You can call it weed, ganja, Mary Jane, pot or grass but marijuana remains the most abused drug. This is one of the illegal drugs used enormously worldwide. In the United States, marijuana is easily accessible. This is the main reason why such a high percentage of youths are using the drug and the number of users is increasing daily. Many teenagers are currently smoking marijuana more often than cigarettes and other drugs (Pate 78). Marijuana is mostly smoked by people the same way as cigarettes, but is usually hand rolled. Additionally, it can be smoked in water pipes and blunts. Many people, especially teenagers have been absorbed into drug abuse and are justifying their behavior on the basis of relaxation, stress reduction, relieving pains and medicinal purposes among other reasons.
The youths abuse marijuana because of the peer pressure and in some cases, it is due to seeing their elder sisters and brothers using the drug. Others use marijuana because they assume it to be cool since it can relieve stress or because they see the drug being abused on television (Bello 25). There are other people who take marijuana due to the influence from their respective religious groups. Studies conducted in Jamaica show that in a religion called Rastafarianism it is believed that marijuana is a holy herb, and it should be respected. Astaiza states that marijuana decreases anxieties and users strongly advocate it for this feeling. Many users of this drug assert that it assists in suppressing nausea and relieving pain. These are the main reasons behind using it in relieving chemotherapy side effects.
In 2010, a research conducted by Harvard Medical School established that the use of marijuana is due to the increased nervousness, so it can improve the mood of the smoker and act as sedatives while used in low doses (Pate 74). Washington and Colorado states passed legislation that legalized marijuana usage. While using it as a recreational thing is controversial, a lot of people believe that it should be legalized specially for medical uses. Tod Mikuriya, a psychiatrist, believes that the symptoms of more than 200 sicknesses can be treated by marijuana (Astaiza 2012). They include insomnia, stuttering, writer’s cramp and premenstrual syndrome among others. National Cancer Institute approves the decisions and findings made by Mikuriya. Precisely, marijuana is used as a way of treating side effects such as prevention of nausea, relieving pain, increasing appetite, improving sleep and chemotherapy (Astaiza).
Many people are using marijuana because it can be used in preventing blindness caused by glaucoma. Researches indicate that it can prevent and treat eye diseases like that increase the eyeball pressures. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve leading to vision loss. As stated by National Eye Institute, using marijuana reduces the pressure in the eye (Bello 45). In the 1970s, the researches revealed that when marijuana is smoked, it lowers the intraocular pressure in individuals with glaucoma and normalizes it (Green 2013). The effects of marijuana may lead to slowing the progression of glaucoma’s disease hence precluding blindness.
Other people using marijuana say that it is better than tobacco because it does not affect the lungs. Different studies published by American Medical Association indicate that marijuana can be used in increasing lung capacities without impairing their functions. A lot of researchers studying heart diseases risk factors tested the functions of the lungs in 5115 young people and came up with fascinating results (Astaiza). Tobacco smokers had a lot of problems in their lungs from time to time, but people using marijuana increased their lung capacities. This may be due to deep breaths taken when smoking it.
Moreover, people use marijuana because it controls the seizures from epilepsy. A researcher called Robert from Virginia Commonwealth University gave the extracts of marijuana to the epileptic rats, and for nearly 10 hours, the rats were ridded off their seizures by the drugs (Green). Like tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabinoids are an active constituent in marijuana, which regulates seizures by binding to the cells of the brain that are responsible for regulating relaxation and controlling excitability. These results were later published in the Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics journal. Additionally, a lot of people continue to use marijuana because a chemical found in the drug reduces the spread of cancer in the body. According to a report issued in 2007 by the researchers from California Pacific Medical Center, a chemical referred to as cannabidiol prevents the spreading of cancer in the body (Pate 74).
This drug assists in muscle and nerve pain relievers (Bello 45). Marijuana also reduces side effects acquired when treating hepatitis C. According to a 2006 study published in the European Gastroenterology and Hepatology journal, 86% of the patients who used marijuana successfully completed their Hepatitis therapy. In 2010, the researchers in Nottingham University found that marijuana chemicals interacted with the body cells that played vital roles in the immune responses and gut functions (Astaiza).
In conclusion, as stated by researchers in 2011, marijuana promotes sleep, reduces inflammation and relieves pain (Bello, 36). Even though there are many reasons why people use this drug, it may negatively affect the brain and other body organs. Moreover, individuals are not supposed to use marijuana simply because other people are using the drug. Smokers are supposed to be aware that high doses may lead to the increased anxiety and cause paranoia at some point (Bello 34).