Supporting Legalizing Marijuana

Supporting Legalizing Marijuana
For the last few years, there has been much media hype about Cannabis. There have been
talks about medical Marijuana, allowing farmers to use low thc types of marijuana for
hemp, and completely legalizing Marijuana. The fiery debates have been brought to my
attention by the media just recently. Being a teenager myself, I have become quite
interested in Marijuana. Although most of my friends have tried Marijuana, and Marijuana
is quite easily available where I lived in California, I have never tried it myself. I
remember the time when my friend, Jeremy, was selling Marijuana right out of his locker.
It was last year during PE, and I distinctly remember it. When I realized what he was
doing, I asked if I could look at the Marijuana because I had never seen any before. When
he showed it to me, it was not what I had expected. It was in a little plastic bag,
called a dime (10 dollars worth), and was a sticky darkish brown with little red hairs.
The street name for this sub-specie of Cannabis was Skunk., I know
quite a lot about marijuana. I know that there are male and female marijuana plants and
that the female marijuana plants are more prized for their higher thc content. I also
know that there is a different species of Cannabis other then Cannabis Sativa. One
popular one is Cannabis Indica. I also know of the street name of the many sub species of
Marijuana: Northern Lights, Super Skunk, Orange Bud, Durban, and literally 20 more. I
know the physical dangers of using Marijuana (unfortunately from a biased point of view -
a teenager?s), and I know that Marijuana is prohibited.
Ever since then, I have wanted to learn more about Cannabis. I have many questions about
it. What is the classification for Cannabis? What are they different types of Cannabis?
Where does Cannabis grow and what is the history of Cannabis? What type of plant is
Cannabis? What are the uses of Cannabis? Although I have many questions, I will attempt
to accurately answers all of them as well as I can in this I-search
Physical Aspects
Before I can research about the uses, benefits, harms, or any other aspects of Cannabis,
I have to research the physical aspects of the plant. In order to find out specific
information knowing only the name Cannabis sativa, I looked in Chinese herb books,
botanical books and in encyclopedias. I found out quite a lot of good information, but
unfortunately, not as through as I was hoping for.
Cannabis is botanically classified as a member of the family Cannabaceae and the genus
Cannabis. There are 3 known species of Cannabis: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and
Cannabis ruderalis. I had never heard of Cannabis ruderalis before, and it was sort of a
shock when I discovered it. I went ahead and found specific information about each
species.
Cannabis sativa is a tall plant, generally between 8 and 12 feet. The leaves have long
thin fingers and are light green. The more equatorial varieties have more yellow pigments
to protect the plant from intense light. Sativa seed pods are long and thin and turn red
as they mature in a warm environment. In cooler environments the buds may be slightly
purple. Sativa plants smell sweet and fruity and the smoke is generally quite mild. It is
a source of fiber for rope and other products and it contains thc, which gives smokers
the psychic effects they seek. The leaves of this plant are smoked but the most highly
prized part of the plant is the top.
Cannabis indica is plentiful in the Mid east, India, and Central Asia especially
Afghanistan, Kashmire, and Pakistan. It is a short plant, generally between 3 and 6 feet,
and its leaves have short broad fingers. The leaves are generally dark green sometimes
tinged with purple. As they near maturity, the leaves may become significantly more
purple. It is a strong smelling plant with a stinky or skunky smell. The smoke of indicas
is generally thick and more prone to cause coughing when inhaled. Indicas are the
traditional source of hashish.
Cannabis ruderalis is a debated third variety of cannabis found in Russia, Poland, and
other eastern European countries. Schultes classified cannabis as having three species:
sativa, indica, and ruderalis based on the formation of the seedpods. There is some
debate as to whether there is justification for this third category. Some features of
ruderalis are large seeds, short weedy plants (4-6 feet tall) and a lower level of thc
than sativas or indicas.
This information I found regarding the different species of Cannabis does not surprise me
in any way, for I already had the basic idea of what a Cannabis plant looked like.
