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Underrated Benefits of Marijuana Essay

Updated August 9, 2022

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Underrated Benefits of Marijuana Essay essay

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Over 480,000 deaths in the U.S are as a result of smoking tobacco every year; tobacco of course being a completely legal commodity. Warning labels completely cover the majority of cigarette boxes; yet, people still choose to smoke tobacco. They get to choose. Sounds about right, people should be able to choose to do something that may be harmful to them. As long as it does not harm other people. Then why is cannabis still illegal? Cannabis has been proven to be safer than other currently legal drugs, such as alcohol. I strongly believe recreational use of cannabis should be legalized on a federal level.

There are those who believe the ‘stoner’ stereotype. Common beliefs such as, everyone who uses marijuana recreationally must be unmotivated and lazy, are an unfortunate result of propaganda created by greedy businesses; anything needed is done to maximize profit, instead of what is good for the American people. That includes spreading misinformation about marijuana.

Using marijuana for medicinal purposes feels like it is recent discovery; the truth of the matter is that there have been recognized medicinal benefits for around 5,000 years at the minimum. Those in western areas had medicine embrace marijuana’s medical properties around the mid-1800s; by the beginning of the 20th century, a flock of physicians had published more than 100 papers in the Western medical literature– which is brimming with recommendations for its use in the case of a variety of disorders. These disorders include various symptoms: nausea, pain-relief, movement disorders, and glaucoma. Marijuana is also used as a very powerful appetite stimulant which helps patients going through HIV/AIDS as well as cancer patients going through chemotherapy.

As of today, thousands of patients able to use marijuana, can effectively use this method of treatment for their ailments legally; thanks to the thirty-three state governments across the entire country that have acknowledged the truth that cannabis’ has effective healing properties and allowed the legalization of its consumption for medicinal purposes, with the consent of a licensed physician of course. However, these patients still have to be weary of the federal government, which still has it classified as a schedule 1 drug.

The legalization of marijuana would allow the reintegration of hemp back into our society; this would be a good boost for the current economy. Hemp, unlike marijuana grown for recreational, is only used for industrial purposes; in fact, the THC content is so insignificant that it would not give the consumer a ‘high’ when consumed.

For those in the industrial sector, hemp can be used for various textile based products. The fibers created from hemp are incredibly strong; this strength makes it ideal for products such as paper, rope, and fabric. The amount of hemp yield per plant surpasses that of a cotton plant. Not only that, but the growing cycle for hemp is a mere 100 days instead of the 160 required for cotton. The amount of protein you receive from hemp is greater the amount found in soy. Not enough convincing? Hemp can also be used for paper instead of trees; the amount of paper that can be made from hemp exceeds trees by four times on an acre of land. The amount of time required to harvest marijuana is also shorter than with trees (citation).

One of the most fundamental abilities of hemp is to produce an incredibly high amount of cellulose. In recent years cellulose has been able to be converted into a biofuel; this biofuel is called cellulosic ethanol, which can be used to power anything that currently uses gasoline. Hemp is not the only crop that can be turned into cellulosic ethanol, but hemp does happen to be the most optimal plant. Both corn and cotton can be used as well. Hemp has the advantage though, because it grows quicker than cotton and has a higher yield than corn.

With the U.S economy the way it is now, legalizing marijuana would create a significant amount of revenue. Currently, the only way to get hemp in the United States is to import it from other countries such as China and Canada; these countries have no laws against hemp. If the American people were allowed to grow marijuana domestically, it would prevent pumping money into foreign countries, and it would create a ton of jobs for Americans who are not already in the workforce. America can always use more jobs, and it would provide more domestic industry; hemp legalization would accomplish both of these. In recent years the damage to the environment has not gone unnoticed; as well as the shortage of fossil fuels, which we will not be able to rely on forever. With how valuable hemp would be to the alternative fuels movement, it shocks me that it is still illegal.

Because of the recent marijuana legalizations, many people question as to why cannabis was ever criminalized in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, the main reason marijuana was made illegal had nothing at all to do with health issues. The real reason was simple, good old fashioned, greedy American businesses.

Two major business leaders, William Randolph Hearst and DuPont, are major reasons marijuana was made illegal. Around the time methods for processing hemp had improved, they seen it as a threat to their fortunes. They could either spend the money to adapt to processing hemp, or they would lose money to the much more affordable and efficient hemp products. Instead they did whatever it took to make marijuana illegal. Hearst was able to use his already well-known newspaper chain in his favor. Andrew Mellon, Dupont’s chief financial baner, was the one responsible for appointing a man named Harry Anslinger in 1931 as the new head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. It was common for Hearst’s company to fabricate stories about marijuana causing horrible violent acts. After the fake stories were run, a man named Anslinger testified to congress in an effort to make marijuana illegal; he stated that marijuana was causing people to become passive and peaceful, but the communist would use it against American, to dampen their will to fight.

Another factor that played a role in the criminalization of marijuana, was in fact racism. During the 1930’s the Great Depression was pushing down on society, while also a lot of immigrants were coming to the United States. Society was not welcoming to the immigrants; they were accused of stealing work from hard working Americans. A lot of the immigrants smoked a mexican weed that was called marihuana. When William Randolph Hearst started using the name in his newspapers, people started associating Mexicans with marijuana. This caused people to support making marijuana illegal to be able to deport Mexicans for smoking it.

Many of us as kids were constantly told about the dangers of doing drugs: therefor, marijuana must be dangerous right? In fact, most of the apparent dangers of marijuana were spread during 1930’s; this was around the time all the misinformation about weed was being spread. The one study done that “proved” marijuana was dangerous, was done during the 1970s by Dr. Robert Heath of Tulane University. The test Dr. Robert conducted was done on monkeys. They said they gave the monkeys 30 joints of marijuana a day. Then after about 90 days the monkeys started to die. The University reported the monkeys dying from too many brain cells dying. Marijuana was blamed for the death of brain cells.

However, the actual test results from the study were withheld for many years; it was not until 1980 that they were forced to release the specifics on the study because of a lawsuit brought on by NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). After the study was investigated, it revealed major flaws. The monkeys were not forced to ingest 30 joints worth of marijuana, but instead forced to ingest 63 joints worth of marijuana via gas mask each day. Not only is that amount an incredibly high amount of marijuana, but also all the marijuana was ingested within a span of 5 minutes. Lack of oxygen was most likely a better conclusion for brain cell damage than the marijuana. If the body does not get the oxygen it needs, the first thing to be damaged is brain cells. There still has not been a study similar to this since then.

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