A very sensitive topic in our country is one that is not worldwide accepted. Understanding why this “drug” is illegal in the US, especially for its medicinal use is one that I wanted to know more about. I want to start my essay with why the green plant is looked at with condescending beliefs and the possible side effects of it being overused. Similar to most drugs, abuse of Cannabis Sativa, otherwise known as pot, can adversely affect the user with negative symptoms such as aggression, anxiety, depressed mood, and lack of appetite. Also, common risks in sexuality including decreased libido, lower levels of testosterone in men, and fertility issues are side effects as well that can lead to relationship problems. Other than these common side effects that are common in almost every drug including over the counter, the positive benefits far outweigh the negatives.
I would like to discuss the research I found on statistics of deaths related to Cannabis in the next few sentences. Fact is, in the United States alone there have been a whopping ZERO deaths reported in over a century of monitoring the use of “pot”. Compared to annual deaths with firearms at 29,000, prescription deaths of 32,000, deaths related to alcohol 85,000, and the worst drug of all tobacco which claims over 435,000. Again, in the US alone, the CDC reports that more than 32,000 die annually from alcohol abuse, which most people believe is from accidents in vehicles, however, this number is from the intake alone and has nothing to do from automobiles. It is published with the American Scientist Journal, that one would need to use 10 times the dose of marijuana in alcohol to get the same “buzz”. Also, with zero deaths in the history of record keeping about marijuana use, scientists believe that an individual would need to physically inhale over 1,000 times the desired amount to possibly perish; however, we truly don’t know if one would die due to never being able to test a human with doses high enough for death. The costs of health related issues are eight times greater with an alcohol abuser over a marijuana user.
Another major myth is that Cannabis Sativa kills brain cells. This theory has never been tested in the medical community and was part of a government front attacking a drug that cannot be taxed. It turns out that the drug has neuro protective properties that actually protect brain cells from harm and if smoked while drinking alcohol counters the brain cell killing effects of the alcohol. Marijuana has also been studied in Cancer research, where in the largest case controlled study ever conducted to investigate respiratory effects, released information that shows Cannabis users are 10 times less likely to contract cancer than a cigarette smoker. In the matters of crime and the prison system, 25 to 30% of violent crimes are directly linked to alcohol compared to 0% being due to the use of marijuana alone. It is estimated that American taxpayers spend over 1 billion dollars annually on the inmates incarcerated in our prison systems. 1 in 6 inmates are in prison for less than one ounce of marijuana in their possession at the time of arrest. With the shortage of prison space and guards, this is an ongoing problem, as in most cases a convicted murderer on average is serving 3 to 6 years for their crime and the average federal sentence for misdemeanor marijuana possession is 33 months.
The crime of possession is so different from state to state, with over 15 states giving a life sentence for non-violent marijuana use. In the state of Montana, for instance, one can receive a life sentence for the growing of one marijuana plant on their first offense. Less than 900 miles away in New Mexico; however, one could grow 10,000 plants and receive no more than 3 years in prison. Under federal law, there is zero tolerance. A citizen can get a death sentence for a first