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Marijuana Essay

939 words - 4 pages

Marijuana

The third largest agricultural good in the nation and a ten billion-dollar industry has nothing to do with the agriculture we are use to. This good is Marijuana, an illegal drug. It is "the most widely used illicit drug in America" n(Gold v). In Florida alone, marijuana sales are greater than all businesses except tourism (Gold v). What is marijuana? Marijuana, a plant, known as Cannabis Sativa, labeled that by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753 (Grinspoon 1), is "one of nature's hardiest specimens" (Abel ix). It can survive in any climatic condition possible, and flourishes like weeds do. Marijuana acts like a weed, stealing all the sunlight and nutrients around it. The soil needed for growing marijuana for its intoxicant, is dry thin soil, along with horse or cow manure (Grinspoon 40). It can grow to be from three to twenty feet at maturity (Abel ix), and grows at a rapid speed. Germination of the plants occurs simultaneously. Life shows six days after planting, and after two weeks, strong healthy leaves should have grown (Grinspoon 40). The marijuana plant is dioecious, which means that it grows separate male and female plants. The male plant is usually taller than the female plant, and dies after its flowering cycle (Abel 4). The female plant is bushier and "secretes a resin that covers the flowering tops and nearby leaves" (Abel 5). This resin is secreted by glandular hairs that are found on the leaves and is used to protect the marijuana plant from water loss (Gold x). These leaves and tops are cultivated to be sold. Those leaves are then dried and rolled in cigarette paper and smoked. From smoking marijuana, an euphoric sense is produced. This os the high that draws people to smoke marijuana. They fall into a languid state, and time slows down for them. The psychoactive compound that creates this euphoric sense is delta-9-THC. Marijuana's potency varies. In the female plants' flowers is the greater concentration of cannabinoids, related compounds to delta-9-THC (Abel 5). Sinsemilla, a seedless version of marijuana, that has been cultivated in recent years, has much higher concentrations of THC throughout the plant (Abel 5). The amount of THC that is present depends on the conditions the plant is raised in (Gold 261). Cannabis that is grown in temperate climates contains little delta-9-THC and a high concentration of cannabidiol. Cannabis grown in hot climates has a greater delta-9-THC concentration and barely any cannabidiol. It is these plants that are grown in the hotter climates that are cultivated for their psychoactive effects. Marijuana contains almost 30% THC; however, 50% of that is destroyed when it is burned, such as when it is smoked (Gold261). The smallest amount of THC that produces a "high" is 5 mg, but since 50% is destroyed, it is really 2.5 mg (Gold 262). The effects, of marijuana, can be felt in five to fifteen minutes, and the maximum effects are felt in sixty minutes.
Marijuana, when smoked,...

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