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Legalizing Marijuana

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Legal Issues

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Marijuana is the name for the drug that comes from the leaves and flowers of the Indian hemp plant. The hemp plant can be found growing as weeds or as a cultivated plant throughout the world. This plant can grow in many soils and climates, but it is most potent when grown in dry, hot, upland climates. This drug is a mild hallucinogen, which distorts sensory perceptions. The intoxicating part of this plant is found in its sticky, strong-smelling, golden resin. This resin protects the plant from heat and helps it stay moist during its reproductive cycle. Many users describe intoxication, or getting high, by marijuana in two phases. The first is initial stimulation, when a person becomes giddy and euphoric. The second is sedation, when a person finds mental tranquility. All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. They all contain a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly called THC, which is the main chemical in marijuana. There are over four hundred chemicals in the marijuana plant, however not all of them cause the same effect.
The chemical structure of marijuana is very complex and unique. This is why a number of people smoke this plant to get high.
There are a large number of people in the United States who believe that marijuana should not be legalized. There are many reasons that people feel this was, and one is because of marijuana's short-term effects. A person who smokes marijuana will usually have problems with memory and leaning, trouble with thinking and problem solving, and suffer loss of coordination. All of these effects can affect a person's performance at work, school, or during sports.
Another reason people think marijuana should not be legalized is its long-term effects. There are four major long-term effects of marijuana use. The first one is that marijuana smoke contains many carcinogens. Although it's not proven that marijuana
Causes cancer, it is believed to by many people. Studies show that somebody who smokes five joints (a cigarette containing marijuana instead of tobacco) per week inhales just as many cancer-causing chemicals as a person who smokes a full pack of cigarettes everyday. The second long-term effect is that a person's lung and airways become blocked. Breathing problems, such as coughing, wheezing, phlegm production, and chest colds seem to develop frequently. A third reason is that a person's immune system is lowered. Animal studies show that THC damages cells and tissues that protect people from disease. Finally, a person's reproductive system is affected. Heavy use of marijuana affects both male and female hormones. Young men who smoke marijuana could have delayed puberty because of THC. In females the menstrual and ovulation periods are often disturbed by THC.
A third reason why people don't want marijuana to be legalized is that it can become addictive. Not everyone who tries marijuana becomes addicted, but some users feel as if they need marijuana to feel well. When a person feels this way they are said to be dependent on the drug. Some frequent, heavy users of marijuana develop a tolerance for it. This means that the user needs larger doses of it to get the same results he or she would have gotten from smaller amounts.
In fact, because people build up this tolerance, marijuana is known as the "gateway drug". This means that marijuana users get bored with the same effect and want to try a new drug with a different, stronger, and/or longer effect. Studies of high school students and their drug patterns show that only few students have tried other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana. When people buy marijuana they often come in contact with people who use and/or sell other drugs. Therefore, they are exposed to the other drugs and run the risk of trying them. However, most marijuana users do not move on to frequent use of other drugs.
On the other hand, there are a large number of people who believe marijuana ...

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