Marijuana, now legalized in 16 states, 2 of which have legalized it for recreational use, has been the topic of controversial debates for decades. Marijuana, very similar to tobacco, is a drug that can be made by simply drying its leaves. The use of Marijuana can be traced back to 2737 B.C. as a use for reckless euphoria for people in ancient times. The Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung, first introduced the drug as a curing power for multiple medical issues, including absent mindedness. The drug slowly made its way spreading from China to India, North Africa and finally arriving Europe as early as 500 A.D. Soon after the drug arrived to Europe, it spread like wildfire to its remaining nations. Marijuana was then introduced to the New World by the Spaniards in 1545 which was then later spread to the Americas by Jamestown settlers. During this time, the drug was vastly used alongside tobacco for its similar effects and purposes. Throughout history, the use of Cannabis has been used for multiple medicinal purposes. Though it may seem the drug has more benefits than side effects, the heavy potency of the drug outweighs its pros substantially. Due to this fact, I believe the production and distribution of marijuana should be made illegal in the United States.
In ancient times and even seen today, marijuana continues to me the most misinformed drug to ever hit the markets. Those who side with the legalization of marijuana spending little time focusing the few benefits of the drug while completely ignoring the harmful effects altogether. The negative effects of marijuana can be categorized into 2 categories: short term and long term. Short term effects may include: distorted perception, issues with memory and learning, difficulty thinking/processing information and unstable thoughts (panic, fear and anxiety). Long term effects may include: permanent memory loss, production of cancer, extreme immune deficiency and permanent harmful effects to your lungs and airways. Marijuana has been proven to have these effects on individuals, but finding the scientific reason behind these effects have been a mystery for years---until recently. Neuroscientists Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux, France, and Xia Zhang of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research came together to explain how marijuana can disorientate the user, cause memory loss and other effects caused by the drug listed above. Due to the drug containing high levels of THC, which is known for creating dangerous illusions to the human mind, was found to be the cause of the many harmful effects of marijuana. Researches have found the THC weakens the connections between the brains neurons and the hippocampus, which is a structure crucial for the brains memory formations. The use of marijuana has been commonly linked to unstable thoughts in the human mind, many of which include: panic, fear and anxiety. The drug has also been proven to cause schizophrenia in the user, termed “Cannabis Psychosis.” According to an article by Anne MacDonald, the editor of the Harvard Health, mentioned that, “According to a study that followed nearly 2,000 teenagers as they became young adults, young people who smoked marijuana at least five times were twice as likely to have developed psychosis over the next 10 years as those who didn’t smoke pot.” Similar to tobacco, marijuana contains the same levels of carcinogens. Carcinogens can be defined as any substance directly involved in causing cancer to living tissues cells.
Some studies show that smoking only five joints of cannabis per day is equivalent to receiving the same amount of carcinogens as someone who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day. When it comes to our immune system, we have white blood cells, called T-cells to help fight off infections. T-cells are crucial to the immune system as it plays a crucial role in adaptive immunity. Without these cells, our bodies are prone to life threatening diseases.