Legalizing Marijuana, Hemp | Teen Ink

Legalizing Marijuana, Hemp

November 25, 2009
By Morningstar PLATINUM, Geneva, Indiana
Morningstar PLATINUM, Geneva, Indiana
24 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Just because it seems in my state that people form their opinions based on what they're told and not their logic, and because I'm not artistically inspired right now, I thought what I'd do is make a little report on marijuana. This isn't because I'm a stoner at all, but because it annoys me that people get their facts misrepresented because they only agree with what they're told and decide to be passive on many subjects such as this. It's definitely a flaw of a society that's been spoon fed by their government and their parents. Because if you indefinitely think something is right because your guidance counselor, church leader, parents, or government tells you so, you won't think about it at all otherwise, what would be the point, right? Almost conversely, when you're a kid and you disagree with an older person has to say, you're told you're wrong, and that their statement is just the way it is. No real logic in place there eh? But I guess it's fun to play with puppets.

Consensus doesn't equal a fact.

First of all, we've all been told marijuana kills brain cells. This has proven to be untrue, or not apparent in any research. The only study that showed that marijuana killed braincells was done on monkeys, that were suffocated with plastic masks, and they inhaled around 70 marijuana joints worth of smoke in 5 minutes. Marijuana doesn't kill brain cells but suffocation sure does.

Marijuana's effects are caused by the alteration of the brain's chemistry for the duration of your high. Done so by the chemical THC, made of C21-H30-O2. Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. None of these elements are completely foreign to the body, even in ancient times. --This is contrary to some belief that marijuana's high is produced by the killing of brain cells. And if brain cells aren't killed, then this belief is wrong.

No one has ever died from marijuana alone. Marijuana has one of the highest benefit-risk ratio of any drug or herb. Making it chemically the safest. The only cases of an effect of marijuana killing someone is in the UK where two people swallowed their own vomit. Which has nothing to do with the actual chemical properties. Or if the bud is laced with harmful substances, which again, obviously isn't THC or marijuana itself.

Marijuana does have harmful carcinogens though, however a marijuana user would never smoke as many marijuana joints as they would cigarettes, making it so that even if they were to smoke it, that it still wouldn't be as harmful as tobacco. Tobacco, which is legal for users 18+, tobacco that is sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. in a controlled farm, and tobacco that is one of the leading causes of death in the US, and tobacco that has one of the highest addictive properties of any other drug, especially with all of the additives. But it's legal? It's laughable almost.

Plus, there are many other ways to get the THC, which is the chemical that produces the high, into your system for therapeutic benefits, other than smoking. Vaporizers, a blast of heat that extracts the THC into a vapor that you breathe in, or simply baking it into pastries are some of the ways.

Last, but no the only remaining topic that could be touched on, is the problems having marijuana illegal causes. It causes the prosperity of the drug cartels, that shoot and kill over their goods. It causes billions of dollars worth of tax paying money going to a "war on drugs" that is an endless and illogical war to begin with. So basically, the tax payers pay the drug overlords, that shoot the tax payers that get caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time. A bit of a love-hate relationship?

Prohibition will never work, for the simple fact the organized crime will always be a product of it. Mexico being the most recent example, where the new president came in and passed all of these new drug laws, and now look at the turmoil. The turmoil that also threatens the U.S. The turmoil that is completely wrecking a nation. All because of prohibition. And of course the most historic example being Al Capone, who prospered in the era of Alcohol prohibition, which gave birth to organized crime.

And on the note of marijuana being a gateway drug, sure, it could be, but only because it's illegal. Think of it this way, pharmaceutical counters are much nicer than shady street corners populated with drug dealers. And so since marijuana is illegal, it has to come from a dealer or be grown. With the majority coming from a dealer, and the dealer honestly wouldn't care at all for what he sells and to he sells it to so long as he makes money, because for the most part, drug dealers aren't moral people. Thus, they would persuade clients and sell them harder drugs like crack, meth, smack, etc. This is why the gateway drug theory is generally no longer accepted. Plus it's like saying me eating bread led me to eating more harder foods such as lasagna, it doesn't make sense. Or like saying the blind man walks with a stick because the stick made him blind. Marijuana doesn't lead people to harder drugs, curiosity does.

