Marijuana is the subject of much controversy in the world and there is a lot of valid information on the web as well as a lot of complete bullshit. This article is a compilation of all the valid marijuana information on the web.
What is Marijuana?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana (sometimes spelled “marihuana”) among many other names,a[›] refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The word marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word, marihuana. According to the United Nations, cannabis “is the most widely used illicit substance in the world.”
The typical herbal form of cannabis consists of the flowers and subtending leaves and stalks of mature pistillate of female plants. The resinous form of the drug is known as hashish (or merely as ‘hash’).
The major psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis is 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly abbreviated as THC). Cannabis contains more than 400 different chemical compounds, including at least 66 other cannabinoids (cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), etc.) which can result in different effects from those of THC alone.
Cannabis use has been found to have occurred as long ago as the 3rd millennium BC In modern times, the drug has been used for recreational, religious or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. The UN estimated that in 2004 about 4% of the world’s adult population (162 million people) use cannabis annually, and about 0.6% (22.5 million) use it on a daily basis. The possession, use, or sale of cannabis preparations containing psychoactive cannabinoids became illegal in most parts of the world in the early 20th century.
Why is Marijuana Illegal?
From a prohibition-based perspective, marijuana is illegal in the United States primarily for these seven reasons.
1. It is perceived as addictive.
Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug on the basis that is has “a high potential for abuse.” What does this mean?
It means that the perception is that people get on marijuana, they get hooked and become “potheads,” and it begins to dominate their lives. This unquestionably happens in some cases. But it also happens in the case of alcohol–and alcohol is perfectly legal.
In order to fight this argument for prohibition, legalization advocates need to make the argument that marijuana is not as addictive as government sources claim.
2. It has “no accepted medical use.”
Marijuana seems to yield considerable medical benefits for many Americans with ailments ranging from glaucoma to cancer, but these benefits have not been accepted well enough, on a national level. Medical use of marijuana remains a serious national controversy.
In order to fight the argument that marijuana has no medical use, legalization advocates need to highlight the effects it has had on the lives of people who have used the drug for medical reasons.
3. It has been historically linked with narcotics, such as heroin.
Early antidrug laws were written to regulate narcotics–opium and its derivatives, such as heroin and morphine. Marijuana, though not a narcotic, was described as such–along with cocaine.
The association stuck, and there is now a vast gulf in the American consciousness between “normal” recreational drugs, such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, and “abnormal” recreational drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Marijuana is generally associated with the latter category, which is why it can be convincingly portrayed as a “gateway drug.”
4. It is associated with unfashionable lifestyles.
Marijuana is often thought of as a drug for hippies and losers. Since it’s hard to feel enthusiastic about the prospects of enabling people to become hippies and losers, imposing criminal sanctions for marijuana possession functions as a form of communal “tough love.”
5. It was once associated with oppressed ethnic groups.
The intense anti-marijuana movement of the 1930s dovetailed nicely with the intense anti-Chicano movement of the 1930s. Marijuana was associated with Mexican Americans, and a ban on marijuana was seen as a way of discouraging Mexican-American subcultures from developing. Today, thanks in large part to the very public popularity of marijuana among whites during the 1960s and 1970s, marijuana is no longer seen as what one might call an ethnic drug–but the groundwork for the anti-marijuana movement was laid down at a time when marijuana was seen as an encroachment on the U.S. majority-white culture.
6. Inertia is a powerful force in public policy.
If something has been banned for only a short period of time, then the ban is seen as unstable. If something has been banned for a long time, however, then the ban–no matter how ill-conceived it might be–tends to go unenforced long before it is actually taken off the books.
Take the ban on sodomy, for example. It hasn’t really been enforced in any serious way since the 18th century, but most states technically banned same-sex sexual intercourse until the Supreme Court ruled such bans unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas (2003).
People tend to be comfortable with the status quo–and the status quo, for nearly a century, has been a literal or de facto federal ban on marijuana.
