Smoking weed is nothing new to most Americans. This is generally speaking, but it is safe to say that most Americans have either experimented or know some that are active weed smokers. Smoking weed seems to be a relatively harmless drug when compared to legal drugs and alcohol. Marijuana and other illicit drugs became mainstream in the 1960's. Marijuana is less addictive and less fatal. Marijuana usage has been popularized across generations and cultures as an "acceptable" drug. The conversations about Mary Jane (slang term for marijuana) can be plenty. There are the issues of whether marijuana should be legal. Is marijuana a "gateway" drug to more dangerous or addictive drugs? Do the government handle marijuana related crimes appropriately? Marijuana is illegal. It is illegal to smoke, sale, and possess marijuana in Indiana. Different states are seeming to lean toward making weed legal. Many states have already adopted to allow marijuana usuage for medicinal purposes. Patients are being prescribed legal medical marijuana in places like Rhode Island for cancerous treatments. These are the trends in leniency towards a controlled substance that seemingly has less harmful physical effects than cigarettes. Marijuana usuage is moving closer towards legalization nationwide for medicinal usage and recreational usage. The only issue is the abuse of this drug by those not of legal age.
According to the Webster definition, Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate hemp plant that yield THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and is smoked in cigarettes for their intoxicating effect. The main ingredient to marijuana is THC, and this is what causes the intoxicating effects to the user. The side effects of smoking marijuana range from delayed judgement, increased appetite, and a slight feeling of euphoria (Webster). These are the side effects of using marijuana called the "high". The level of 'high' will vary from person to person and the amount of marijuana used. Chronic usage of marijuana is not physically addictive, but it is mildly psychologically habit forming (Webster).The excessive user is usually portrayed in the media as lazy and lacks ambition. There are no chemicals in marijuana that makes it addicting like nicotin is addictive in cigarettes. Although marijuana is an illegal controlled substance, some may justify their usage by pointing out weed's 'positives' and opposing it with the 'negatives' of other drugs.
It is not legal or socially acceptable to go into a public place and smoke a blunt (marijuana rolled in a cigar wrap). However, you can buy drinks in a bar and drive home drunk. This is not always the absolute case, but the point is, which of the two is more harsh? Cocaine has been seen as a more socially acceptable drug through a more lavish culture in the 1980's, but it's effects are more dangerous than marijuana as well. Marijuana usage is the highest among all illegal drugs. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2012, alcohol and tobacoo users die in more significant numbers of any users of illict drugs (New Internationalist). People lose their lives in significant numbers from drunk drivers' irresponsibility. Smoking cigarettes is confirmed to cause cancer, and they will kill you. People continue to smoke. One of the oppositions to the cigarette versus weed argument is that marijuana smoke can be just as harmful as cigarette smoke. The way you smoke marijuana and the way you smoke cigarettes are different. Marijuana smoke is inhaled and exhaled slower and longer. Cigarettes are inhaled and exhaled quicker. It is believed that marijuana has just as much carcinogens as cigarettes, which is a cancer causing agent. Marijuana has 50-70% more carcinogens than cigarettes (Winterfeld). Marijuana smokers are at some harm with the carcinogens that causes cancer, but marijuana is also known for helping to cure cancer and an array of other medical issues.
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