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The Long Term Effects Of Marijuana

1215 words - 5 pages

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 nausea, and appetite stimulation for seriously ill patients” (Zimmerman 2). On a more negative side, studies have also found in many cases of pregnant women who smoke marijuana, that chemicals in the drug have halted early pregnancy. Scientists have determined a link between activation of the biological receptors that respond to cannabinoids (the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana) and abrupt interruption of pregnancy at a very early stage (Ferguson 71). The short-term effects of marijuana have also been researched and are widely known. Some of these effects include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of coordination, increased heart rate, anxiety and panic attacks (Ferguson 23). A new analysis by Bachman examines how marijuana is potentially devastating to adolescents because it suppresses motivation, drive, and commitment to family and school. Although these researcher’s studies have covered many topics about marijuana, the actual long-term effects caused by inhaled marijuana smoke is a topic that has failed to be covered in extent.

Vast majorities of people seem to think that smoking marijuana is only a temporary feeling, and that it has no long term affects. The opposite is exactly true, in that marijuana has detrimental long-term effects on the body. Studies show that when people have smoked large amounts of marijuana for years, the drug takes its toll on mental functions (Chopra 37). Researchers are still learning about the many ways that THC (the main chemical found in marijuana) affects the brain. It is very difficult to conduct research in this area, as it is not acceptable to harm humans by doing trials with damaging substances such as marijuana. 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...

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