Once again, I bring to you a revolution in my thinking on a popular topic. Marijauna is today’s subject. I bring to you a poll, reflecting the opinions of a whole lot of people. Some of you have given me your thoughts, some of you haven’t.
As you can see, it is mostly balanced. Many of those who said yes are my more conservative friends. Interestingly enough, the ones who said no are not stoners. For those of you who are asking yourselves “Wait, he said marijauna, not Cannabis!”, Cannabis is the name for all species of marijauna, that which is used for hemp as well as drugs.
As a starting point, I suggest some of you go read the wiki on the Cannabis drug. I know a lot of you don’t want to do that, so I’ll summarize the important points. I’ll try and be as non-biased as I can.
Cannabis has been around for practically ever. It isn’t new. At all. Scythia and Thracians used it (about 2000 years ago), and was a big part of most Western culture up until the early 20th century. What happened, you ask? Fear-mongering, akin to the Red Scare of the 50’s, produced by a single man seeking political power. Does this kind of slogan sound familiar to you?
Beware! Young and Old – People in All Walks of Life! This may be handed to you by the friendly stranger. It contains the Killer Drug “Marihauna”, a powerful narcotic in which lurks MURDER! INSANITY! DEATH!
This is lead to extreme taxes on all marijauna (Maria Joana), contrary to the advice of the Amercian Health Association at the time. Think $100 per pound. That’s crazy expensive even now, and insane at the time. It also required all merchants selling marijauna to register with the police, giving them all their information, a violation of the fifth amendment. This was not smacked down until 1963, but by then, all 50 states had banned marijauna outright. Posession or use of Cannabis was not made a federal crime until 1970, with the CSA, placing it alongside Schedule I drugs, like Heroin, Ecstasy, and LSD (Schedule I is the “most dangerous”, Schedule IV is “least dangerous”). It’s a full schedule above Ritalin and Speed, two schedules above steroids, and three schedules above Rufies. Look ’em up.
It is obviously considered a highly dangerous drug. So it’s got to do something bad, right? Time for a bulleted list. The bad effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Lowered coordination
- Lowered inhibitions
- Enhanced stress or anxiety*
- Enhanced nausea, dizziness, or headaches*
- Short-term memory difficulty (this is debated)*
- Hallucinations (in large doses)*
Doesn’t sound good does it? Note the asterisks. Those are effects that are supposedly uncommon or rare. Those effects are generally dependent on the person using them. Marijauna has the opposite effects on the positive side, so they obviously don’t happen all the time. Speaking of the good effects, let’s have another bulleted list:
- Mild Euphoria
- Increased appreciation of humor, art, music, colors, patterns, and food.
- Increased mental acuity, sensory perception, and awareness.
- Enhanced memory of past events and introspection.
- Reduces headaches, nausea, stress and pain.
That about sums up all the good and bad effects with the short term. I won’t even touch the benefits for those with any kind of potent illness. Read for yourself, there’s tons. THC (the main active chemical) has a lot of uses, and marijauna in its entirity has even more. As for the long-term problems? I will list off all the common mythical problems with long-term usage. A bulleted list is again in call here.
There are no recorded cases of an overdose of marijauna. It is estimated that the only way one could overdose on marijauna – requiring 42mg/kg of weight in the human body. Basically, for a 165 lb male to overdose, he’d have to smoke a minimum of 22 cigarettes with the maximum potency, with no loss of THC (the “killer” element) whatsoever. The last two factors make this almost entirely impossible, let alone the feasibility of doing so. Marijauna makes you sleepy, who knows how tired you’d be before the end of that run.
Marijauna is not naturally addictive. The most addictive use of it is as a sleep aid. In this way, it is as addictive as sleeping aids. Even then, withdrawl symptoms include feeling mild depression, sleeplessness, and anxiety. THC also stays in the system for several days, causing the withdrawl to come very gradually. And no, the effects don’t last for that period of time.
Marijauna is, in fact, a mild pollutant to the body. Compared to cigarettes, it is much less harmful. The tar in marijauna sticks to the lungs differently – it does not reach the alveoli, meaning it inhibits breathing less, and comes out much faster with time.
- Psychosis, Schizophrenia, and Depression
These are symptoms evident in a certain group of users. It was initially thought to be apparant in all users, but upon further study, it has been shown that mental disorders only develop under two circumstances: frequent adolescent use, and genetic predisposition towards these illnesses. To develop these requires frequent use over a long period of time (months, possibly years). This ONLY occurs in those with a genetic predisposition – adolescent use increases the chance of those with the predisposition. Marijauna can also conflict with other drugs, causing problems, but generally only in cases of antipsychotic medication. That’s basic medicine though, it’s why alcohol plus basically any drug is bad.
If you still think marijauna is bad, think about alcohol. Alcohol has a lot of contributions to society. Just think about it. Drunk driving, enhancing violence, enhancing depression, overdosing, alcoholism, it’s just a great thing. Obviously we stopped trying prohibition because it just didn’t work, stopping millions from using it entirely is almost impossible. I consider alcohol fine in small amounts (ex. a few glasses of wine or cans of beer, know your limits), although I personally only like really sweet wines, and on occassion champagne.
My conclusion? There is no reason it should be banned from medical usage. If it were to be totally legalized, there would have to be an age minimum (18, as per usual). Benefits to this would be that the government could tax it. The total revenue from the uses as hemp, medicine, and recreation would be huge. And we all know the government needs more money right now.
All that said, I’ve never touched the stuff, and don’t plan to. If it were legalized, well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. The big concern is the decreased inhibition. My logic is that if alcohol is okay (as in, you won’t be acting like a duck in the midst of communist Russia after a glass of Guinness), how different is this? This is the question it comes down to for me. Challenge me here.