Essay On Smoking Weed

Teens And Marijuana Essay

Marijuana abuse among teenagers today leads to more serious drug use and directly contributes to the decreasing graduation rates in our country. Marijuana is a psychoactive product from the hemp plant called Cannabis Sativa. There are over 200 nicknames for marijuana including pot, herb, weed, mary jane, ganja, and chronic. The herbal form of the drug consists of dried mature flowers and subtending leaves of pistillate (female) plants. The resinous form, known as hash, or "hashish," consists primarily of glandular trichomes collected from the same material. The major biological active chemical compound in cannabis is "tetrahydrocannibinol," commonly referred to as THC. THC is a fat soluble substance that can remain in the lungs and brain tissue for up to 3 weeks (Carson 1991). Humans have been consuming marijuana since prehistory, although in the 20th century there was a rise in its use for recreational, religious, or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. The possession, use, or sale of psychoactive cannabis products became illegal in most parts of the world in the early 20th century.

Marijuana is usually smoked by rolling a joint, using a pipe, bong, or vaporizer. Cigars that are emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, sometimes in combination with other drugs are called blunts. Marijuana can also be eaten in food, for example, by baking it in brownies and cookies. Smoking marijuana can relax a person and elevate their mood. This can be followed by drowsiness and sedation. Other effects include heightened sensory awareness, euphoria, altered perceptions and feeling hungry ("the munchies"). High doses of THC may produce a more hallucinogenic response. Marijuana also makes it harder for the body to fight illnesses. It can also harm the heart, lungs, brain, and sex organs. Marijuana contains more cancer-causing agents than cigarettes (Hergert 1991).

Current statistics from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) for California reports that marijuana abuse is directly linked to the abuse of other substances such as, alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal drugs. Substance abuse crosses all socioeconomic lines and is color-blind. Any race can be afflicted with persons who abuse drugs. Examples of these addictive substances are alcohol, ecstasy, rohypnol ("date rape" drug), crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Moreover, abuse of narcotic pain relievers is on the rise. This substance abuse can result in violence, criminal actions, child abuse, suicide, divorce, unwanted pregnancy, spousal abuse, disability, unemployment, poor work production, financial...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Legalizing Marijuana, Who will benefit? Essay

1214 words - 5 pages One of the important recent issues for countries like The United States and Canada is whether or not to legalize the use of marijuana. What is marijuana? Marijuana is the female plant of the Cannabis Sativa genus (Photo 1). When a marijuana plant is in its flowering stage, some plants will have white...

Marijuana Damages the Mind and Body

1313 words - 5 pages In the United States, the most significantly used illicit drug is marijuana. People use this social drug to ease or enhance interaction (Kornblum 115). The scientific term for this commonly used drug, marijuana, is Cannabis sativa (Hasday 24). Cannabis sativa is a dioecious hemp plant and can be produced in various forms. Usually, the dried leaves, flowers, and buds of the plant is used as marijuana. In addition, the flowers of the female plant...

Controversy over Medical Marijuana should be Legalized

1389 words - 6 pages Marijuana is one of the hundreds of drugs that holds Americans in the bondage of addiction and causes harm to their health and well-being. Marijuana comes from the hemp plant called cannabis sativa and is the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S. (Goldberg). Although marijuana has mostly been used as a drug to get high, physicians have recently discovered that marijuana can treat the symptoms of cancer and multiple sclerosis, relieve pain,...

MARIJUANA:ILLEGAL DRUG OR MEDICAL MARVEL? Argument Synthesis paper...includes works cited page

1049 words - 4 pages Legalization of Marijuana, also known as cannabis sativa, is highly logical in a day where alcohol and tobacco products, (although restricted by age) are available to millions of people every day. Marijuana is being used illegally by many Americans today of all ages. Before the 1960s, many Americans had never heard of marijuana, but today it is the...

Gateway Effect of Marijuana

1606 words - 6 pages Marijuana has been used by people over many centuries for medical uses. It is a natural pain killer used today as a recreational drug by people all over the world. According to Noel Merino in, “Introduction to Gateway Drugs: Opposing Viewpoints”, “a drug is something other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body”. Marijuana is a very controversial drug and has been outlawed in many countries for its affect on the...

