Marijuana Is a Substance Nearly Everyone From Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Marijuana is a substance nearly everyone from adolescence on has heard about, and nearly everyone has an opinion about it. Not everyone has accurate information about it, however. Some people believe that people who smoke marijuana will become addicted to it and feel desperate to have it when they do not. Others believe that it is not addicting, and not terribly dangerous, but creates a feeling of euphoria. Others note that smoking marijuana can make someone feel detached from people and things around them. But none of this tells what the drug is really like and whether it is safe or not.

I heard about marijuana before high school. My parents talked to me about drugs, especially alcohol and marijuana. They warned me that both drugs could be dangerous but that friends might try to tempt me into trying them. They were so right. Only one person offered me marijuana, but the pressure was always there to drink in high school. My parents, however, told me that we had history of substance abuse on both sides of the family, and that this might mean that I was genetically more likely to have problems with substance abuse, and urged me to postpone using alcohol and to stay away from drugs completely.

I don't think my parents exaggerated the dangers of pot. In fact my grandmother told me that when she was young there was a movie out called "Reefer Madness." It showed people who smoked marijuana going crazy and doing awful things. My parents said that it was unlikely to do that but would make it extremely dangerous to drive, that it impaired memory and that people could get addicted to it. They convinced me to stay away from it. I think the genetic information was the scariest, because I did know kids in high school who really did seem to find it irresistible. Sometimes they even got high during the school day (if they got caught, the police were called and they were taken from school in handcuffs).

The Columbia Encyclopedia says that the flowers, stems and leaves of the plant can all be smoked, and that it's one of the most commonly used drugs in the world, along with caffeine, alcohol and nicotine (Columbia, 2005). While I know that caffeine and nicotine are drugs, it has always seemed to me that it's foolish of the experts to throw them in with alcohol and other drugs. They aren't very good for you, but the great majority of people do not think "drug abuse!" when they see someone with a cup of coffee. People are bothered about smoking because of what the smoke does to the body. Nicotine is addicting, but the problem there for most people is that the addiction to nicotine makes it hard to avoid the damaging cigarette smoke. I think I was lucky that my parents didn't use such weak arguments to try to guide me away from drugs, because they both drink coffee. They don't smoke, although my mother did when she was in college. So it would be pretty hypocritical of them to get upset about coffee.

I do think people should avoid marijuana, even though it may not be as dangerous as crack or heroin. The active ingredient is THC ((delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). It affects neurons in the brain and causes the person to feel "high." One of the big problems with THC is that there's no…

Sources Used in Document:


Author not available. 2005. "Blunt facts on marijuana use." Philadelphia Tribune, January 25.

Columbia. "Marijuana." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2005. 2/24/2005

Sundeep. 2005. "Study: Treatment for marijuana abuse rose 162% from 1992-2002." University Wire, March 15.

Rabren, Karen. 2004. "Variables affecting students' decisions to drop out of school." Remedial and Special Education, September.

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