Where the hemp comes in, is that even though it's a different plant from what marijuana comes from, it's still illegal to grow because they look similar. And hemp has historically been one of the greatest cash crops the world has seen and would be the most useful if corn didn't have all of it's genetic modifications. George Washington grew hemp. Hemp, with one acre of land, can produce as much paper as 3 acres of trees. It produces 30% more ethanol than corn, and takes a lot of CO2 out of the air.

And here we are now, still clinging to prohibition and not solutions. Admittedly, crack, meth, smack, etc. are problems, but those are drugs that do have MANY more harms than benefits.

So honestly, do you think that marijuana prohibition is worth it?

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This article has 17 comments.

on Feb. 10 2014 at 10:42 pm
JoshieBoy33 BRONZE, Defiance, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
I couldn't agree more that marijuana is completely misunderstood by the American public.  We are fed lies by adults that don't know the facts, but we are made to believe them.  The proven medicinal qualities of marijuana are incredible unlike tobacco, but Tobacco is legal and Marijuana isn't.  I don't condone smoking either product regularly, but I believe marijuana could be smoked occasionally for pleasure, not addiction.  I find the War on Drugs to be a lost cause.  It will never be won and drugs will always be used legal or illegal.  Your view on why Marijuana is a gateway drug is very intriguing, I have never thought of it that way.  To answer you question, No I do not believe marijuana prohibition is worth it at all.

cgibson BRONZE said...
on Feb. 21 2013 at 2:01 pm
cgibson BRONZE, Oswego, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 6 comments
Nice job dude! I completly agree!

on Jan. 15 2011 at 8:09 am
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 324 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

In no way would I ever laugh the legalization of marijuana off... Exactly what you said. I admire your writing style, but just wanted to share my opinion. :) I wasn't expecting such a forceful reply, so I got a bit defensive, I suppose. It's just that some people become very mean and/or nasty on the internet because they believe no one will know who they are. I assumed you were one of those people... And I'm sure you know how the old saying goes... Assume makes an a** out of you and me. I'm sure you could write something better, but what would the point be, as you have already gotten your point across! Very well, I might add. Tone of writing is not something that you can just teach to someone, I think it is an acquired skill. Sure, you can learn what it is, and how to come across negative/positive, but, as in all writing (or so I believe), it just has to come from the heart. This was an amazing piece, and I am apologetic for anything I might've said to contradict that. :)

on Jan. 12 2011 at 4:08 pm
Morningstar PLATINUM, Geneva, Indiana
24 articles 0 photos 11 comments

To be honest I could probably write something a little better now, which might be needed to clarify, add, or subtract some things.

I'm sorry if it did sound like it was laid on too heavily, though sometimes that and the addition of a good argument is necessary when dealing with dogmatic forces. (I could probably also work on my tone of writing, that's a concept that I've never been formally taught at all.) Additionally, "dogmatic forces" doesn't refer to you in any way, just a general perception on the way people close their minds or laugh the issue of Marijuana Legalization off.

on Jan. 12 2011 at 2:19 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 324 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

Wow, you really have a strong opinion. I actually really liked the article and thought it was well planned and the facts were great. But now you are just preventing any debate that was even somewhat happening. The point of "Point of View" and "Hot Topics" is to debate about it... And all you're doing is contradciting other people's opinions and beliefs. I know that is basically a debate, but I do think that you're laying it on a little heavy with the sarcasm/rudeness. That is why I think it's crossing over from a debate to a conflict. Which I don't want to happen.

on Jan. 12 2011 at 1:48 pm
Morningstar PLATINUM, Geneva, Indiana
24 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Though I also respect your opinion, you seem to have a misunderstanding of the effects of marijuana on your health.

Yes, any smoked product can do damage to your lungs, but the amount of damge done is varied by the amounts of tar and radioactive particles. Radioactive particles being the worst possible threat. Since most marijuana is non-commericially grown it normally doesn't have radioactive pesticides that can contain trace amounts of plutonium in it. This is the case however with tobacco. Marijuana attacks cell membranes, while cigarettes attack chromosomes. This attack of chromosomes is what causes cancer which ultimately is one of the leading causes of death.

There is no conclusive evidence that suggsest marijuana is deadly or may cause a deadly disease.

Furthermore, THC has also been shown to cause tumors to form a protein that essentially causes the tumor to destroy itself.

