The Great Debate Legalizing Medical Marijuana

The decriminalization and legalization of marijuana are intricately woven into the medical marijuana movement. Essentially, it is a debate over the value of marijuana's medicinal properties compared with the risks posed by its use. NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, has been in the forefront of this 30-year controversy since they first petitioned in 1972 to move marijuana to a Schedule II category. NORML and other proponents of medical marijuana maintain that...

Preventing Marijuana Use What Works What Doesnt

Many educators, researchers, policymakers, and social scientists believe that prevention of drug abuse is easier than and preferable to treatment for drug abuse. The earlier a possible drug dependency is identified in a marijuana user, the better the chance of correcting it. For example, researchers tell us that by understanding factors that predict teen marijuana use, young children can be identified as being at risk for use of drugs before they would use drugs. They suggest that informing...

Physical Dependence

Studies show that most marijuana users, even heavy users, can reduce or stop marijuana use with little or no physical withdrawal effects. Some extreme marijuana users do report physical withdrawal symptoms when they quit using the drug, including irritability, headaches, nervousness, and insomnia. However, these symptoms are temporary, diminishing within a few days to a few weeks, depending on the individual, and are usually portrayed as mild. Studies show that marijuana does not produce the...

Setting

Setting is a person's physical, social, and cultural environment. In ancient India, marijuana was eaten for religious purposes, and people used it for its medicinal and psychoactive properties in socially accepted ways. In England and America during the nineteenth century, physicians gave a tincture of marijuana to sick people as a remedy. Most patients did not report getting high on it, probably because they did not expect this outcome. This is another example of set. Through set and setting,...

Marijuana And The Juvenile Justice System

The first juvenile court in the United States was established in Illinois in 1899. The juvenile justice system was founded on the principles of rehabilitation, with a focus on the offender, not the offense. In the 1950s and 1960s, many began to question the ability of the juvenile court to effectively rehabilitate delinquent youth by the 1980s, the pendulum began to swing away from lenient approaches and toward more severe sanctions for juvenile offenders. The 1990s completed this turnabout as...

The Respiratory System

The scientific community seems to agree that damage to the lungs is the main physiological risk from marijuana because smoking is the preferred method of getting high from marijuana. This may be because the effects from marijuana are almost instantaneous when inhaled. In other words, THC bypasses the digestive system and goes directly from the lungs into the bloodstream. Indeed, after an extensive scientific investigation, experts at the Institute of Medicine found that the health effects from...

Reinforcement The Key Motivator

One of the keys to understanding psychological dependence on marijuana is the concept of reinforcement. This is viewed by many experts as the underlying motivator of drug-taking behavior. Some researchers even believe that psychological dependence, based on reinforcement, is the driving force behind drug addiction. Reinforcement occurs when a teen receives a pleasurable sensation from using marijuana and is then motivated to use marijuana again to achieve the same pleasurable experience. The...

Agonists And Antagonists

Remember, the primary job of the neurotransmitter is to fit or lock into its own particular receptor, and then to initiate specific physiological responses within the body. However, many drugs, such as THC, are able to bind or attach themselves to a specific receptor, thus mimicking or blocking the normal function of the neurotransmitter destined for that receptor. Some drugs are agonists that activate or turn on receptors, and some are antagonists that block receptor function. It is not even...

Effects Of Marijuana On The Central Nervous System

Drugs do not contain highs drugs trigger these highs. The potential for feeling high exists naturally within the human nervous system, and we have countless options for getting high without taking drugs. Small children love to spin wildly in circles. Many people go sky diving, fall in love, paint, meditate the list is endless. Marijuana triggers a high via the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS controls the functions of the brain and the spinal cord. There are billions of nerve cells called...

Recovery

Once a frequent marijuana user clears the drug from the body and passes through any withdrawal symptoms, the journey to recovery begins. This is not an easy journey. It requires a complete reorganization and restructuring of thought processes, attitudes, and lifestyle. A marijuana-dependent teen may have organized nearly all daily thoughts and routines around obtaining or using marijuana. Recovery involves a conscious and deliberate effort to create new, more socially productive ways of...

Set

Set is a person's expectation for the type of effect he or she will experience after using marijuana. This expectation is created by a person's total past experience-what he or she has ever heard, read, seen, or thought about encounters with marijuana. Sometimes teenagers (just like adults) do not really know what their deep-down feelings are about using marijuana. One person could feel eager to fit in with friends and could think smoking marijuana is cool, but really be scared of what might...

