Marijuana Outline

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What are all the different ups and downs of marijuana, what can it be used for, and what is it's role in today's society? Introduction I. Marijuana A. Getting high 1. Effects 2. How B. Hemp 1. What is it for a. Cothes/paper b. Seasoning/cooking II. Use A. History B. Who uses 1. Average user 2. Celebrities III. Medical use A. Pain reliever B. Legalization - yes or no 1. Lincoln quote 2. Current laws IV. Bad Sides A. Death 1. Chart B. Crime and harder drugs 1. Statistics C. Addictiveness Conclusion ================================================== Marijuana Marijuana. It may be one of the most discussed controversies of the decade. There have been many different contradictions between the two sides, pro-marijuana and anti-marijuana. Also, many statements have a derogatory basis towards marijuana use. But on the other hand, marijuana has many positive aspects. In this report, all the different areas and stipulations will be examined. I feel that the best place to begin with is the basics. So as basic as it can get: What is marijuana? Marijuana is an Indian hemp plant. It's botanical name is "Cannabis Sativa". A chemical compound unique to this plant is THC, which is psychoactive. Psychoactive means it is something that alters mood, perception, thought process, and consciousness. When using marijuana, you get an effect of being "high". When a person is "high" or "stoned", they get, in the first phase, a good, stimulating feeling, enhancement of the body's senses. Some say it helps them to appreciate things better, like art, music, food, and sex. There is also a raise in heartbeat and in happiness. The second phase is said to be a more sleepy relaxed feeling. Marijuana may also cause unpleasant feelings including irritability, anxiety, and other effects. It can also effect such senses as attention, mood, perception, memory, thinking, and reasoning. Though you only get these effects while being high. These are the short term effects, not the long term effects. After getting "high", the body converts the THC into different chemical compounds. And you have a feeling of being tired and hungry. Contrary to popular belief, smoking tobacco is less healthy than smoking marijuana. There is no proof of serious health or sexual problems, but it can stunt growth in adolescents. Marijuana is smoked or eaten to produce the feeling of being "high". Marijuana is smoked by the ritual joint rolling with cigarette paper, through a pipe, or it can be smoked through a bong. A bong is a device used to inhale marijuana. Bongs come in many different shapes, styles, and sizes. Hemp is little white seeds which come from the marijuana plant. It can be used for making many different products including paper, cloth, rope, etc. Hemp seeds can be used for cooking and seasoning too. It is used in making oils and in baking. "With it's purported cholesterol-lowering properties and it's new age hippie connotations, hemp could very well be the oat bran of the nineties." - (Robin Raisfeld, source 5, pg. 83) Hemp is also an appetite stimulant. Hemp seeds can make cheese cheesier, and cookies chewier. Hemp is a good additive for a vegetarian lifestyle. Marijuana use has been one of the major topics of many drug and non-drug groups. The history of marijuana use dates back to 3000 B.C. when the Chinese used it as an esthetic. It was also used by other countries for muscle spasms, pain reducers, and to treat indigestion. "As early as the year 1211, marijuana was cultivated for it's fiber in Jamestown, Virginia." - (Jack Medelson, source 3, pg. 87-88) It was also used for medical practices. Then in 1941, it was illegalized by the government, though it is still used as medicine in the middle east and Asia. Even George Washington grew marijuana. In all this time from past to present, marijuana has been used for recreation. Marijuana use, while still being illegal, was spreading. It spread right to the united states counter-culture. Then by 1972, research finally started after years of anti-marijuana propaganda. According to the Family council on Drug Awareness, the scary statistics that came out of those studies were tactics for the government used to scare people away from marijuana. They were conducted by Dr. Gabriel Nahas. He would literally suffocate innocent monkeys in an unrealistic marijuana smoking environment. There is no average marijuana user. There are many different kinds of people who use. All people who use are different, big and tall, white and black, male and female, etc. Included in all the different users is professionals. From big name athletes to movie stars and musicians. This is allot of the times where the media comes into play heavily. Lately people have been often times discussing the use of marijuana for medical use. This talk has mainly come about due to the legalization of marijuana for medical use in the state of California. As stated earlier, marijuana can be used as a pain reliever for hundreds of different symptoms. It is now greatly being used in California by prescription holders with glaucoma and cancer. Marijuana, should it, or shouldn't it be legalized? This has been the question of many people this decade. Legalization has many different ups and downs. I have found a quote about legalization that comes from a very trustworthy leader; Abraham Lincoln. "Prohibition...goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a mans appetite to by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." - (Abraham Lincoln). "Federal Law prohibits the pocession and sale of marijuana." - (Jack Mendelson, source 3, pg. 81) Though a law can be passed in your state for legalization, with some exceptions. Throughout time the marijuana laws have gotten stricter and stricter. Although there are many loop holes to marijuana laws. And sometimes local laws can put an alteration on federal laws. Now that we have gone over many aspects of marijuana, I think it's only fair to go over some of the facts associated with the so called "bad sides" of marijuana use. One of the most misplayed facts about marijuana is death. There has never ever been one case of death due to the use of marijuana. Though, according to the Federal agency NIDA, autopsies reveal that seventy-five people per year are "high" when they cease to live. But of course, this does not mean that marijuana was the cause of their death. Here is a chart which compares the number of death attributable to selected substances in a typical year. Tobacco................................................................................340,000-395,000 Alcohol (excluding crime/accidents)....................................................125,000+ Drug OD (prescription)..............................................................24,000-27,000 Drug OD (illegal)............................................................................3,800-5,200 Marijuana........................................................................................................0 But what about crime, and marijuana leading to harder drugs? Well you see, the director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics - Harry Anslinger, said that "...it [marijuana] leads to non-violence and pacifism." - (Harry Anslinger, source 7, pg. 3) Many people who use harder drugs started out using such legal drugs as caffeine, nicotine, and alco

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