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 arent 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 wouldnt 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 cant overdose or die
Category: Social Issues