Ending Prohibition of Marijuana
SOC 120 Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility
Instructor. Linda Atkinson
June 9, 2013
Ending Prohibition of Marijuana
Marijuana should be legal for many reasons. Not only is marijuana been proven over and over through research and studies to help with many illnesses, but marijuana has never caused death by overdose like many legal drugs do year after year. I will also discuss how not only the marijuana plant can be used for medical, and recreational use, but the plant is also a relative of hemp which can be used to produce, rope, clothing, paper and many other resources
. We can use nearly every part of the Cannabis Sativa, or ...view middle of the document...
Marijuana is believed to be the oldest fiber used by humans. The cannabis plant can be traced all the way back to as far as 8000bc and is believed to have been around many years before that. Archeologist in Taiwan uncovered clay pots dating back to the era of 8000bc that were decorated with fiber strands from the cannabis plant. Ancient Chinese archers even used hemp fibers to make bowstrings that proved more durable and superior to those made of bamboo. They fired arrows farther with more force and accuracy.
Marijuana can also be linked to the Chinese emperor Shen Nung in or around 2700 B.C. In what is considered to be the world’s oldest pharmacopoeia includes marijuana as being of medicinal value to over 100 ailments. It is still used in folk medicine in China especially for appetite and diarrhea. In India marijuana is prescribed to promote sleep as well as for pain relief. In the 1830’s Dr. William O’Shaughnessy is largely credited with informing western doctors of the medicinal powers of marijuana.
Dr. O’Shaughnessy performed studies on marijuana’s medicinal properties while a professor at the Medical College of Calcutta (Allison Mack, 2000). After doing studies and determining it was safe he would prescribe marijuana to help with pain and muscle spasms. In 1893-1894 doctors convened before the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission and presented evidence that marijuana was helpful in treating cramps, headache, asthma, impotence, acute and chronic pain, fever, appetite and an abundance of other conditions.
Marijuana is not only a very effective drug, but also an incredibly safe drug compared to most others available on the market today. Unlike most other psychoactive drugs, including aspirin, alcohol, nicotine, opiates, and caffeine, cannabis is not known to have any fatal overdoses (Gregory T. Gieringer, 2008). According to test done on animals it would take a dose 40,000 to 80,000 times more than the normal dose. This means a person would have to consume 40 to 80 pounds of marijuana in one sitting for it to become lethal. In 1988 The Drug Enforcement Administration’s, (also known as the DEA) own administrative judge Francis Young wrote in a report to legalize medical marijuana that marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active drugs known to mankind.
The safety of marijuana may be explained by how it reacts in the body. Scientist have discovered that the active ingredients in marijuana work on a signaling system in the body known as the endogenous cannabinoid system. This system has receptor cells that are concentrated in the brain and body, but are relatively lacking in the brainstem. The brainstem controls the vital functions of the body such as our heartbeat, and breathing. Since the brainstem is not affected by the active ingredients of marijuana, even strong doses are not life threatening (Gregory T. Gieringer, 2008).
Like all drugs this does not mean marijuana cannot cause harm if abused or taken in...