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Reasons for Legalization of Marijuana

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Malcolm Hirst

Why Medical Marijuana

This is a gathering of all the research I have been conducting these past few weeks. I Have watched videos covering both sides and I have seen studies on both sides. I have learned the history of use and the effects, I have weighed and measured and come up with the conclusion that this is a solution for my many problems. The following is the information I have gathered and my reasoning.

History of Use

First discovered in India the British brought it back and began using it as a medicine. Hemp(the kind of Cannabis that cannot be smoked) has a multitude of uses. Much of the clothing in the 1700's and forward was created from hemp. The first two drafts of the constitution were written on hemp paper. George Washington grew hemp on his plantation. In Virginia there was a law requiring the cultivation of hemp, because its uses were so many. During the 1800's fifty percent of all medicine prescribed had Cannabis present in it. It was even given to babies to calm them down. Recreational use was introduced by the Mexicans which then spread. The most use of Marijuana for recreational use was during the 1970's, part of the Hippie movement. It was during that time that the Reagan administration conducted the famous research project where it was proven that Marijuana killed brain cells, increased aggressiveness and was a gateway drug. Here are the facts they didn't tell us.

* The monkeys that were tested were fitted with gas masks and then were subjected to the equivalent of 63 Columbian joints in 5 minutes.

o The brain cells lost were due to asphyxiation.

o The release of how the study was conducted was not released until the 1980's.

* As a gateway drug almost all users of any other hard drug(Cocaine, MDMA, Meth) has used Marijuana

o Every dealer who deals in hard drugs started in Marijuana.

o 80% of all Marijuana Smokers will never do a "hard" drug in the lifetimes.

o The DEA no longer considers it a gateway drug, Tobacco is the new gateway drug

* Increased aggressiveness

o No real study was conducted

o All cited incidents, the subject was also under the influence of alcohol.

o Throughout the 80 years of hempfest in BC, only one violent incident has happened, the person being under the influence of alcohol

o Direct quote from a cop talking to the class

 "I would rather deal with a pothead than a drunk, the drunk is screaming at you and wants to fight, the pothead just goes with it and asks for some food"

o Recent studies show it in fact reduces aggressiveness.

* Addiction

o There are no physical withdrawal effects from Marijuana.

o All addiction is cultural

Throughout history humans have been Using Marijuana. The first recorded use was over 5000 years ago from the Aztecs. Some fun facts for you about how big of an issue this is.

* Every 1 in 100 homes in BC, Canada is a grow op.

* It's the largest cash crop in the United States

* Marijuana is worth more than its weight in gold

* Drug lords say that if it was legalized they would have no more need to sell it.

* Politicians say that if it was taxed the US would make 16 to 44 billion dollars off taxes.

Dangers of Marijuana Use

Today there is a widespread paranoia that the use of Marijuana is an activity solely for criminals and high school dropouts. However the statistics indicate otherwise. A survey conducted to high school students by the DEA in 2008 found that by 12th grade 43% of the population had used Marijuana for at least a month. To put that in perspective, in 2000 the US population was 281 million people. Lets assume about 30 million are students. By 2010 at least 10 million will have used Marijuana at some point. So where are all the cases of lung cancer from smoking? The memory loss? Here are some facts.

* Lung Cancer

o A Joint has 2 thirds the amount of tar a cigarette does.

o It is hit 60% less.

o Recent studies as early as 2004 have found that the smoking of Marijuana actually kills cancer cells.

* Memory Loss

o Next to no long term studies have been done

o One of the few referenced in Buzzed(used and abused drugs from alcohol to ecstasy) stated that daily users who started at age 16 and were in their 40's, smoked 4 joints a day had no memory loss, users who started at age 12 and smoked 8 joints a day scored only slightly less.

* Hormonal Effects

o For men almost exclusively

 Slightly reduced sex drive

 Sperm swim slower

o No permanent effects.

* Workload on the Heart

o When you Smoke Marijuana your heart rate increases slightly, akin to what it would be for a short jog. Your heart is less efficient so it must work harder, this lasts about an hour at most.

Having looked at these negative effects I personally see none that jump out at me. But if it's a schedule one drug that means that somebody must have died overdosing. It wouldn't make sense otherwise; here are the death counts for tobacco, alcohol, and Marijuana.

* Tobacco

o 400,000 deaths a year in the US

* Alcohol

o 160,000 deaths a year, alcohol poisoning only.

* Marijuana

o Throughout over 5000 years of use, no recorded deaths.

On the Science side it has been hypothesized that you would have to smoke 15,000 joints in 5 minutes to overdose on Marijuana, and then death would be from asphyxiation.




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