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Marijuana Marijuana • Cannabis or marijuana is a plant that grows


• Cannabis, or marijuana, is a
  plant that grows in most all
  climates in on earth.
• It is a plant that has been
  around since ancient times
  and was even on the United
  States Pharmacopoeia as
  recently as 1937
• Many different cultures of the
  world have used marijuana
  for medicinal purposes, as
  well as recreational use
• In the United States today,
  this plant is illegal to possess,
  use, distribute, and in most
  states, prescribe
                                   What does marijuana do?
                                  • The active agent in marijuana is
                                    delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
                                  • When consumed, THC causes the
                                    user to feel a “high”, or temporary
                                    euphoric feeling

WHEN SMOKED                                    WHEN EATEN
Effects last about 2 to 4 hours           Effects last about 5 to 12 hours
In high or regular amounts, marijuana produces no hallucinations, and
sanity remains perfectly intact
             Acute Physical Side Effects

• Slight conjunctival
  hyperemia (red eyes)
• In some cases, impairs
  attention and short
  term memory
• Small effects on
  driving performance
     LEGISATION                      • October 1, 1937:
                                        Marihuana Tax Act
                                       -Medicinal: $1 per ounce
                                       -Recreational: $100 per
                                     * Marijuana removed from
                                        United States
                                        Pharmacopoeia and
                                        National Formulary in
*Justice Clarence Thomas, in court decision denying legal medicinal use
of marijuana (May 14, 2001)
“Congress has made a determination that marijuana has no
medicinal value worthy of an exception.”
Medicinal Uses
          Cancer Chemotherapy
• Chemotherapy kills healthy blood cells as it
   attacks cancerous cells
• Side effects of chemotherapy are unpleasant and
   often serious
• Effects include deafness, kidney failure, loss of
   heart muscle, and heavy vomiting
In a study by V. Vinciguerra, T. Moore, and E.
   Brenan, 78% of chemotherapy patients became
   symptom-free when administered doses of THC
• 2nd leading cause of blindness in the US
• Affects about 1,000,000 Americans
• 80,000 blinded per year
• ULCA study reveals that smoking
  marijuana relieves intraocular pressure
  (cause of glaucoma)
• A separate study by R. S. Helper and I. M.
  Frank confirmed these results

• Most common drug prescribed to suppress the
  HIV virus is azidothmidine (AZT)
• Patients on AZT often become underweight and
  malnourished due to loss of appetite, frequent
  vomiting, and high amounts of excrement
• Marijuana has been proven effective in increasing
  the appetite of AIDS patients
• Also reduces average number of stools per day
*Marijuana may be used as an anticonvulsant
*Drugs typically prescribed for epilepsy may cause bone softening,
nausea, decreased libido, impotence, depression, and possibly even
       Marijuana has far fewer and less threatening side effects
                     Multiple Sclerosis
Marijuana helps patients with MS to gain control of their body and
supress tremors
              Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
                Marijuana relieves muscle pain, and
             increases feeling in dysfunctional limbs
                        Chronic Pain
 • Patients with chronic pain are often prescribed
   opioid narcotics and synthetic analgesics
 • These drugs may cause patients to develop a
   tolerance and addiction
 • Marijuana is equally effective in relieving chronic
   pain, but without these threatening side effects
             Rheumatic Diseases
 *Marijuana is proven to be relieve inflammation and
 pain for patients with various kinds of rheumatic
    Other Speculative Uses

• Asthma           •Systemic sclerosis
• Insomnia         •Crohn’s Disease
• Nausea due to
                   •Diabetic gartro-paresis
  kidney failure
• Dystonias        •Pseudo-tumor cerebri
• Adult ADD        •Alcoholism
• Schizophrenia
• New users reached a peak in 1976-77
• Approximately 3.2 million over the
  two years
• Today, 66 million Americans said to
  have smoked pot
• USA Today poll: support for
  legalization highest its been in 30
• 36% of voters support legalization;
  70% of voters for medicinal marijuana
• 50% of English and Canadian
  populations support recreational
“It’s dangerous in its own right, it’s addictive,
 and it leads to the use of even more
 destructive illicit drugs”

 -Secretary of Health and Human Services
 Tommy Thompson
• Very misleading statement

• Marijuana may be habit-forming, but physical
  addiction is highly unlikely
• “Two recognized symptoms of addiction are
  tolerance and withdrawal symptoms; these are
  rarely serious problems for marijuana users.”
                 -Grinspoon and Bakalar

• Marijuana users might use destructive drugs, but
  this is a sociological factor that results in the drug
  being illegal in the first place…
• Marijuana is
  classified as a
  Schedule I
  narcotic by the
  US Government
• This is the same
  given to cocaine
  and heroine

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