Substance/ Addiction Policy Should marijuana be legalized? A question that weighs heavily on everybody’s mind, marijuana is a dry shredded green and brown mixture of leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis. Cannabis is the botanical term for the hemp plant Cannabis sativa (Levinthal, 2006). Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used in the United States (NIDA, 2012). As of 2008, 2/3 of Americans suffering from a substance abuse were suffering from marijuana abuse or dependence. The main ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC (NIDA, 2012).
Policy, Legal, and Social Issues
Many people believe that marijuana is a sedative drug but marijuana has its own classification category (Wiersma, 2014). Marijuana has very many negative side effects to a person who abuses marijuana (NIDA, 2012). According to Charles Levinthal, immediate physiological effects after smoking marijuana are relatively minor (Levinthal, 2006). Someone smoking marijuana would have to smoke twenty to forty thousand times the effective dose before death would occur (Levinthal, 2006). No one has ever died due to a marijuana overdose (Wiersma, 2014). Short term effects of marijuana include increased heart rate, memory and learning problems, difficulty thinking and problem solving, loss of coordination, anxiety and panic attacks and increased risk of heart attack (Wiersma, 2014). There are also long term effects that take a toll on the body which include: loss of brain