Cannabis Sativa

Hemp is the plant called cannabis sativa which is more commonly called marijuana.Marijuana has been illegal in the U.S.. ever since the Great Depression. The question we must ask ourselves is why?Why is a drug that has so many beneficial uses illegal? Is it because its poisoning the youth of today? Is it because itleads to harder drugs, the health problems, the addictiveness, the short-term memory impairment, the auto accidents,or is it simply because politicians tell us it is for our own good? We have grown up learning that marijuana is aterrible drug, and that using it gives us brain damage, kill all of our brain cells, and makes us lose our memory.The fact is though, that marijuana does not effect us in any of the ways listed above. The idea that marijuanaimpairs short-term memory is true, but misleading. Any signs of short-term memory impairment vanish once the user isno longer intoxicated. Mainly the reason we think marijuana is bad is because that is what the Partnership for aDrug-Free America wants us to believe. They tell us that marijuana will cause brain damage and memory impairment,it will kill brain cells, and lead to more crime. But what they forget to mention is all the benefits we can receive fromlegalizing marijuana. For example, the medicinal uses, and the textile and construction uses. It is very likely thatlegalizing marijuana would decrease the crime rate, and by legalizing marijuana we will save a lot of money becausewe won't have to spend it on fighting marijuana as part of the War on Drugs. There are many habits much worsethan marijuana, one example being cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoking kills more people each year than AIDS,heroin, crack, cocaine, alcohol, car accidents, fire and murder combined. Tobacco smoking is the number onecause of preventable death in the US. Tobacco smokers have 10 times the lung cancer of nonsmokers, twice theheart disease, and are three times more likely to die of heart disease if they develop it. Does it make sense thattobacco is legal and marijuana is not, when so many people die from tobacco smoking each year and there is not onereported case of anyone ever dying from marijuana use in its 10,000 years of consumption? You have probably heardthat one joint is that same as 10 cigarettes, but this statement is misleading. ALthough marijuana contains the sameamount of carcinogens as an equal amount of tobacco and more tar, tobacco is still worse. Every yr 350,000Americans die from tobacco-related disease according to the American Lung Association. A tobacco smokerconsumes much more tobacco than a marijuana smoker consumes marijuana. This is probably because tobaccohas a 90% addiction rate while marijuana is less addictive than caffeine. Also, tobacco contains nicotine that mayharden the arteries and may be responsible for much of the heart diseases caused by cigarette smoking. Marijuana onthe other hand contains the chemical THC which opens up the lungs and aids in the clearance of smoke and dirt. Ithink it is safe to say that tobacco smoking is much more dangerous than marijuana smoking. Another bad habit isalcohol, which in my opinion is the worst of all. 8,000 American teenagers are killed each year and 40,000maimed from driving under the influence. The mortality figures for alcohol use are 100,000 annually, compared to thezero marijuana deaths. The amount of marijuana needed to kill someone is 1 to 40,000, while the ratio for alcoholfluctuates between 1 to 4 and 1 to 10. Not only do many people die each year from alcohol poisoning, but alcoholhas caused thousands of fatal car accidents. Although, marijuana, when used to the point of intoxication, impairsjudgement and reaction time, actual studies suggest that the effect alcohol has on one's driving ability is muchgreater than that of marijuana. In fact, it is found that 85% of marijuana related car accidents also involved alcohol. It issad to think that a legal drug like alcohol, the drug of choice for most teens, causes so many fatalities on ourhighways each year, yet marijuana is the drug that is illegal. I personally feel that marijuana is an amazing plant, andit should be being utilized today. The problem is that most people don't know the benefits that can come frommarijuana. There are many different beneficial ways for which marijuana can be used.