Even more amazing in my opinion is the fact that marijuana acts as a bronchial stimulant, just as your inhaler for asthma might. So again, although a ton of research has been done to show marijuana is a terrible drug, no conclusive evidence has been shown to support this.

I also think it should be fairly noted that I don't even smoke, I may of at one point, but I may also have decided to quit because of the fact that I just go to sleep.


on Jan. 12 2011 at 11:48 am
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 324 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

Let me just say this. Marijuana is illegal now. Be in the moment. So if you want to get arrested for being in possession of marijuana and/or being an underage smoker, then feel free to do that. But if you don't, then stay away from those things that may well end up ending your life someday.

on Jan. 12 2011 at 11:46 am
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 324 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

Morningstar, I respect your opinion as well. Maybe it would cause less problems if it was legal. But think about the problems it could cause your health. And trying to get that to pass in the House of Representatives, Senate, and pass the president... I just don't think that would happen. And lastly, smoking kills. It doesn't matter if it is marijuana or just plain old nicotine/menthol... It kills. I would know, my friend has lost two of her grandparents, and I have lost three uncles. And they weren't even smoking marijuana. I know I am kind of contradicting myself by saying that I can see your point, but I think you know what's best. And that happens to be what's best for our health... Marijuana staying illegal.

on Nov. 29 2010 at 3:04 pm
DDriskill BRONZE, Spanish Fork, Utah
2 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's true character, give him power.

-Abraham Lincoln

Smoke kills brain cells. Better use a vaporizer until they prove that THC has bad effects on the body.

on May. 14 2010 at 7:30 am
holly♫ BRONZE, Eldorado, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!"
Bob Marlery


on Apr. 22 2010 at 6:34 pm
Morningstar PLATINUM, Geneva, Indiana
24 articles 0 photos 11 comments
I respect your opinion though I have to ask, does marijuana to more harm as a socity as whole being illegal than it would legal? Would locking away potential doctors, lawyers, scientists be worth the enforcement of a bogus law? Marijuana is enjoyed by millions of people just as alcohol is, however marijuana being completely illegal with the exception of medical marijuana in few states. Carl Sagan designed and put a Mars Rover on the moon; he was a recreational user of marijuana.

on Apr. 22 2010 at 6:31 pm
Morningstar PLATINUM, Geneva, Indiana
24 articles 0 photos 11 comments
It doesn't make you lazy at all, it might amplify that trait in someone who is already lazy, but it cannot make a highly motivated person turn into a slouch.

on Apr. 22 2010 at 3:55 pm
faypirate23 DIAMOND, Fayetteville, West Virginia
61 articles 0 photos 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
Take the road less traveled by.

it makes u quite lazy..if ur a lazy hs kid my whole family does it and it shud be legal its fine it doesant hurt anyone as long as ur not doing school work and have no job its a good relaxer and alot better than cutting urself or getting on anti depressants pot is great whoohoo

on Apr. 22 2010 at 1:03 am
mcpanicfanic SILVER, Cincinnati, Ohio
8 articles 0 photos 65 comments
I do not think marijuana should be legalized. I usually don't have strong beliefs in many things and wouldnt rally against something, but this I would. 

on Feb. 12 2010 at 8:12 pm
MrNiceguie138 SILVER, Wagoner, Oklahoma
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
I'll do my dreaming with my eyes wide open, and I'll do my looking back with my eyes closed.

AYE. The whole reason evryones kinda iffy on legalizing marijuana is cuz its been illegal for so long. when alcohol prohibition was reappealed alcohol had only been illegal for 13 years. everyone remembered what it was like to come home, kick your shoes off and unwind over a glass of scotch. thing is alcohol is WAY worse for you than marijuana. Marijuana only effects your brain while your high. it has no serious long term effects at all. nd you dont get hangovers. In fact marijuanna is a great hangover remedy

on Jan. 21 2010 at 4:59 pm
ChildOfThePast SILVER, Raleigh, North Carolina
9 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody."

Yes. I mean people do it anyways, why not prohibit it? It has also been proven to help fight many diseases and actually make you happy. There are alot of reasons why it should be/ should not be legalized. It would stop many drug wars as well. Thats my opinion.

BHUNT22 BRONZE said...
on Dec. 15 2009 at 9:08 pm
BHUNT22 BRONZE, Glendale, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life goes on"

i like the article.