Marijuana effects and legalization

Essay by fogdogman17Junior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.0 8 reviews


Weed, Mary Jane, pot, and grass are all slang terms for the drug marijuana. Marijuana is an illegal drug that looks like a green or gray mixture of shredded, dried leaves from a hemp plant. Marijuana is most commonly rolled into a cigarette called a joint, put into a cigar called a blunt, or smoked in a water pipe called a bong. Do not be fooled by the seventy-one million Americans under the age of twelve that have confessed using marijuana; it is illegal and very dangerous.

Short-term effects of marijuana include problems with learning new material and memory, while also having distorted senses (sights, sounds, time, touch). Marijuana can also cause an increased heart rate, anxiety, and loss of motor skills.

Long-term effects of marijuana are more serious. The smoke contains many similar cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco, often in higher concentrations. Studies show that someone who smokes five joints a week will take in the amount of chemicals that someone will get smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

A heart attack is five times more likely if you smoke marijuana, and you are 104 times more likely to smoke cocaine if you smoke marijuana, according to a study done in Harvard University.

Marijuana is an addictive drug, but the risk of becoming dependent on it is low compared to other drugs. About 9% of marijuana users become dependent, while 15% of drinkers, 23% of heroin users, and 33% of tobacco smokers become dependent.

Marijuana has often led to death, but no one has ever died of THC poisoning. THC is the main active chemical ingredient in marijuana. It would take a 160-pound male to smoke about 900 joints in a sitting to reach a lethal dose. However, you are more likely to have a heart attack...