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The Mediocrity Of Marijuana. Essay

2186 words - 9 pages

As the most misunderstood illegal drug in our society, marijuana effects users and non-users alike in more ways than one. Whether through overcrowding of jails to billions of dollars in government spending to keep drugs out of society, marijuana affects society as a whole. Marijuana is an anomalously concealed drug because of its classification as a narcotic, impact on history throughout mankind, and the sensations presented to the user.Marijuana is defined as a psychoactive drug made from the leaves of the cannabis plant (Addiction Studies for Professional Journalists 1). The growth of the marijuana plant starts with a round seed no bigger than a pebble. Once planted about two inches below rich soil, the plant requires a warm, moist climate and lots of sunlight. Following two to three weeks of intense sunlight and irrigation, a small green stem and leaves will begin to poke out of the ground. These long, narrow, jagged edged leaflets are easily recognizable. The distinction between male and female plants are found on the leaves themselves. Male plants possess a five-edged leaflet, while female plants are comprised of a seven-edged leaflet. These leaves are bright green and have jagged edges. Upon closer examination of the leaves, they display a glistening appearance unlike any other leaf. After two to three months of growing, the female plants will begin to blossom and the buds will begin to flower. These buds produced by female plants only, are the part of the plant that is cultivated and smoked. These buds are full of tiny orange, yellow, brown, and even red hairs that give marijuana's its flavor. Although male plants do not blossom or produce any buds, they posses the same level of potency. The potency of the marijuana plant is so strong and distinct; farmers have a difficult time growing large amounts of the plant in populated areas. Male and female plants can grow to be up to five feet tall and have a hollow, four cornered stalk that may reach up to two inches in diameter (McLean 19). Prior to sale, the leaves and flowers at the top of the plant are stripped and dried out (McLean 22). Because extensive sun will turn the leaves and flowers brown, this process is usually done in the shade. Once dried out, the stems, twigs, and seeds are removed from the buds in a process called manicuring. Because of the considerable change in each season, plants grown in the United States are relatively weak and have poor taste. The warm, moist climate in Mexico and South America is so ideal for growing that marijuana harvested in these areas has been found to be twice as strong and potent. In India, marijuana can be up to 4 to 5 times as potent in its content of active resin tetrahydrocannabinol (Musto 210). Because of the different climates and agricultural settings, the quality of marijuana throughout the world varies with each locality.Marijuana's psychoactive ingredient, delta-nine-tetrahydrocannabinol, is found in serious amounts inside resin glands...

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