Legalization of Marijuana

1357 words - 5 pages Did you know that marijuana is the third most popular drug and has been used by over 100 million Americans? According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabis sativa. Many people know someone who has experienced marijuana or currently uses it for recreational purposes. Over the last several years, marijuana has been one of the most...

Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana

1252 words - 5 pages Medical marijuana has multiple positives if it was legalized in all of America. Marijuana can be used to help with many diseases and illnesses. Medical marijuana can be used to make more jobs for Americans. America as a whole should legalize medical marijuana as other states already have. Many people are not informed about the good effects of medical marijuana even though medical marijuana can help with a number of diseases and health...

Legalizing Mary Jane

1298 words - 5 pages Marijuana, or its official term, cannabis, has been around since ancient times and has experienced a revival in recent years, especially with high school and college-aged teens. Although the drug was used as far back as early China, according to drug education company Narconon International, where it was used as a medication, marijuana entered the pop culture scene at events such as Woodstock, a hippie-infused three-day music festival in Bethel,...

The Harmful Effects of Marijuana have been exaggerated

1173 words - 5 pages Thousands of people die every year from tobacco and smoking related illnesses, and hundreds of innocent people die every year in auto accidents caused by drunk drivers. It's even possible to die from alcohol poisoning, but marijuana has never been directly attributed to any deaths. Despite all this, public opinion on marijuana is still based on myth and prejudice even though it remains relatively harmless. The harmful

Keeping Marijuana Illegal

856 words - 3 pages Marijuana is in constant question in today's society. Should it be legalized? Should it be made completely illegal? What are the benefits to completely legalizing it? What are the dangers of making it completely illegal? Should it only be legalized for medical use? These questions are all controversial issues and should be completely analyzed before coming to a conclusion. Marijuana presents absolutely no benefits when legalized. However,...

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

1257 words - 5 pages Legalizing Marijuana Marijuana is a very controversial and obtrusive issue in our society today. Although many have made malicious remarks about it in the past, and even still in the present, the truth and beneficial facts of marijuana are finally resurfacing. Unfortunately, our society has become a very critical crowd towards the legalization of marijuana due to the stereotypical view of the kind of people who are considered “pot smokers”....

There are many drugs, legal and illegal, that are used on a daily basis all over the world. Currently, drugs remain high on the lists of concerns of Americans and are considered one of the major problems facing our country today. We see stories on the news about people being killed on the street every day over drugs. To many people drugs are only an inner-city problem, but in reality they affect all of us – users and non-users. I believe that the negative affects we associate with drugs would be greatly reduced if the United States adopted a policy towards the total decriminalization of marijuana. The current drug policy of our government is obviously failing. Drug laws have created corruption, violence, increased street crime, and disrespect for the criminal justice system. Current drug legislation has failed to reduce demand. It’s just too hard to monitor illegal substances when a significant portion of the population is committed to using drugs, especially when all of these drugs affect the brain, just in different ways. The most commonly used illegal drug is the drug known as marijuana or cannabis.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main, active ingredient in marijuana, temporarily alters brain functioning that affects sensory perception, reflexes, and coordination. If a drug interferes with its production and causes too much to be produced the result is extremely pleasurable and can lead to severe abuse and addiction. The average marijuana plant contains over 400 chemicals and when the plant is smoked or vaporized the heat produces many more chemicals. However, it is said that marijuana is an illegal drug that has many beneficial uses. The marijuana experience itself does not miraculously cure. Instead, it allows the body a breathing space from the tensions of imbalance, while exposing the mental confusion of the mind. The marijuana experience of balance becomes a learned and, over time, somewhat permanent response as the essential human tendency to homeostasis is reawakened and the natural healing process restored. (The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological, & Spiritual: Pg. 49). Marijuana is frequently beneficial to the treatment of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. However, researchers have been working to explain how marijuana has harmful affects on the functions of central nervous system and hinders the memory and movement of the user’s brain.