7. Advocates for marijuana legalization rarely present an appealing case.
To hear some advocates of marijuana legalization say it, the drug cures diseases while it promotes creativity, open-mindedness, moral progression, and a closer relationship with God and/or the cosmos. That sounds incredibly foolish, particularly when the public image of a marijuana user is, again, that of a loser who risks arrest and imprisonment so that he or she can artificially invoke an endorphin release.
A much better argument for marijuana legalization, from my vantage point, would go more like this: “It makes some people happy, and it doesn’t seem to be any more dangerous than alcohol. Do we really want to go around putting people in prison and destroying their lives over this?” Source: http://civilliberty.com
Is Marijuana Dangerous?
Short answer NO. Marijuana has been used for recreational and medicinal uses for around 10,000 years and never in history has anyone ever died from smoking or eating marijuana. Marijuana is about as dangerous as caffeine.
Here is some facts from www.drugpolicy.org
Fact: Marijuana has not been shown to cause mental illness.
Some marijuana users experience psychological distress following marijuana ingestion, which may include feelings of panic, anxiety, and paranoia. Such experiences can be frightening, but the effects are temporary.
That said, none of this is to suggest that there may not be some correlation (but not causation) between marijuana use and certain psychiatric ailments. Marijuana use can correlate with mental illness for many reasons. People often turn to marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of distress. One study performed in Germany showed that marijuana offsets certain cognitive declines in schizophrenic patients. Another study demonstrated that psychotic symptoms predict later use of marijuana, suggesting that people might turn to the plant for help rather than become ill after use.
Fact: Marijuana use has not been shown to increase risk of cancer.
Several longitudinal studies have established that even long-term use of marijuana (via smoking) in humans is not associated with elevated cancer risk, including tobacco-related cancers or with cancer of the following sites: colorectal, lung, melanoma, prostate, breast, cervix. A more recent (2009) population-based case-control study found that moderate marijuana smoking over a 20 year period was associated with reduced risk of head and neck cancer (See Liang et al). And a 5-year-long population-based case control study found even long-term heavy marijuana smoking was not associated with lung cancer or UAT (upper aerodigestive tract) cancers.
Fact: Marijuana has been proven helpful for treating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions.
Marijuana has been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma. There is also appreciable evidence that marijuana reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders. A synthetic capsule is available by prescription, but it is not as effective as smoked marijuana for many patients. Learn more about medical marijuana.
Fact: Marijuana use rates in the Netherlands are similar to those in the U.S. despite very different policies.
The Netherlands’ drug policy is one of the most non-punitive in Europe. For more than twenty years, Dutch citizens over age eighteen have been permitted to buy and use cannabis (marijuana and hashish) in government-regulated coffee shops. This policy has not resulted in dramatically escalating marijuana use. For most age groups, rates of marijuana use in the Netherlands are similar to those in the United States. However, for young adolescents, rates of marijuana use are lower in the Netherlands than in the United States. The Dutch government occasionally revises existing policy, but it remains committed to decriminalization.
Fact: Marijuana has not been shown to cause long-term cognitive impairment.
Marijuana produces immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, perceptions, and information processing. The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory. In laboratory studies, subjects under the influence of marijuana have no trouble remembering things they learned previously. However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information. This diminishment only lasts for the duration of the intoxication. There is no convincing evidence that heavy long-term marijuana use permanently impairs memory or other cognitive functions.
Fact: There is no compelling evidence that marijuana contributes substantially to traffic accidents and fatalities.
At some doses, marijuana affects perception and psychomotor performance – changes which could impair driving ability. However, in driving studies, marijuana produces little or no car-handling impairment – consistently less than produced by low to moderate doses of alcohol and many legal medications. In contrast to alcohol, which tends to increase risky driving practices, marijuana tends to make subjects more cautious. Surveys of fatally injured drivers show that when THC is detected in the blood, alcohol is almost always detected as well. For some individuals, marijuana may play a role in bad driving. The overall rate of highway accidents appears not to be significantly affected by marijuana’s widespread use in society
In conclusion, marijuana is a personal choice and not something the government should make illegal.