Drug use is becoming more common today than in recent years. Almost anywhere we look, we can find some relation to drugs or drug paraphernalia. In fact, 63% of you stated in my survey that you had smoked marijuana in the past.
That number is scary, since 81% of you are under 25 years of age and have your whole lives ahead of you. Some of you may be thinking “So What” Bill Clinton has admitted smoking marijuana, and he is President. Well, that surely is not a good attitude to have considering the damage that marijuana may cause to your body. Sure, many of you may not change your lifestyle after today, but I hope to make you think of what you may be getting yourself in to. This afternoon I will give you both sides of the issue. I will try to persuade you to stay away from marijuana in turning you against this dangerous drug. Many supporters of marijuana claim that hemp can be a very resourceful plant.
Hemp is considered to contain less than one percent tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) (Pluff 1). THC is the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. Hemp can be confused with marijuana and considered the same, but do not let this fool you. Marijuana comes from the flowers or “buds” of the hemp plant.
These buds are what contains the THC and gives the user the high effect (Pluff 1). Other nations such as Europe have registered varieties of hemp seeds that contain less than .03 percent of THC including the buds (Pluff 1). Now that you know what hemp is, lets look at its uses. Hemp fiber can be turned in to rope, canvas, and paper, and this is only a few of the uses. The rope that is made with hemp is said to be resistant to both fresh water and salt water. It is also considered better than most conventional rope by its strength and holding power. Another product that can be made from hemp is canvas.
This canvas is very useful in making tents, sails, and even the covers on early settlers’ wagons. Like the rope, the canvas also stands up well against water, and ninety percent of ships sails were made of hemp canvas before the nineteenth century. The last product I am going to talk about is hemp paper. This paper is much softer than conventional paper, and it is stated that, “one acre of hemp can replace four acres of forest” (Pluff 2).
This paper also does not yellow or crumble with age, a common complaint with conventional paper (Pluff 1). You may be wondering why such a useful plant is illegal, well let me tell you the other side of the story. Marijuana is said to be useful in the medical field as a cure for some disease. It is also an argument that smoking marijuana does not cause any side affects. I will prove this to be untrue, and a myth of society.The first claim by the supporters of marijuana is for medical reasons. Through much research doctors have found that marijuana may be a treatment for such illnesses as glaucoma, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
In fact, Proposition 215 just passed in California and Arizona giving citizens the right to smoke marijuana for medical reasons (Medical 1). One thing that is overlooked with this is that marijuana is not a cure, but a relief from the pain suffered by these citizens. If it is a relief from pain the sufferer is looking for, there are many other options to consider before choosing something as dangerous as marijuana. It only takes a little common sense to figure that something that is considered illegal by the Federal Government could not be used as a cure for any illness. Wisconsin lists marijuana under Schedule I of the Uniformed Controlled Substance Act. This means that any drugs under Schedule I, including marijuana, are not useful in curing any known illness. Schedule I is also where all the most serious drugs are listed.
This puts marijuana in the same class with heroin and cocaine. Another problem with marijuana is the affects on the male and female body. One way frequent marijuana use affects males is by Gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breast tissue (Jones 51).
This disease is not well known to the general public. This may be because males who get the disease usually keep the symptoms to themselves and not risk embarrassment. The next problem with males and marijuana is the reduction of their sperm count. “Sperm counts in males were measured, and after a month of heavy smoking the sperm count was reduced by as much as 70 percent” (Jones 62). Along with the reduction of the sperm count, the male has a reduction of testosterone.
Testosterone is the principal male hormone and responsible for the growth of the male reproductive system. This drop in the sperm count and reduction of testosterone may not seem too important now but like I mentioned before, “81 percent of you are under age 25” and this may affect your lives dramatically in the future. Marijuana affects females by disrupting nerve pathways in the brain which may lead to infertility. A study done on monkeys at the University of California at Davis, showed that when the female monkeys were given increased amounts of THC they were more likely to neglect their offspring (Jones 71). A problem with marijuana use by pregnant females is the possibility that the baby may me born with deformities or even stillborn (Jones 72). Females have also shown an increase in testosterone levels which is the opposite of the male user. An affect that takes no side in users of marijuana is short term memory loss. (Ray 435).
In everyday use, the marijuana user has a hard time recalling information that they may have just learned minutes before. The frequent user may also experience loss in time sense. With this the marijuana user feels that more time has passed than actually has elapsed.
The final thing usually affected is tracking behavior. This may lead to crashing a motor vehicle because the impaired driver could not keep their attention on the road in which they were driving.To sum it all up, marijuana use is increasing among individuals. Almost everywhere we look there is support for this drug. This does not make sense in a society that is hung up on looking good and living a full life. Everyday we are making improvements to our society and making America a better place to live. I feel that with the legalization of marijuana we will begin to take a step backwards.
One can only wonder, if marijuana was legalized what would drug supporters pick next. And remember that when the commercial says “This buds is for you” do not believe them, just say no! Jones, and Lovinger, Paul W. The Marijuana Question. New York: Dodd, Mead ; Company, 1985.Levin, Peter A. Contemporary Problems of Drug Abuse. Massachusetts: Publishing Sciences Medical Marijuana Initiative Proposition 215 home page. “Intro.
to Medical Marijuana & Prop. 215″Nowlis, Helen. Drugs demystified. Paris: The Unesco Press, 1975.Ray, Oakly Stern. Drugs, Society, ; Human Behavior. Missouri: Mosby, 1983.
Bibliography:Works CitedJones, and Lovinger, Paul W. The Marijuana Question. New York: Dodd, Mead ; Company, 1985.Levin, Peter A. Contemporary Problems of Drug Abuse.
Massachusetts: Publishing Sciences Group, Inc,1974Medical Marijuana Initiative Proposition 215 home page. “Intro. to Medical Marijuana & Prop. 215” http://www.
prop215.orgNowlis, Helen. Drugs demystified. Paris: The Unesco Press, 1975.Ray, Oakly Stern. Drugs, Society, ; Human Behavior. Missouri: Mosby, 1983.