The effects marijuana has on the brain are apparent and destructive. The psychoactive drug called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the many chemicals found in marijuana. When inhaled, this chemical travels through the bloodstream and reaches the brain. Once in the brain, THC blocks the actions of neurotransmitters (1). Neurotransmitters are chemicals that allow neurons (brain cells) to communicate with each other within the brain. When THC interferes with this "transmitting" process, the brain is unable to perform its regular duties, such as short-term memory, coordination, learning, and problem solving (1). Therefore, marijuana use is traced to short-term brain damage.
Not only does marijuana effect the brain, but it also creates addictive habits for the user. For some users, the high that marijuana creates provides a means to escape reality. Teens that have prior antisocial problems tend to follow the "escape route" of marijuana (2). However, some users grow tolerant to the effects of marijuana, craving more marijuana to produce its effects (2). Marijuana has also been called "The Gateway Drug" because it creates addiction to other drugs as well. Most drug users who are addicted to other illegal drugs, such as cocaine, have tried marijuana as their first drug (2). These addictive habits can only be stopped if marijuana stays an illegal drug.
Marijuana also paves way for cancer within the body. It has been proven that "marijuana smoke contains some of the same, and sometimes even more, of the cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke." (2) These "cancer-causing chemicals" are also known to be called carcinogens. The harmful chemicals in marijuana will increase the chance of getting cancer.
As stated previously, marijuana damages the brain, leads to addictive drug habits, and increases the rate of cancer within one's body. Marijuana must stay a Schedule 1 controlled substance if the federal government continues to provide for the general welfare of the American people. It is dangerous and easily attainable. Government cannot stop its efforts to keep marijuana out of the hands of its users. Therefore, the legalization of marijuana is absurd and opposes the responsibility of government to protect the people of the United States.
"Marijuana: Facts for Teens." Howstuffworks. Mar. 2008. National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2 Apr. 2009 <http://health.howstuffworks.com/framed.htm?parent=marijuana.htm&url=http://www.nida.nih.gov/MarijBroch/Marijteenstxt.html>.
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