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Marijuana remains the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States where it is readily available.

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Introduction

JOSHUA GENDRON MARIJUANA Marijuana remains the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States where it is readily available. Marijuana from Mexican sources, whether grown in Mexico or shipped from other nations, accounted for more than 50 percent of the foreign marijuana available in the United States during 1995. Marijuana is made from the Cannabis sativa L. plant, whose flowering tops and leaves are collected, trimmed, dried and then smoked in a pipe or as a cigarette. The flowering tops are prized because of their higher THC content. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the plant's principal psychoactive chemical; it is what gets you high or feeling really good. Some users hollow out commercial cigars and replace the tobacco with marijuana. Such cigars are known as "blunts," and may contain as much marijuana as six typical marijuana joints. ...read more.

Middle

More research, FDA approval and more liberal drug policies are needed to make this drug more available for critically ill patients. Marijuana has proven itself useful in fighting the wasting diseases associated with AIDS, nausea associated with chemotherapy and other illnesses such as glaucoma. Easing the suffering of these patients is a reasonable goal. Since the passage of Proposition 215 in California in 1995, the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has become a major issue for physicians, anti-drug policy makers and potheads alike. In 1998, Three years after Californians passed the initiative, cannabis clubs distribute marijuana legally to needy patients. It is clear that hundreds of people are benefiting medically and emotionally from medicinal marijuana. Substantial -- but not completely conclusive -- evidence shows that marijuana can help ease the pain of chemotherapy and AIDS by giving people the "munchies" so they can eat. ...read more.

Conclusion

Alcoholism is estimated to cause approximately 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S. and is involved not only in half of all fatal car accidents but also a majority of homicides and domestic violence. Alcohol dependence is a leading cause of hypertension, stroke and heart disease and over time damages every major organ system in the body, including the brain and nervous system. In terms of health dangers, only inhalants (sniffing glue for example) are in the same league as alcohol - marijuana isn't even remotely close. Recognizing that harsh laws against marijuana are counter-productive and idiotic, Other developed nations are quietly backing away from the "War on Some Drugs." More than half of the nations in Western Europe have reduced or eliminated criminal penalties for marijuana, and some have even legalized it. ...read more.

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