10 Things Everyone
Should Know About Marijuana
What is marijuana?
refers to dried flowers and leaves of
some strains of the cannabis hemp plant,
which contains various quantities of the
non-narcotic chemical THC (tetrahydrocannibinol)
in various quantities. When smoked or
eaten, it produces the feeling of being
"high," which lasts a few
hours. Different strains of this herb
produce their own sensual effects,
ranging from sedative to stimulant.
Who uses marijuana?
is no simple profile of a typical
marijuana user. It's been used for
thousands of years for medical, social,
and religious reasons as well as for
relaxation. Several American
Presidents farmed hemp and cannabis,
and some are believed to have smoked it.
One out of every five Americans in all
walks of life say they have tried it,
and it is still very popular.
How long have people been using
Biblical times. This practice was widely
accepted in Canada and the US, as well,
until the orchestrated campaign
of the 1930s led to disinformation,
public hysteria, and the first laws
against using it.
Is marijuana addictive?
it is not. Most users are moderate
consumers who only smoke it socially or
occasionally to relax. We now know that
10% of our population have "addictive
personalities," and they are no
more nor less likely to abuse cannabis
than anything else. On a relative scale,
marijuana is less habit-forming
than either sugar or chocolate.
Sociologists report a general pattern of
marijuana usage that peaks in the early
adult years, followed by a period of
leveling off, and finally a gradual
reduction in use.
Has anyone ever died from smoking
not even once. American Judge
Francis Young studied all the evidence
in 1988, and ruled that "marijuana
is far safer than many foods we commonly
consume." The federal agency NIDA
says that autopsies show 75 people per
year are high on marijuana when they
die, but this does not mean marijuana is
a factor in any of their deaths. Deaths
per year from: tobacco=340,000-395,000
Alcohol (not including
accidents)=125,000+ Drug overdose
Does it lead to hard drugs?
Although people who abuse drugs often
smoke marijuana also, the National
Academy of Science reports that
"legal drugs for adults, such as
alcohol and tobacco, ... precede the use
of all illicit drugs." "Tobacco
is known as the gateway drug."
Does It Cause Violence?
just the opposite. The only crime most
marijuana users commit is using
marijuana. The U. S. Shafer Commission
report was the most comprehensive study
ever undertaken on the subject. It found
that marijuana smokers "tend to be
under represented" in violence and
in crime, especially when compared to
users of alcohol, amphetamines and
barbiturates. "The simple fact is
that marijuana does not change your
basic personality." The American
federal government reports that over 70
million Americans have smoked it ...
probably including some of the nicest
people you know.
How Does Marijuana Affect Your
Harvard university medical team in 1987
found that "dangerous physical
reactions to marijuana are almost
unknown." All smoke is unhealthy,
but marijuana is safer than tobacco, and
people tend to smoke less of it. That
risk can be eliminated by eating the
plant instead of smoking it, or it can
be reduced by using water pipes to smoke
smaller amounts of more potent
marijuana. Moreover, cannabis is a
proven medicinal herb with hundreds of
modern therapeutic uses in treating
ailments from stress to arthritis to
glaucoma to asthma to cancer therapy, to
AIDS, and more.
What About All Those Scary Stories
sensational claims of health risks cite
no studies or sources at all. Others
rely on a handful of inconclusive or
flawed reports. After 20 years of study,
the California Attorney General's panel,
concluded in 1989 that "an
objective consideration shows that
marijuana is responsible for less damage
to the individual and society than
alcohol and cigarettes."
Should We Do?
and Canadian taxpayers have funded many
studies on this very point, and every
independent government panel on
marijuana has opposed the jailing of
marijuana smokers. The Canadian Police
Chiefs Association are even fighting for
Decriminalization. Most have urged
lawmakers to re-legalize and tax use of
this herb by responsible adults, with
age limits and regulations like those on
alcohol and tobacco. Tell your elected
leaders to free up our police and
resources to combat violent crime and to
honor our national pledge and commitment
to "liberty and justice for
all" by ending marijuana