The prohibition of marijuana in America, as well as worldwide, entails many intangibles and unclear statutes surrounding it. Although it has been pushed by media and other propaganda outlets that marijuana is a dangerous, illicit drug with harmful effects, there has never been solid scientific evidence to validate these claims. Until the absolute truth of Cannabis Sativa, and the hemp plant, is revealed, utter ignorance will restrict mankind from the use of this genuinely medicinal substance.
Let us begin by addressing a few common misconceptions, such as: “marijuana kills brain cells”, “stoners are stupid”, “marijuana is a gateway drug”, or “marijuana is physically addictive”.
Taken from a publication by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, “Some people who smoke marijuana heavily and frequently stop without difficulty. Others seek help from drug treatment professionals. Marijuana does not cause physical dependence”. Not only does this state that the government has concluded there are no withdrawal symptoms, but there is absolutely no unhealthy addiction to it.
Here is an excerpt from a medical study in 1991, ” None of the medical tests currently used to detect brain damage in humans have found harm from marijuana, even from long term high-dose use. An early study reported brain damage in rhesus monkeys after six months exposure to high concentrations of marijuana smoke. In a recent, more carefully conducted study, researchers found no evidence of brain abnormality in monkeys that were forced to inhale the equivalent of four to five marijuana cigarettes every day for a year. The claim that marijuana kills brain cells is based on a speculative report dating back a quarter of a century that has never been supported by any scientific study.” There is no necessity to provide any more evidence such as this; on the contrary there is little evidence supporting the theory of resultant brain damage from marijuana use.[http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/factsmyths/#brain]
The Canadian Senate had a committee on the War on Drugs in 2002, and released a report stating, ” marijuana should be treated more like tobacco than like harder drugs. The Senate committee also says marijuana is not a “gateway drug,” and does not lead to the use of harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin.”
To sum up the rebuking of these terrible mistaken beliefs, here is a list of celebrities or other public figures that smoke or have smoked marijuana, Bill Clinton, All Four Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, Carl Sagan – noted atheist and science writer, and lastly George Washington.(http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/George_Washington)
To touch base on the positive aspects of smoking marijuana, here are some of the sensational therapeutic and overall objectively undeniable medicinal effects of marijuana.
– Patients receiving cannabinoids [smoked marijuana and marijuana pills] had improved immune function compared with those receiving placebo. They also gained about 4 pounds more on average than those patients receiving placebo.
– Has been proven to alleviate symptoms of: Alzheimer’s, ALS, chronic pain, Diabetes, Hepatitis C, HIV, hypertension, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sleep Apnea and Tourette’s Syndrome.[http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7002]
Besides the use of marijuana for its medical value, the hemp plant, which is an alternative of the Cannabis Sativa plant, has had many uses in its long history of usage. From textiles to American civil war uniforms, hemp has been a pivotal element of industrial success in the world. Hemp seeds are also rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids, which can be consumed with no hallucinogenic effects.
Marijuana, Mary Jane, reefer…whatever you wish to call it, has many beneficial qualities, and cannot harm you. That is, unless it is abused and misused, which all boils down to the individuals level of self-control and overall morality. Nonetheless, it has been a billion dollar industry, yet the general population receives no apparent benefit from the fruit of its labour. Why is it that alcohol, which has caused many deaths, illnesses and other serious problems in society, is legal and advertised to the fullest extent possible?