Essay by Justin DeFontHigh School, 11th grade November 1996

download word file, 2 pages 4.5

Marijuana is the name given to any drug made from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Different forms of this drug are known by different names all around the world. Some of these names are kif in Morocco, dagga in South Africa, and ganja in India. In the last decade marijuana has gotten many street names like grass, pot, tea, reefer, weed, and Mary Jane. Marijuana has been smoked, eaten in cakes, and drunk in beverages. Most often marijuana is made as a tobacco like mixture that is smoked in a pipe or rolled into a cigarette.

Marijuana puts major physiological effects on the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. Most of the effects make the person feel calm and also make the person hallucinate. However the effects of the marijuana depend on the strength of it, the amount used, and the experience of the user Small amounts cause the person to sense relaxation and sleepiness.

Bigger doses cause general sensory distortions, changed time sense, loss of short-term memory, loss of balance, and difficulty in completing the thought processes. Very high doses make the person have loss of memory, serious uneasiness and panic, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. The heart rate also increases and blood vessels in the eye expand which makes the eyes very red. A tight feeling in the chest and a loss of muscular coordination may also happen. The drug can also have long term effects such as sperm production and fertility. Marijuana smoke also has long- term deadly effects on the lungs.

As far back as 3000 B.C., marijuana was used in China and Central Asia of a folk medicine. The use of marijuana as an stimulant in the United States became a problem in the 1930's. Laws were passed in 1937, and criminal penalties were put in...