After learning about the physical aspects, I went on to reaserch about the history of the
plant. I went and looked through internet site and through books to find information. I
found some interesting information after minimal searching.
A native of central Asia, cannabis may have been cultivated as long as ten thousand years
ago. It was certainly cultivated in China by 4000 B.C. and in Turkestan by 3000 B.C. It
has long been used as a medicine in India, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South
Africa, and South America.
The earliest known reference to cannabis is in Assyrian tablets of the seventh century
BC. It has thus been in use for at least 2600 years. Like very many other herbs, it has
been used medically for a wide variety of ailments, especially throughout Asia and the
Middle East. The mild euphoria that it induces led to its use as an intoxicant, perhaps
most notably in countries where Islam prohibited the use of alcohol.
After thousands of years of acceptance and widespread use, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
undermined it all. This law was the culmination of a campaign organized by the Federal
Bureau of Narcotics in which the public was led to believe that marihuana was addictive
and caused violent crimes, psychosis, and mental deterioration.
Under the Marihuana Tax Act, anyone using the hemp plant for certain defined industrial
or medical purposes was required to register and pay a tax of a dollar an ounce. A person
using marihuana for any other purpose had to pay a tax of $100 an ounce on unregistered
transactions. Those failing to comply were subject to large fines or prison terms for tax
evasion. The law was not aimed at medical use of marihuana ? its purpose was to
discourage recreational marihuana smoking. It was put in the form of a revenue measure to
evade the effect of Supreme Court decisions that reserved to the states the right to
regulate most commercial transactions. By forcing some marihuana transactions to be
registered and others to be taxed heavily, the government could make it prohibitively
expensive to obtain the drug legally for any other than medical purposes. Almost
incidentally, the law made medical use of cannabis difficult because of the extensive
paperwork required of doctors who wished to use it. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics
followed up with anti-diversion regulations that contributed to physicians?
disenchantment. Cannabis was removed from the United States Pharmacopoeia and National
Formulary in 1941.
I already know about the uses of Cannabis. As most people know, Cannabis has many uses
other then just for recreation. Cannabis can be used as hemp to make rope, cloth, and
other products, and Cannabis also has medicinal purposes.
Many parts of Cannabis can be used to make textiles and other products: 1. The fiber of
it?s stem, 2. The resinous secretion which is developed in hot countries upon it?s
leaves, and 3. It?s oily seeds. The fiber of its stem is mostly used to make rope, but it
can also be mashed into a pulp and made into paper. This surprised me because if Hemp can
be made into paper, and hemp takes less time to grow then tress, Hemp could become very
beneficial in the future. After more research, I realized that what I had thought is
true.
We are going to have to grow our bio mass in the future. Plants used for bio mass sources
must be densely foliaged and fast growing, yet not tropical. It me not destroy topsoil or
require expensive fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. The leading contender in the
race to find a alternative bio mass source is Hemp. Cannabis sativa produces 10 times
more bio mass per acre then corn weighing in at 10 tons per acre after only 90-120 days
of growing. Hemp is a potential source of fiber, textiles, paper pulp, oil, and medicine.
I think that it is very unfortunate that such a useful plant had to have been iligalized
just because of it?s thc content. Another use of Cannabis is for medical purposes.
Marijuana has many possible medical uses. Positive effects are claimed for ailments such
as cancer, aids, and glaucoma. Aids can cause a loss of appetite known as the wasting
syndrome which can lead to drastic weight loss and weakness. Chemotherapy used in the
treatment of cancer causes nausea resulting in an inability to keep down food.
Marijuana?s healing nature for these two illnesses is a result of it?s ability to
increase a person?s appetite as well as relieving nausea allowing a patient to regain
weight. Marijuana reportedly helps glaucoma patients by reducing occular pressure, which can cause damage to the eye.

Supporting Legalizing Marijuana 7.2 of 10 on the basis of 3094 Review.