Legalization of Marijuana Essay

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The Legalization of Marijuana

Marijuana is a plant, known as cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, which contains a psychoactive chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The effects of THC include disruption of psychomotor behavior, short-term memory impairment, intoxication, stimulation of appetite, antinociceptive, and antiemetic activities. Marijuana, the Mexican name given to cannabis is a mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the plant. Cannabis is a term that refers to marijuana and other preparations made from the same plant. Hemp is a form of cannabis, cannabis sativa L, which contains less than one percent THC; it is used to make clothing, paper, and building materials. Tobacco is smoked just
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Marijuana is considered a gateway drug, because marijuana is the most widely used drug and it is usually the first drug that is encountered by people. Most drug users though, start usually before the legal age with alcohol and nicotine before they use marijuana. In the National Survey of Drug Abuse in 1997, the average age of people who first started to use marijuana was 17.2 years old, average age of people who first started to use alcohol was 16.1 years old, and the average age for people who first started to use cigarettes was 15.4 years old. I have talked to many people who have smoked marijuana for awhile now, and none of them have had the urge to try harder drugs. “While marijuana use-rates have increased in the Netherlands, cocaine use-rates have not - indicating that separation of the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drug markets has prevented a ‘gateway effect’ from developing. In 1992, about 1.5% of 12 to 18 year-olds had ever tried cocaine and only .3% had used it in the past month” (Key Data: Smoking, Drinking, Drug Use and Gambling Among Pupils Aged 10 Years and Older). Netherlands is where marijuana is legal and can be purchased and smoked in government regulated coffee shops.

Marijuana is said to be addicting, and that can be true in some respects; however, marijuana is not physically addicting. In reality though, anything can be addicting and I do not think this is a valid argument. Marijuana is said to contain more than 400
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