“Marijuana impinges on the central nervous system by attaching to brain’s neurons and interfering with normal communication between the neurons. These nerves respond by altering their initial behavior. For example, if a nerve is suppose to assist one in retrieving short-term memory, cannabinoids receptors make them do the opposite. So if one has to remember what he did five minutes ago, after smoking a high dose of marijuana, he has trouble. ” (Akudo Ejelonu Pg. 27)

The most common affect that marijuana has on the brain is short-term memory loss. Although it is said that marijuana has very many affects such as sleepiness, increased hunger, altered sense of time, reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving, or studying for an exam, bloodshot eyes and risk of paranoia, hallucinations, intense anxiety, panic attacks, short-term memory loss is the symptom most commonly associated with the use of marijuana. The question is why? Why does smoking marijuana impair a person’s memory? Many scientists have been searching to find the answer for this question. The active ingredient of marijuana, THC, is known to impair memory and to bind to areas of the brain linked to memory. When the researchers injected rats with THC or a related synthetic drug at Rutgers University, they found that they acted much like an orchestra where the musicians are deafened and perhaps blindfolded.

“They could still play their own pieces, but without any feedback from the other instruments played by other musicians or the conductor, depending on the nature and the length of the music played, it could be just a bit worse or outright disastrous, even though every note has been played. What is missing is the temporal coordination,” Buzsaki explained. This is similar to what the researchers think goes on “in the hippocampal circuits under the influence of marijuana.”

According to research, in one memory test, long-time users of marijuana remembered seven of 15 words, on average. Non-users remembered 12 of 15. On a decision-making test, those who had rarely smoked pot had impaired performance 8 percent of time, while long-term smokers had 70 percent impairment. Although all these things may be true, there is still a possibility that marijuana may be the cure to diseases that affect memory, such Alzheimer’s disease.

Another affect that marijuana has on the brain is concentration. It is said that when a person smokes marijuana they are unable to perform tasks that involve serious concentration such as studying, driving, etc. However, scientist found it strange that most students who smoke weed before a test do better than those who do not. The reason for this is not because marijuana helps concentration, but because marijuana is the type of drug that will calm down students because most students suffer from pre-test anxiety. This is not to say that students should smoke pot before every test or period for that matter. Marijuana decreases attention and concentration. One study showed that young people who reported driving frequently while on marijuana were twice as likely to be involved in accidents. It seems that the marijuana-induced changes in perception and sense of time may be entertaining in the living room but can be deadly on the highway. Marijuana affects all of the skills that are necessary to drive safely. The effects include diminished capacity to accurately judge distances, slower reflexes, and distorted perceptions of how fast you are going.

Many important brain functions which affect human behavior involve the neurotransmitter dopamine. Serious drugs of abuse, such as heroin and cocaine, interfere with the brain’s use of dopamine in manners that can seriously alter an individual’s behavior. A drug’s ability to affect the neural systems related to dopamine production has now become the defining characteristic of drugs with serious abuse potential. According to the congressional Office of Technology Assessment, research over the last 10 years has proved that marijuana has no effect on dopamine-related brain systems. The dominant fear about marijuana in the 20th century has been that its effects were somehow similar to the dangerously addictive effects of opiates such as morphine and heroin. Marijuana also affects receptors in brain areas and structures responsible for sensory perception. Marijuana interferes with the receiving of sensory messages (for example, touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell) in the cerebral cortex (Gettman 42). Recent research in animals has also suggested that long-term use of marijuana (THC) produces changes in the limbic system that are similar to those that occur after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse such as cocaine, heroin, and alcohol. These changes are most evident during withdrawal from THC. During withdrawal, there are increases in both the levels of a brain chemical involved in stress and certain emotions. These same kinds of changes also occur during withdrawal from other drugs of abuse, suggesting that there may be a common factor in the development of drug dependence. It is obvious that marijuana is an illegal drug that has its affects on the brain. For that reason it is very important that we do not ignore the face that it is being abused and seen a lot more lightly than other drugs that are said to have a more dangerous affect on our minds and bodies. It is clear that throughout research there has been beneficial factors to the use of marijuana for medical purposes but that is not to say that it is okay use to try to “prevent illness” because as good as that may sound it is unrealistic and still illegal. Marijuana is dried leaves and flowers from a cannabis plants that, when taken into the human body allow people to experience a calm called euphoria. But one has to wonder if a few moments of euphoria is worth a lifetime of damage to the brain.

Filed Under: Drugs, Science & Technology, Social Issues

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *