abortion

Auguments about Abortion Abortion is one of the most controversial issues around, and is an issue that will never beagreed upon. By bringing morals into the question of whether it should be legal t...

read more