Tolerance And Dependence

The concept of tolerance is important in understanding the properties and effects of marijuana. Tolerance can be defined as the need for increasing doses of a drug over time to maintain the same effect achieved at previous lower doses. Receptors in the brain develop a tolerance to THC. Since the body becomes tolerant to the effects of marijuana, heavy users often feel a decreasing effect from the drug and thus may need to smoke ever-increasing quantities to achieve the earlier high. Because of...

Willingness to Break Social Norms and Violate the

Many experts observe that social norms about a drug are deeply influenced by the drug's legal status and whether or not it is considered dangerous. Since marijuana is illegal and considered by many to be harmful, its use is discouraged by most of today's American society. Yet, teenagers as a group often rebel against societal norms. Hence, it is not surprising that many teens use marijuana, or at least experiment with it, despite the consequences of clashing with parents, school authorities,...

Zero Tolerance

The concept of zero tolerance drives much of today's legal and educational policy. The zero tolerance policies teach that using marijuana even once puts the user at risk for dependence and abuse of the drug. Most drug education programs are built around this zero tolerance message. Proponents of this policy stress that the purpose of drug education is to prevent drug experimentation therefore, the topic of drug use is practically forbidden. In addition, as part of this zero tolerance policy,...

Endogenous Internally Produced Cannabinoids

Thc Action

There are many examples of naturally-occurring plants that contain drugs that interact with neuronal receptors, including THC, nicotine, morphine, LSD, and cocaine. The effects that result from the use of these drugs, both desirable and undesirable, are determined through their actions at specific receptors. Scientists have long wondered why nature would create receptors in the human body that could be activated by chemicals in plants. Clearly, these receptors did not evolve simply to recognize...

An Introduction To Cannabis Sativa

Differents Types Indian Drugs

The chemical compounds primarily responsible for the psychoactive and medicinal properties of the hemp plant are concentrated in an aromatic, tar-like resin in the flowering tops of the Indian hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). This resin tends to be most potent in the female plants, especially when they are cultivated before the seeds form. (They are also known as sinsemilla, a Spanish word meaning without seed.) It is said that the hemp plant produces the resin as protection from heat in order to...

How Are Teenage Trends And Attitudes Measured

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) tracks the nation's substance abuse patterns through three major surveys The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), the Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey, and the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). Statistical information from these surveys helps the United States identify potential drug abuse problem areas in order to set national drug policy and devote financial resources that target areas of greatest need. Data from these...

Reassurance about the Safety of Marijuana

Experts speak of perceived risk versus perceived benefit when attempting to understand the teenage trends of marijuana use. Most of our everyday decisions are based on a balanced scale of these two ideas. When deciding to do something, we weigh the pros and cons the benefits and risks and then make our decision. It is commonly believed that this risk benefit assessment is a primary factor in determining whether or not a teen will use marijuana. In addition, studies show that information about...

Philadelphia

VP, New Product Development Sally Cheney Director of Production Kim Shinners Creative Manager Takeshi Takahashi Manufacturing Manager Diann Grasse Series & Cover Designer Terry Mallon Layout 21st Century Publishing and Communications, Inc. 2003 by Chelsea House Publishers, a subsidiary of Haights Cross Communications. All rights reserved. Printed and bound in the United States of America. http www.chelseahouse.com First Printing 1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication...

Routes Of Exposure

How does marijuana affect the body To answer this question, we must ascertain how THC gains access to the body the route of exposure . Routes of exposure may be as important as dose when considering implications to human health, since they strongly influence the body's response to marijuana. The major routes through which marijuana may enter the body are inhalation and ingestion. The greatest effect with the most rapid response is produced when THC is inhaled. This is because smoking bypasses...

The History of Marijuana

Marijuana is the flowering part of the Indian hemp plant Cannabis sativa, a weed-like species that grows wild and is also cultivated in many tropical and temperate parts of the world. Cannabis means hemp in Latin and is derived from the Greek word kannabis. Marijuana probably comes from the Mexican Spanish marijuana marihuana Mary's leaf or plant or from Maria and Juan Mary and John . Among its many names, marijuana is commonly known as weed, ganja, mary jane, and pot. For thousands of years,...