|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Drug Marijuana legalization|
Marijuana has two active ingredients- THC and CBD. THC is tetrahydrocannabinol and is the chemical that is psychoactive and that affects how a person feels by causing the 'high'. That is not all it is good for however. It has a variety of medical benefits which include relieving pain, nausea, and lowering depression among other benefits. The level of THC in marijuana is dependent upon the type of strain and the growing conditions of the plant. Marijuana can be smoked, ingested in food, taken in liquid form by brewing it as tea or can be vaporized then inhaled (Hart et al 2011). Depending on the amount, quality of the strain and the method of ingestion, marijuana can result in a feeling of high by triggering cells of the brain to produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. The impact varies from one person to the next, how often they use it, how strong the drug is and how long it takes them to get high among other factors.
3a. Summary of the Major Causes for Concern
The side effects of using marijuana can become a concern for those who indulge in its use. Marijuana use affects the brain. Products of cannabis affect the receptors of cannabinoid in the brain. Receptors of CB1 are mostly in the brain while receptors of CB2 are abundant in the immune system. When CB1 receptors are stimulated by cannabinoids, the psychological effects of THC occur. The effects are changes in neurotransmitter levels, change of mood, relieving of pain, memory, and secretion of saliva and ocular fluids. Use of cannabis by children can increase their risk of getting psychotic disorders like schizophrenia if they are vulnerable in addition to affecting their brain development in a significant way (Hart et al 2011). It has also been reported that the use of marijuana may exacerbate psychotic disorder already in existence. Also, children who use marijuana into adulthood may get depressive disorder.
Marijuana also results in short term memory loss which inevitably has an effect on long-term memory and grasping information because it interferes with the formation of memory. It is therefore possible that mild memory loss can be permanent. People using marijuana also experience paranoia, they start to hallucinate, have trouble concentrating, have reduced ability to take care of tasks that need coordination and lose interest in finishing tasks(Baron 2015). Also, when coming down form the high, users may experience depression or extreme fatigue and according to research, it can make the user agitated, anxious and irritable in addition to episodes of insomnia.
The use of marijuana may result in cardiovascular problems. It increases cardiac overload, causes stimulation and catecholamine levels shoot up. The effect is heart problems for individuals with other risk factors. In rare occasions, when smoked, marijuana can temporarily lead to an increased risk of getting a heart attack or stroke (Baron 2015). Also, women who smoke marijuana while pregnant can suffer from a miscarriage or risk their children having growth and earning difficulties.
3b. Concluding Personal Observations on Marijuana Use
I have observed people high on marijuana seem ecstatic and carefree. I have seen it make my introvert friends more talkative and sociable than usual. In addition, the 'high' puts them in a good mood and nothing is capable of getting them angry. On the downside, I have seen them forget things people do not usually forget like tasks they were supposed to perform. Also, they become paranoid when high like they need company everywhere they go because they do not feel safe. For people who have been using for a long time, they lose their sense of focus, have trouble making clear judgement and multitasking.
3c. Critiquing 1996 Ballot Initiatives of Marijuana Use
Marijuana can be used to cure and prevent the disease of the eye called glaucoma. The disease causes an increase in pressure in the eyeball consequently leading to the optic nerve getting damaged and eventual loss of vision (Hart et al 2011). Marijuana serves to reduce the pressure in the eyeball slowing advancement of the illness and salvaging eye sight.
Marijuana improves lung health by reversing the likelihood of getting cancer from tobacco smoking. According to studies, it does not affect lung function but rather increases lung capacity (Baron 2015). The increased lung capacity is credited to taking deep breaths when inhaling the drug. In addition, research carried out in 2007 revealed that the use of marijuana by people with cancer can help prevent the disease from spreading.
Criticism on the drug is that it is not safe and efficient because it has not been scientifically tested. Other critics also said that legalizing medical marijuana would lead to an increased abuse of the drug (Baron 2015). They also added that the toxic effects of marijuana override the benefits.
3d. Explanation of My Viewpoint
I think the issue should be decided upon at the ballot box because it is the people who are directly affected by the issue who should get to decide. Only adults are allowed to vote and so these are people who are mature enough to distinguish right from wrong and live with the repercussions of their actions. Everyone has been affected by one the illnesses that medicinal marijuana helps alleviate like cancer and so it would not be fair to leave the decision in the hands of a few people who probably indulge in the drug for leisure.
Baron, E. P. (2015). Comprehensive review of medicinal marijuana, cannabinoids, and therapeutic implications in medicine and headache: What a long strange trip it's been....Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 55(6), 885-916.
Hart, C.L.,C. Ksir (2011). Drugs, Society & Human Behavior.
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