Marijuana

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Indoor Marijuana Grow (DEA photo)

Marijuana (colloquially known as "weed" or "pot" or "dope" or "reefer") is the name given to the flowering buds of the Cannabis genus of plant, divided into the species Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis, prepared for human consumption. The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, an organic chemical compound which imitates natural cannabinoids produced in the human body. Because THC is considered harmful, marijuana is generally illegal to possess, cultivate and sell in most countries, although it is legal in a some liberal jurisdictions when prescribed as by a physician.[1] In some extremely liberal jurisdictions, you can even buy it in a vending machine.[2] The crime rate in Denver has skyrocketed by 44% since marijuana was legalized in that state.

In the past two decades, the number of brain tumors has increased by up to 40% in the U.S. and Europe, particularly among men between ages of 20 and 40[3] — the same demographic that is most likely to have smoked pot. However, conclusions based on a review of published biomedical research find that cannabinoid compounds unique to cannabis actually exhibit promising anticancer properties, reducing both tumor size and cancer pain.[4]

The liberal media typically downplay or completely ignore the role of marijuana in mass killings, horrific accidents, and other types of harm to innocent people victimized by users of the drug. For example, authorities conceal from the public how much marijuana was in the system of "College Weed Dealer" Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when he went on his killing rampage.[5][6] Rolling Stone magazine, which has often featured musicians who abuse drugs, put Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its July 13, 2013 cover. The magazine's article described him as "a dedicated pot smoker" and local dealer who "always had big Tupperware containers of weed in his fridge." [7]

The effects of THC can include short-term memory loss, malaise, psychosis in predisposed individuals, violence and violent fits, as well as impairment of physical and mental functioning. Some researchers claim that cannabis has "medicinal" benefits (see Medical marijuana); but many scientists contest this, and state that there are numerous federally approved medicines for the diseases that "medicinal" marijuana has been used to treat.

Adverse effects

Areas of the brain negatively effected by THC

Marijuana contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco, and some research suggests that when smoked, it shares the same risk of lung cancer[8] If smoked, marijuana also leads to a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure resulting is a slight increase in the risk for heart related problems including heart attack.[9] Chronic smokers often suffer from mild withdrawal symptoms, however marijuana is not believed to be physically addictive.[10] Marijuana can impair judgment, motor skills, and balance.[11] Prenatal exposure to marijuana has also been linked to impaired learning and developmental disability in children.[12] If marijuana is consumed heavily and on a daily basis by children around the age of 12 for a period of years, even liberal scientists have been forced to conclude that humans have a 1/4th random chance of developing psychosis, based on a random genetic trait.[13]

Medical benefits

Advocates of marijuana claim that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, has been shown to produce some short-term psychological and medicinal "benefits", which are probably more than offset by the medical harm. For example, Harvard University conducted a study on the effect of Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on certain lung cancers, claiming that THC might help reduce a lung cancer tumor size by as much as half.[14] In addition to a significant reduction in tumor size, there was a reduction in lesions on the lungs by 60%, and a reduction in protein markers associated with the progression of cancer.[15]

Marijuana is used to relieve symptoms experienced by patients afflicted with ALS.[16]

Marijuana is an antispasmodic and anticonvulsant is used in the treatment of seizures.[17] Marijuana is also used in the treatment of migraines, arthritis,[18] depression,[19] and glaucoma. However the effect of marijuana on intraocular pressure (IOC) is not as effective as those offered by other drugs on the market.[20]

There have not been many in-depth and widely distributed studies into the possible medicinal effects of marijuana. However, with pressure from liberal advocates of marijuana, more accredited institutions are conducting research on the drug.

Despite state legality, physicians are reluctant to prescribe medicinal marijuana fearing it may jeopardize their DEA license to prescribe controlled substances.[21] Medicinal marijuana is used by physicians as a last-resort in states where it is legal or semi-legal (under state law), but also misused by people who simply want to get high. Medicinal marijuana, however well-intentioned and beneficial, will also lead to abuses in that system.

Marinol

Marinol (a brand formulation of dronabinol)[22] is a schedule III controlled substance, approved for relief of nausea and vomiting in persons undergoing cancer chemotherapy and to improve appetite in persons with AIDS. It is dispensed in gelatin capsules containing synthetic Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol dissolved in sesame oil. Liberals advocating "medicinal" marijuana do their best to ignore this drug. A 1998 survey of physicians, addiction specialists and police demonstrated no evidence or concern about the abuse, dependence or diversion of Marinol.[23] About this time, the DEA moved the drug from schedule II to the less restrictive schedule III.[24]

Interesting Facts

  • Carl Sagan used recreational marijuana to help "open his mind".[25]
  • Cannabis was first cultivated in China around 4000 B.C.[19]
  • U.S. Declaration of Independence was not written on hemp paper, despite popular belief by liberals.[26]
  • George Washington grew marijuana.[27]
  • An average human will pass out after consuming 1/14 of the LD-50 of weed, which is why no overdoses have ever been reported. Driving while high, however, is extremely dangerous.[28]
  • Barack Obama has admitted to use of marijuana. Former President Bill Clinton has also admitted to smoking marijuana, but claims that he "did not inhale". Former President George W. Bush privately admitted to smoking marijuana, but stated he wouldn't state it publicly "'Cause I don't want some little kid doing what I tried."

