Positive and Negative Effects of Marijuana

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Do the Benefits of Medical Marijuana Justify Its Legality? Growing up, everyone has been told, “Drugs are bad for you,” time and time again.  However, when you are young you do not see the full impact of what the drugs cause. As we get older we do not jump to conclusions as often as when we were little, we research and study before we draw the conclusion. If you ask most people if marijuana is good or bad, they will most likely say bad. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana has more benefits than disadvantages, marijuana has been proven to have an effect on users health, economy if a county, and even crime rate. Crumbled parts from the marijuana plant, that are green-gray or brown, is marijuana. These crumbled parts can be rolled and smoked or can be put in a pipe and smoked that way. Another way to get the “high” from marijuana is to mix it with food and create an edible. Marijuana goes by many different names, among these are cannabis, ganja, grass, hash, pot, and weed.  The FDA has not approved this as medicine yet.

The first reference of marijuana is from 2737 BC. Chinese emperor Shen Nung was writing about how amazing of a medication it was for many diseases like absent-mindedness, gout, malaria, and rheumatism. He also mentioned how intoxicating the drug was. In 1545, spanish settlers brought marijuana to the new world, and in 1611 Englishmen introduced it to the men and women in Jamestown. They started growing it along with tobacco, however, when the 1890 came alone the growth of marijuana was surpassed by cotton. Marijuana was  legal from 1850 to 1942, and was commonly prescribed for nausea, labor pains, and rheumatism. In the 1930’s the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, started a campaign to convince citizens that marijuana was a powerful addicting drug.  Marijuana is commonly used as a illicit drug in the united states.

An illicit drug is a drug that is “forbidden by law”. Many younger people use Marijuana recreationally. In 2015, more than 11 million people ranging from 18 to 25, used marijuana in the last year. Now that marijuana is more common, the amount of younger people who thing that recreational use of marijuana is bad is decreasing. Many people are asking “Is marijuana a gateway drug?”, well that is up to how it is defined. The definition of gateway drug is “a habit-forming drug that, while not itself addictive, may lead to the use of other addictive drugs”. In very rare cases Marijuana can be addictive. Various people consider marijuana as a gateway drug, but most marijuana users do not go on to use worse drugs. This is all dependant on the person's biological factors.

There are many positive things that come from using medical marijuana. Some of these are that it helps with pain, heart problems, digestion, anxiety, Tourette’s syndrome, and many others. Although many people disagree that medical marijuana, or otherwise known as cannabis, can be beneficial, many people say that it is better than taking pain medication, because it makes them aware and they are able to carry out conversations. In 2016 six states legalized cannabis because they thought that for medical purposes, it was worth the negative side effects. Some clinical trials have proven that cannabis has more benefits than disadvantages. A clinical trial on AIDS and Pain by Donald Abrams “describes a methodology of double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine if smoked marijuana is an effective analgesic for HIV patients with neuropathic pain”.  There is another clinical trial by Geoffrey Guy called “From Plant to Prescription”, he thinks that Cannabis can be beneficial for spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and neuropathic pain.  The Mayo Clinic is also apart of many trials for Cannabidiol, which is a compound found in cannabis that has many medical benefits, but does not makes people high. A large number of children and young adults with Dravet Syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome were eligible for the Mayo clinic trial.  Although there are many positive outcomes of marijuana, there are also negative outcomes. One of the more active ingredients of marijuana is called Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which most people know it for its shorter name, THC. This is one of the ingredients in marijuana that makes a person high. When THC goes into the blood it does not take long for the high feeling to kick in, this compound can have effects on the way a person's body works.

Marijuana has become so popular that one in every three Americans has used it at least once. Occasional use of the drug is not harmful, but negative side effects of marijuana can still have impacts on the body as well as the brain like it can slow down reflexes and impair decision-making capabilities. After smoking marijuana a person's heart rate can increase by 2 time, this can be why some people have a heart attack after using the drug. Some other physical side effects of using this drug is disorientation, shallow breathing, dilated pupils and red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, lower blood pressure, and low blood sugar. Cannabis does not only affect you physically but also emotionally, most users say that being high makes them relaxed, happy, or detached from reality. However, there are a rare few that can experience a distorted sense of time, depression, paranoia, anxiety, random thoughts, and short-term forgetfulness. Many different experts have explored more than 100 types of cancer, more attention was paid to long-standing questions like, “Does cannabis cause lung cancer?”.

In 2006 many doctors researching this were shocked to find that Marijuana did not show any increased risk of lung cancer. Some experts even thought that marijuana protected the lungs from cancer.  However, more recent studies showed that smoking marijuana is linked with lung cancer. Researchers have figured out that the regular use of marijuana through smoking causes injury to the airway.

Medical marijuana has benefited many lives of people who are living in pain or have serious diseases, it is shown to have effect on not only the users but also economy of a country, and even crime rate. Marijuana can be very beneficial if used the correct ways. However if you use it irresponsibly then it can affect your health negatively, making you lose track of time, or make you have a heart attack. Philip Denney, MD once said “I have found in my study of these patients that cannabis is really a safe, effective and non-toxic alternative to many standard medications.”. I Believe this statement to be true and that marijuanas benefits are enough to legalize it.

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Positive and Negative Effects of Marijuana. (2020, Nov 20). Retrieved June 18, 2024 , from

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