In today’s society there are a list of many banned drugs which in coincidence are the five most used drugs by most individuals. These drugs are methamphetmine, cocaine heroine, ecstasy and marijuana, out of all five of these drugs one that I believe to be the most scrutinized is marijuana, known also as cannabis. I believe this drug is the most harmless illegal substance in the world, especially when compared to its counterparts. Marijuana not only has the least negative side effects to your body but it is also the only drug that is used in a social, musical, medical and cultural manner.
The most popular of all recreational drugs, Cannabis, or Marijuana, Grass, Hemp, Weed, Pot, Hash, Dope or a variety of regional names has been cultivated for thousands of years. Derived in various forms from the Cannabis plants, Cannabis Indica or Cannabis Sativa, is native to central Asia but its cultivation and use is global. It is a Psychoactive and a Psychedelic. It can be smoked as leaves or flower buds, it can be ground down to isolate the crystallized sap and then pressed into a solid, or the resin extracted by collection via contact with the sticky plant parts.(http://listverse.com)
This excerpt from listverse.com explains why marijuana use is so commonly used not only in America but across the globe. What makes this drug adorn by many of it users are also the proclaimed “negative” side effects, constant smoking or overdosing on marijuana results in “being forgetful, over sleeping, not getting things done, concentration difficulties, neglecting work or duties, loss of balance or dizziness, problems with performing tasks, and nausea (Hammersley, R. and V. Leon, 2006).”
These side effects may not be looked too as negative by on the user, especially when compared to its counterparts. An overdose of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroine will almost always lead to “seizures, coma, and loss of a life” (http://mental-health.emedtv.com)
Marijuana is acclaimed by many of its users as the “ultimate stress reliever” and what better place relieve stress than at college, a place where for four to five days out of the week students are overwhelmed with the stresses that come from the many classes they take. This explains why college is a perfect example of marijuana being used in a social setting where one can obtain the drug in a calm environment with little authority from parents or the police.
Through my college experience I have met students who enter college deciding they will never smoke a day in their life, I have also met students who admit they were peer pressured into at least trying the substance and I have met students who have said they tried marijuana out of straight curiosity.
In an interview held with a female Old Westbury student, who’s name is preferred not to be mentioned, I asked the student “how long have you been smoking marijuana?” student replied “I would consider myself a newcomer to smoking pot, I started this semester.” I then asked “why did you choose marijuana out of all illegal drugs to use?” she replied “ I honestly choose marijuana because all of my friends were doing it, I saw after smoking many of them would go from uptight to calm and funny, not having a care in the world, I wanted to feel for myself what the “hype” was and depending on how I reacted to pot would determine if I would continue smoking or not”.
My last question before ending the interview was the big one, “Do you still continue to smoke marijuana”, with a smirk on her face she said “yes I do, not often like my friends but on Thursday after a long week of homework and classes I smoke one to ease my mind and forget about my tough week, plus it puts me to bed (laughing)”.
Marijuana use has and still continues to be a cultivating driving force in the music industry, specifically hip hop. During the 80’s and 90’s many of the great hip hop legends; Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Notorious Biggie Smalls all have been known for there outstanding musical abilities but also for their public habit of smoking or as the street term calls it “getting high.” Many individuals look at these artist and automatically assume ignorance when in fact when under the influence of marijuana these artist
have said some of the most prolific lines in hip hop.
Tupac Shakur is quoted saying I believe that everything that you do bad comes back to you. So everything that I do that’s bad, I’m going to suffer from it. But in my mind, I believe what I’m doing is right. So I feel like I’m going to heaven. This quote spoke meant allot to me and I’m sure to many young adults that are just like me who live a life of violence and chaos. Often as teenagers we feel that since we are not living the supposedly “Godly” way that includes attending church regularly, helping other and praying at night that we ourselves don’t hold a place in heaven, that we are the scums of the earth.
Lines such as these mentally help us make it through our days and allow us to understand that they are other people out there who are going or have went through our daily struggles. Hearing words like that from your icon, you can only imagine the relief that boy’s and girl’s feel knowing someone who made it out a bad situation was going through exactly what you were, simple words can really make an outstanding difference to an individual.
Marijuana in the music industry is not only used through the rappers who say the lyrics but it is used also by the producer’s who come up with the beat and flow, the core of the song that sometimes allows you to feel the music in a way that no rapper may be able to get across.