Legal Status

Marijuana is a Schedule I Controlled Substance in the United States of America, meaning that it is illegal under federal law of the United States, and considered to have no redeemable medical value. According to the FBI, in 2012, there were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives.[29] In several countries, particularly in Western Europe, it is has been decriminalized. However, in many other countries, particularly those in the Middle East and Asia, possession of even small amounts of cannabis can be punishable by death. In 2012, the states of Washington and Colorado adopted voter referenda to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. At the same time, Oregon voters rejected a similar proposition. Federal officials said that they would contest state laws that would legalize marijuana.[30]

The Netherlands decriminalized the use of marijuana in 1976. As a result, marijuana use among the 18-25 age group doubled, however, despite its availability, marijuana use in the Netherlands is lower than the European average. The Netherlands also saw an influx of "drug tourists" and other undesirables, as well as an increase in crime. This has since levelled out, leaving the Netherlands with one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.

Many liberals have advocated for decriminalization.[31][32] On July 26, 2014, the New York Times published an editorial calling for removing federal controls over marijuana for people 21 and older, leaving the question to individual states.[29]

Many American conservatives, especially social conservatives, oppose legalization of marijuana in any form due to its perceived harmful medical and psychological effects and its likelihood of harm to third parties due to drug-related crime and reckless driving. A few libertarian-leaning conservatives, most notably Ron Paul, William F. Buckley, and Larry Elder, have advocated the decriminalization of this drug. Some liberals support legalization, but most instead advocate for drug treatment and rehabilitation. Libertarians are usually the biggest supporters of marijuana legalization. Gary Johnson, a former Republican and 2012 Libertarian Party Presidential candidate for President, is the highest ranking US politician to advocate for marijuana legalization. He was a two-term Governor of New Mexico.

Legalization on a Federal level is virtually impossible, since the United States was a major leader in the international treaty known as the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs[33] of 1970. Said treaty is defined by the Constitution as carrying equal weight to an Amendment to the Constitution; therefore, the only way marijuana could ever be legal on a Federal level is if we withdrew from a treaty of our own creation as a prerequisite to legalization.

References

  1. The sale of marijuana is illegal virtually everywhere in the world, and results in long prison sentences in many places. In Portugal, Argentina, California and South Australia, the use (rather than the sale) of small quantities of marijuana is allowed. In only one country in the world, the Netherlands, the sale of marijuana in small quantities is reportedly allowed by law enforcement.
  2. E.g. Seattle
  3. http://www.healthandenvironment.org/brain_cancer/peer_reviewed
  4. Nikan, Marjan; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad; Manayi, Azadeh (2016-02-01). "Ligands for cannabinoid receptors, promising anticancer agents". Life Sciences 146: 124–130. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2015.12.053. ISSN 1879-0631. PMID 26764235. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26764235. 
  5. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/04/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-dealing-drugs/64529/
  6. Kincaid, Cliff. "Can Marijuana Fuel Jihad?". (en) 
  7. Reitman, Janet. "Jahar: The Making of a Monster", July 17, 2013. 
  8. Science Daily 6/9/2009
  9. AskMen: Benefits of Marijuana
  10. Psychology Today: Is Marijuana Addictive?
  11. [1]
  12. Neuropsycopharmacology: High-Potency Marijuana Impairs Executive Function and Inhibitory Motor Control
  13. [2] The Cannabis-Psychosis Link
  14. Science Daily 4/7/2007
  15. Science Daily 4/17/2007
  16. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  17. National Academies Press: Marijuana and muscle spasticity
  18. Online Library: Treatment of adjuvant arthritis in rats with anti-inflammatory drugs
  19. 19.0 19.1 Interesting Facts: Facts about marijuana
  20. National Eye Institue: Glaucoma and Marijuana use
  21. Schatman, Michael (September 6, 2013). Medical Marijuana: The Imperative of Educating Physicians.
  22. The Bulletin of Cannabis Reform.
  23. Calhoun, S. R.; Galloway, G. P.; Smith, D. E. (1998-04-01). "Abuse potential of dronabinol (Marinol)". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 30 (2): 187–196. doi:10.1080/02791072.1998.10399689. ISSN 0279-1072. PMID 9692381. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=9692381. 
  24. Proposed Rules - 1998 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Rescheduling of Synthetic Dronabinol (Martinol®; (-)-Δ9-(trans)-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Sesame oil and Encapsulated in Soft Gelatin Capsules) From Schedule II to Schedule III. (en-US).
  25. Boing Boing: Carl Sagan Spaced Out
  26. Constitutional FAQ Answer #145 - U.S. Constitution Online
  27. The President and the Cabinet: George Washington the Man
  28. [3]
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Repeal Prohibition, Again", New York Times, July 26, 2014. Retrieved on July 27, 2014. 
  30. Dobuzinskis, Alex. "Marijuana legalization victories could be short-lived", Nov 7, 2012. Retrieved on November 8, 2012. 
  31. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
  32. http://www.lp.org/issues/lp-oss.shtml
  33. [url=https://www.unodc.org/pdf/convention_1961_en.pdf]