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Essay On The Paper: "Mary Jane: The Devil Weed?"

771 words - 3 pages

This paper was written for a football coach who taught health. Evidently I am a social user of this narcotic and am not a believer in the research indicated.ABSTRACT: This paper, entitled 'Mary Jane: The Devil Weed?' attempts toexamine what we know about marijuana and what problems are associated withits use. The paper examines briefly the history of marijuana legislation,marijuana's known effects, and conclusions about its danger.Early in this century, the government waged a war of terrorism onmarijuana, or cannabis sativa. 'By 1937, forty-six states had laws againstthe use of marijuana, and its use had already been made a criminal offenseunder federal law' (Jaffe, 659). Andrews pointed out that 'not until sometime in the early 1930s did the Louisianna legislature pass a state regulationmaking use of the drug illegal' (5). Jaffe noted that 'since the early 1900s,marifuana has been considered the one drug that might introduce thesusceptible to hard drugs.' Jaffe pointed out that 'since about 1950....smoking of marijuana has been linked statistically to the use of otherillicit drugs....Most observers have concluded that the link is sociologicalrather than biological and...marijuana is a marker for individuals who aremore prone to seek new experiences even when these violate social norms andlocal laws.'Andrews related that 'sensational newspaper stories relating...to crimeis generally held to be accountable for the sudden enactment of a lawprohibiting its use.' He went on to note that 'users were often subject toheavy penalties--up to life imprisonment in Texas.' 'After caffeine, nicotineand alcohol, marijuana is the fourth most popular abused substance' (O'Brien,Cohen, Evans, and Fine, 175).does marijuana deserve this reputation? We must first consider what itis and what effects it has. The active ingredient is tetrahydocannabinol,or THC (Andrews). THC, found only in the female plant, produces a mildeuphoric effect. Marijuana is considered a hallucinogen, a Schedule 1 drup,under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (O'Brien, Cohen, Evans, and Fine,177). A Schedule 1 drug means there is no known medical use. Recently 'a newdrug application was approved for THC (Marinol) to be used therapeuticallyfor control of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy'(Jaffe, 663). This moved THC from Schedule 1 to 2 (medical use despitepotential for abuse).How dangerous is marijuana? Jaffe notes that 'any performance testshows impairment....although no distinctive biochemical changes have beenfound in humans.' Andrews writes, 'Physical effects of marijuana use isprobably the major question....The answer? None.' O'Brien, Cohen,...

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