Cannabis Sativa, the scientific name for Marijuana, this highly illegal drug goes by many names. Chronic, Hydro, Thai, Grass, Green. Its use is widespread. This has been a topic of political controversy worldwide for decades. In 1995, here in the US, more than one-half million people were arrested for marijuana related offenses. A whopping 86% of them were for possession. Today tens of thousands of people are in prison for marijuana related offenses. That does not include the greater number of people who are fined, put on probation, and faced with civil sanctions such as having their property seized, driver’s license suspended, or even termination of their employment.
The first known Cannabis Sativa plant was traced back 7.5 million years ago. This plant however, did not contain THC. It was not until 1 million years later that a THC bearing plant was noted. It’s first medical usage was documented in a book called Pen Tao’s, it was written by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung who lived between 2637 and 2797 BC. In his writings, he referred to Cannabis as a “superior” herb, and he used it to treat many common ailments.
Now, we are faced with the controversy. If there have been thousands of years of documented medical usages for this plant, Why is it so terrible and illegal?
In the mid 1930’s the government passed an act called The Uniform State Narcotic Act. This act regulated Cannabis as a drug by state law. During the 90’s many places began to legalize it for the medical properties it possesses. This interfered with federal laws such as the 1970 Controlled Substances Act which classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. Reefer Madness, a government propaganda film was released in the 70’s, and gave us ideas and thoughts of the many bad things marijuana could do to us. This movie was actually a renamed government anti-marijuana propaganda video called Tell Your Children which was produced back in 1936. Back in the 30’s the hemp pulp could make for more efficiency than tree pulp for paper making and would have put a rich man out. Here starts the conspiracy and corruption in government.
Today, the majority of current prescriptions are man-made and synthetic. A person can experience so many side effects from a medicine meant to help you feel better, that it almost crazy to even try. Add to that, the fact the FDA passes many medications without having any studies on what long term health effects may occur. Just sit down in front of your TV during the day and you are bound to see a commercial asking if you took this drug, do you have this problem then they tell you to call in regards to a lawsuit.
Ask yourself this question. Who do I trust more, mankind or God?
As of today, there are 14 states which have adopted medical marijuana policies. Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. In these states, you have the right to use marijuana for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Fibromyalgia, Dystonia, Hepatitis C, Diabetes, Pruritis, Osteoporosis, MRSA, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Chronic Pain, Tourette’s Syndrome, HIV, Hypertension, Sleep Apnea, GI Disorders, Incontinence, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. These are all conditions in which the use of marijuana has been documented and studied and is shown to have a positive effect on the ailment, at least to some extent. As a matter of fact there are more clinical investigations on the benefits of medical marijuana now, than at any other time in history. It has been discovered that human beings as well as many other organisms have an endocannaboid regulatory system. They are now recognizing it holds potential for modifying diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome; and have begun to study its anti-cancer activities. When compared to the other medically active substances, it is remarkably safe. The consumption of marijuana-regardless of potency or quantity-cannot cause a fatal overdose.
Over the years, the government has fed us many myths about the effects of using marijuana. This was all a big attempt to keep people from wanting to use it. Many clinical investigations that have been done over the years prove these myths to be exactly that. Myths such as:
Myth 1 Marijuana causes permanent mental illness in some people, especially in adolescents. When intoxicated by marijuana users become irrational and behave erratically. These are two statements which “Reefer Madness” tried to drive home to parents.
With many years of clinical study behind us, there is no convincing evidence which suggests any psychological damage or mental illness in teens or adults resulting from the use of marijuana. It has also been proven that it does not cause profound changes in behavior either.
Myth 2 Marijuana is highly addictive. Those who use long term experience physical dependence and withdrawal and often need professional treatment to quit.
The truth is that the majority of those who smoke only do so occasionally. A minority of less than 1% of Americans smoke on a daily basis, with the number of those who do become dependent being even far less. The few people, who do go to a drug treatment facility for marijuana addiction, usually do so at their own will. If there are any withdrawal symptoms at all related to the use of marijuana, they are remarkably mild.
Myth 3 Marijuana is more damaging to lungs than tobacco, putting users at a higher risk of developing lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema.
While it does contain a number of irritants and carcinogens like tobacco, studies have shown moderate smoking appears to pose minimal danger for the lungs. Typically, marijuana users smoke much less than tobacco smokers, and over time inhale far less smoke. Therefore, the risk of serious lung damage from marijuana use should be lower than that of a tobacco user. To date, there have not been any reports of lung cancer related solely to its use.
Myth 4 It has been scientifically proven that marijuana use has harmful health effects.
On the contrary, in 1995, scientific researchers from Lancet, a British medical journal stated based on thirty years of clinical research “the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health.”
Myth 5 Marijuana use kills brain cells. Over time use causes memory loss, personality deterioration, and reduced productivity.
None of the medical test in current usage to detect brain damage in humans has ever found harm from marijuana, even when looking at those who smoke high doses over long periods of time. That myth was actually based on a study which took place over a quarter of a century ago which had no scientific evidence to support its findings.
Now I will summarize the information I have provided.
Marijuana has been considered illegal since the 1930’s, at which time it was made illegal so as not to jeopardize the timber industry. Most of the government’s health effects and other reasons for marijuana being made illegal have been scientifically proven to be false or incorrect. The medications today which are passed by the FDA and regularly prescribed have very dangerous side effects and overall can pose long term health effects.
Marijuana is a natural plant which can be traced back for millions of years. There have been recorded documents dating back thousands of years showing the use of marijuana for treatment of all sorts of medical conditions and ailments. It has been scientifically proven that human beings as well as many other organisms have cannaboid receptors within our bodies and cells. Scientific studies have proven marijuana usage can help with many conditions yet pose far less risks and side effects than current treatment methods.
The uses of and potential uses for marijuana, seem far more promising and less harmful than the problems we are currently experiencing from using the current treatment methods. This is why medical marijuana should be legalized and further studied.
“Recent Research on Medical Marijuana” – NORML http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7002
“Myths and Facts About Marijuana” http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/factsmyths/