Marijuana is the most illicit drug in the United States and some people think it should be legalized for adult use recreationally and medicinal use for all ages. There is great public debate over the drug’s legal status and various state and federal laws that allow or forbid it. It was classified as a Schedule one drug which means it has no medicinal use and is high risk for abuse, but that classification may eventually change as we learn more about the drug. #2 The dried leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds from the cannabis plant is what makes marijuana. It can also be concentrated into hashish or hash oil. It can be smoked in cigarettes and pipes, made into tea or used in baked goods. #3 People smoke marijuana because it can relax a person and elevate their mood. Users often feel a heightened sensory awareness, euphoria, altered perceptions and hunger. Negative effects include rapid heart rate, disorientation, and lack of coordination often followed by depression or sleepiness. Some users suffer panic attacks or anxiety. Marijuana also raises heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking and this effect can last up to 3 hours. High doses of marijuana can produce a temporary psychotic reaction involving hallucinations and paranoia in some users. It can worsen the course of illness in patients with schizophrenia. #4 The legalization of marijuana is sought by many people because it can be used to treat glaucoma, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, ease the pain of Multiple Sclerosis, decrease anxiety disorders and the symptoms of seizures, stop the spread of cancer, and reverse the carcinogenic effect of tobacco. Scientists are still hoping to discover additional uses. Others say that the therapeutic benefits do not outweigh the health risks. #5 Despite the possible medicinal uses, marijuana can do harm. Studies have shown that adolescents who use marijuana have substantially reduced connectivity among brain areas responsible for learning and memory. This means that despite what you may hear, it does not make you smarter and in fact limits you reaching your full potential. A New Zealand study showed that people who began smoking heavily in their teens lost an average of 8 points in an IQ test. Marijuana contains 50 to 70% more cancer causing substances than tobacco smoke. Long time smokers often suffer from bronchitis and inflammation of the respiratory tract.