The Truth about Mary Jane
Marijuana is created from the dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. There are over 200 slang terms for marijuana in the popular vernacular. Some of the more common nicknames include pot, grass, weed, hash, mary janeand ganja.
Current supporters of medical marijuana like Dr. G.O. Ayenigbara, IOSR Journal of Pharmacy (Vol. 2, Issue 3, May-June, 2012), believe” the drug has significant medical value for patients who suffer from AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and chronic pain. Several studies have been published to support and document this belief. As of today Marijuana has also been used to be extremely helpful to aid in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, depressions, neuralgias, rheumatism, gastrointestinal dysfunctions, ulcer, cholera, bronchitis, asthma, and gonorrhea. “
Marijuana is not a lethal drug and is safer than alcohol. It is established scientific fact that marijuana is not toxic to humans; marijuana overdoses are nearly impossible, and marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or tobacco. It is unfair and unjust to treat marijuana users more harshly under the law than the users of alcohol or tobacco. While smoking marijuana, like cigarettes, is not good for your lungs, an objective evaluation of the adverse health impacts of marijuana shows that pot is substantially less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.
Alcohol is associated with alcoholism, drunk driving, and violent behavior. And cigarette smoking is causes deadly diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and stroke. While no deaths are attributed to marijuana use, alcohol consumption results in 80,000 deaths annually and tobacco smoking 440,000.
Government hostility to marijuana has stifled research and objective discussion in the U.S. but not in other countries. Over a decade ago, the distinguished British medical journal The Lancet stated that marijuana is less a threat than alcohol and tobacco and “moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health.”
Free Choice and Relative Harm
Liberals and conservatives alike understand the concept of adults making their own choices and living their own lives. One need not be a card carrying libertarian to insist that government respect our private lives and reject an over-reaching “nanny state” where government treats adults like children, needlessly restricting their behavior and telling them how to live.
Consequently, we recognize the right of adults to consume alcohol and tobacco because we live in a society founded on individual rights and free choice. We respect the right of adults to choose to use these recreational drugs despite their known risks with the caveat that they be used in a manner that does not harm others.
This line of reasoning should apply to marijuana.
The thought of legalizing marijuana raises legitimate concerns among parents who question whether legalization would make marijuana more available to kids. While precautions should be taken to prevent that from happening when marijuana is legalized (similar to current laws forbidding the sale of cigarettes and alcohol to minors), let’s be honest and admit that criminalization of marijuana has done little or nothing to keep marijuana out of the hands of youth. Ask most middle or high school students and they will tell you “it’s everywhere” and they can get it any time they want.
But isn’t today’s marijuana more potent and therefore more dangerous than the marijuana of the 1960s and 1970s? This claim is debatable but even if it were true it doesn’t mean marijuana users today risk more harm. Rather it just means they have to smoke less to feel the drug’s pleasurable effects.
Marijuana has been called a “gateway drug” whose use leads those who experiment with it to get hooked on really dangerous drugs like cocaine or heroin. But couldn’t we say the same thing about milk, bubblegum, and potato chips because serious drug abusers have also consumed these substances before using hard drugs. The fallacious gateway argument really falls apart when we consider alcohol since it is probably more likely than marijuana to lead susceptible people with addictive personalities to more dangerous drug use yet alcohol is legal.
It is true that some people can develop psychological dependency on marijuana and it can decrease motivation. But this risk should be put into context since the same can be said of many legal behaviors when taken to extremes. People get hooked on and overdo shopping, eating, exercising, gambling, video gaming, surfing the web, texting among other activities. Moreover, both legal alcohol and tobacco are more habit-forming and addictive than marijuana.
Prohibition does not work. Education and treatment are better ways to address the drug problem.
Inertia is a powerful force in public policy.
If something has been banned for only a short period of time, then the ban is seen as unstable. If something has been banned for a long time, however, then the ban–no matter how ill-conceived it might be–tends to go unenforced long before it is actually taken off the books.
People tend to be comfortable with the status quo–and the status quo, for nearly a century, has been a literal or de facto federal ban on marijuana.
Marijuana’s legalization would simplify the development of hemp as a valuable and diverse agricultural crop in the United States, including its development as a new bio-fuel to reduce carbon emissions. Canada and European countries have managed to support legal hemp cultivation without legalizing marijuana, but in the United States opposition to legal marijuana remains the biggest obstacle to development of industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity. As US energy policy continues to embrace and promote the development of bio-fuels as an alternative to oil dependency and a way to reduce carbon emissions, it is all the more important to develop industrial hemp as a bio-fuel source – especially since use of hemp stalks as a fuel source will not increase demand and prices for food, such as corn. Legalization of marijuana will greatly simplify the regulatory burden on prospective hemp cultivation. Marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries and a large number of chemical corporations. Various big businesses, with plenty of dollars and influence, have suppressed the truth from the people.
The truth is if marijuana was utilized for its vast array of commercial products, it would create an industrial atomic bomb! Entrepreneurs have not been educated on the product potential of pot. The super rich have conspired to spread misinformation about an extremely versatile plant that, if used properly, would ruin their companies.
…POT IS ILLEGAL BECAUSE BILLIONAIRES WANT TO REMAIN BILLIONAIRES!
We should DARE to speak the TRUTH no matter what the law is.