Drugs in Modern Society

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Submitted By jrandle002
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Introduction Marijuana is a psychoactive drug made from the dried leaves and flowering parts of the hem plant (Dudley, 1999). Marijuana contains an active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC. It is one of the most strictly classified illegal drugs in the United States. Marijuana is a schedule I substance. Schedule I means that marijuana has a high potential for abuse. It is illegal to buy, sell, grow, or possess marijuana in the United States. Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States. Marijuana is derived from the plant Cannabis.
War on Drugs Marijuana prohibition comprises a large part of the federal government’s War on Drug’s. Law enforcement officials made 600,000 marijuana-related arrests in 1995 (Gerdes, 2002). The criminal prohibition of marijuana, this represents an extraordinary degree of government intrusion into the private, personal lives of those adults who choose to use it. People convicted of marijuana offenses face penalties ranging from probation to life imprisonment, plus fines and forfeiture of property. The government spends millions of dollars annually on preventative programs such as Dare Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), in which local police officers visit schools to teach young people to refrain from trying marijuana and other drugs.
Marijuana Medical Uses Despite federal laws prohibiting marijuana in 1996, California and Arizona passed state initiatives legalizing marijuana for medical use by patients suffering from serious illness (Frater, 2005). Arizona’s referendum was invalidated five months later. Short-term health effects of the drug include memory loss, distorted perception, problems with learning and coordination, an increased heart rate and anxiety attacks. Long-term effects include increased risk of lung cancer for chronic marijuana smokers and possible damage to the immune and…...

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