The Long Term Effects of Marijuana Essay

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The Long Term Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana is a drug that divides people. Some people claim it as the wonder drug of the '90s, capable of relieving the symptoms of many serious illnesses. Others curse the day the cannabis plant was ever discovered. From pain relief to stimulating the appetites of patients on chemotherapy, marijuana seems to have plenty going for it as a medicine. The legalization of marijuana is a large controversy in many parts of the world today, but the obvious negative effects that the drug induces has kept it from being legalized. Many researchers have a strong positive attitude towards marijuana. It has been said that the drug is “worth investigating and even providing as a medicine for pain relief, severe
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However, there is accumulating evidence of the psychological consequences of using marijuana. Many chronic marijuana smokers have a psychosis that is now medically deemed as, “A-motivational Syndrome” (Chopra 38). A psychosis is a condition where a person experiences some loss of contact with reality. A person with a psychosis can experience any or more of the following symptoms: auditory hallucinations (hearing voices that aren't really there), visual hallucinations (seeing things which aren't there), delusions (believing things that aren't true), jumbled thoughts and strange behavior. Patients with A-motivational Syndrome are left with the well-recognized and permanent symptoms of memory loss, apathy and loss of motivation (Chopra 38). After marijuana started to be widely used approximately 20 years ago, for permanent damage to occur it was felt by some that marijuana had to be heavily used over at least three years. However, there is accumulating evidence that smaller amounts will do damage. It is logical that to get the permanent “ A-motivational Syndrome”, small amounts of damage have to accumulate incrementally (Chopra 40). Although many marijuana connoisseurs of today may totally deny that that the use of this drug has lasting effects on the brain, research findings clearly indicate that long-term use of marijuana produces changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse (Erickson 89).
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