It is a positive development that an increasing number of states are now legalizing marijuana, at least for medicinal use. Not only does this help people who have difficult medical conditions to achieve a reasonable quality of life without having to take chemical products with terrible side effects, it also supports a large proportion of the local economy. Naturally, there are always those who will oppose this sort of legislation, but there is actually a really good cause to be made for legalizing marijuana altogether. Indeed, marijuana is a mind-altering substance. However, so are alcohol and cigarettes. The number of deaths each year that are related to either alcohol or cigarettes are almost uncountable. To date, the amount of deaths that are somehow related to marijuana still stands at 0, so long as we don’t count the number of people that have been killed in the unnecessary drug wars of course. But besides this, marijuana has some excellent properties, which is the main cause for many people saying it should be legalized outright. Let’s take a look.
A Few Facts about Hemp
You probably have heard of “weed” and “marijuana”. However, both these words are negative. Nobody likes to have weeds in their gardens and the word marijuana was simply invented to give the stuff a bad name. But why did they do this? Essentially, the actual plant – Hemp – had been used for thousands of years for fantastic commercial properties. According to The Marijuana Conspiracy
The Encyclopedia Britannica […] was printed on hemp paper for 150 years.
There are some other very interesting facts, including that it was illegal in Virginia NOT to grow hemp between the 17th and 18th century. Also, until cotton became popular, some 80% of all fabrics were made from hemp. These are but a few of the facts that show that we have forgotten the usefulness in our society of this one single plant. However, if we think about it for a little while, it quickly becomes clear that if this single plant could do so much, from making paper to fabrics to oil and so on, a lot of other industries could suddenly have significant problems. And that may just be what it is really all about.
The Issue about Getting High
It is certainly true that getting high for the fun of it is never a good idea. Let’s be very clear that it is by no means deadly, however. Furthermore, if everybody were to get high simultaneously, there would be world peace for a good few hours, because there is no way you will have the energy to do any fighting or bickering whilst you are high. However, taking recreational use out of the equation for a minute, what really are the benefits to human beings of using hemp? A statement from the late Dr. Tod Mikuriya says:
After dealing with about 10,000 patents in the last 15 years, I’d say about 200 different medical conditions respond favorably to cannabis.
That is an incredibly important figure. We also know that every year, in our country alone, some 100,000 people die because of prescription drugs. Yes, in most cases, this is because they don’t use them properly, but it has been estimated that you would need to smoke 15,000 joints in just 10 minutes in order for marijuana to become toxic. In other words, there is no way you could accidentally overdose on marijuana.
There is far more to it, however, and the list of benefits of this fantastic little plant are almost uncountable. The CoEd Magazine has set about to list at least some of them. They state that
It’s simply baffling that medical marijuana is not legal in most of the country, and still there retains such a negative reputation.
Ten of the benefits that marijuana is known to bring include relief with cancer (some even suggest that it slows down the growth of tumors, which is being researched at present), a control of seizures because the brain is more relaxed, relief from migraines and chronic headaches, a cure for glaucoma (this is agreed by the entire medical community), help with multiple sclerosis in slowing down the neurological attacks, help for those with Tourette’s or other forms of OCD (again because it relaxes the brain), help with ADD and ADHD, help with Crohn’s disease and IBS, slowing down Alzheimer’s disease, and calming PMS. Some of these benefits have been conclusively proven, such as that it helps with glaucoma. Other benefits are accepted, even by the medical communities, and studies are taking place not to disprove marijuana can do this, but rather to provide conclusive evidence.
The Downside of Marijuana
There has to be a certain amount of honesty as well, however. Marijuana has its downsides, particularly because this awesome relaxation it makes you feel also means you become pretty much incapable of doing much else. For instance, there is probably nothing worse than a brain surgeon suddenly getting the giggles, or a top athlete getting the munchies. The bigger issue, therefore, is that people need to be educated on how to use it responsibly. Whether legalizing marijuana for medical purposes only is the answer is questionable. Indeed, it gives you some guarantee that only those who need it can legally use it, but since it has been used illegally for as long as it has been illegal, it is likely that this will not stop the criminal aspect. The Netherlands have a program that is famous across the world, which seems to work very well. There is a common misconception that smoking weed in the Netherlands is completely legal, which is not the case. In fact, as explained by The Daily Smoker
Cannabis is seen as a softdrug. Within the Netherlands there is no active prosecution against the individual users of softdrugs, but the substances itself maintain illegal.
Interestingly, with this sort of semi-legal state, people no longer abuse the drug, or even use it in inappropriate situations.