Famous producers such Pharell and rap mogul Dr. Dre are both Grammy winners who make their music while under the influence, the drug puts them in a calming place were their mind can roam and listen to each instruments and bring them together in harmony, yes this task can be done sober but these two producers have made some of the beast beats in the world, it only goes to show once again marijuana is not as self destruction drug as it rivals cocaine or heroine .
Medical Cannabis refers to the use of the drug cannabis as a physician-recommended herbal therapy, most notably as an antiemetic. Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for approximately 4,000 years. Writings from ancient India confirm that its psychoactive properties were recognized, and doctors used it for a variety of illnesses and ailments. These included a whole host of gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, headaches and as a pain reliever frequently used in childbirth.In the 1970s, a synthetic version of THC, the primary active ingredient in cannabis, was synthesized to make the drug Marinol. (Why Is Smoking Cigarettes Bad For You? | LIVESTRONG.COM)
Marijuana is yet again used as a beneficial part of our society but instead of the individual users who use it for leisure or to have fun, marijuana is used for the sick and impaired. Known by its correct term as medical marijuana, the drug is used to relieve muscle spams, chronic pain,glaucoma, weight loss(in smoking marijuana one of the few side effect is called “the munches” during this time the user will crave to want food. People who don’t often eat will more than likely have a good portion plate of food or a snack) Aids and Cancer. Having a grandmother who was prescribed marijuana for her excessive swollen feet conditon I personally saw the positive effects the drug had her.
Marijuana allowed my grandmother to relax and focus less attention on her feet, being under the influence put my grandmother in a happy place where her pain no longer bothered her as much as it would if she was sober.
What she always enjoyed about marijuana was that she could smoke it, coming from the Caribbean’s smoking marijuana was a normal thing, something she had grown accustomed too. She much rather smoke instead of swallowing pills, being old fashioned she thought the side effects of pills would be detrimental to her health. Smoking marijuana has had an impact on the lives of those who suffer from depression and low self esteem. Joan Bello, author of The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological & Spiritual, is quoted saying;
Marijuana will not tolerate repression. Tranquilizers and depressants relax the body and release tension, but the state of mind associated with these drugs is “unconsciousness” whereby we escape rather than resolve our dilemmas. Alcoholism is an extreme need of both the body and personality sometimes to release the nervousness that has accumulated and continues to build up to an unbearable degree.
It serves the same function for the collective personality for the society, as well A culture in which alcohol and tranquilizers are the prevalent form of release prefers not to witness internal confusion and actually choose to act without conscious participation, maintaining a semi-numb condition.
Mr. Bello not only speaks about the positive of marijuana use but he also speaks on how smoking puts you at a better state than one of its many counterparts alcohol, who when under the influence liquor individuals tend to act angry or in rage, marijuana users are always put in a calm statement, which is reason to why after smoking one side effect the user may feel is tiredness.
Marijuana usage has not been secluded too only America, it has made a huge cultural impact on the tropical island community, specifically Jamaica. Jamaicans have a subset group of people on the island that participate in a religion known as Rastafri, as Catholics partake in the Eucharist and Muslims participate in Ramadan, the Rastafarian lifestyle usually includes ritual use of marijuana, avoidance of alcohol, the wearing of one’s hair in dreadlocks, and vegetarianism. Rastafrains look at marijuana as the hold plant and have scriptures in the bible to prove that they aren’t making it up, Psalm 104:14: “He causeth the grass for the cattle and herb for the service of man.”
The marijuana or as they call it gangja is also used for social and medical purposes. Marijuana is used primarily during the two main Rastafari rituals: reasonings and nyabingi. The reasoning is an informal gathering at which a small group of Rastas smoke ganja and engage in discussion. The ritual begins when one person lights the pipe, or “chalice,” and recites a short prayer while all other participants bow their heads. The pipe is then passed around the circle until all of the people have smoked.
The reasoning ends when the participants depart one by one. Rasta’s do not condone any other drug beside marijuana because it is the only God given plant, it is not tainted with any human contact unlike alcohol methamphetamine cocaine or heroine. These rastas normally live long healthy lives, which only proves that the drug does not do serious damage to your body.
So far they are eighteen legalized marijuana states in the United states. Regardless what the majority may say I believe marijuana has made a positive impact on the world. \. The amount of deaths that occur from smoking cigarets or drinking alcohol is in the millions and yet it is still being
used, marijuana has had zero deaths in its history. The next time you see someone high or in the act of smoking think about the pros and cons and then make your decision.