ABUSE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Los Angeles recently started a crackdown closing medical marijuana shops for profit. Target stores are those who are selling to people who don't qualify for medicinal marijuana. Plenty of people are getting high for the wrong reasons in Los Angeles. There are now more marijuana stores than public schools.
Fourteen states currently allow medical marijuana for medicinal purposes:
Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine,
Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington). Rhode Island and New Mexico are in the process of licensing providers.
THE MARIJUANA LAW
In 1996, California passes proposition 215, allowing sick people with referrals from doctors and identification cards to smoke pot.
The law allowed it authorized marijuana users to grow their own plans. Later it was revised to allow collective pot grown by members. Growers of marijuana can grow up to three crops a year, each worth about $40,000.
The US attorney general Eric Holder said earlier this year that federal agents would only target marijuana distributors who violated both federal and state laws. Under federal law, marijuana is illegal.
Federal prosecutors have issued new policy guidelines stating they will not arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws.
This resulted in an impression there wasn't going to be any federal investigation or prosecution of any pot shots.
One hundred and eighty dispensaries qualified to remain open when a city law passed a moratorium for two years. This resulted in another 800 new dispensaries opening up in the city of Los Angeles. (In 2005 there were only four).
A GATEWAY DRUG
Many people smoke and drink alcohol before they start using marijuana. This recreational drug is considered a gateway drug, allowing some people to go on to use stronger and more dangerous drugs to obtain a greater high.
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA
PHYSICAL side effects include, tremors, decreased coordination, increased appetite, breathing problems, reduce blood flow to the brain, changes in the reproductive organs, slowed reaction time, and trouble remembering and concentrating, insomnia, anxiety, feeling people are out to get you, red eyes, and altered time perception. Reaction time is much slower while driving.
MENTAL side effects have long been known to trigger attacks of mental illness as bipolar psychoses and schizophrenia. Symptoms include acute toxic psychosis, panic attacks, depersonalization, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, and uncontrollable aggression.
BRAIN effects: THC, the main active chemical in marijuana, changes the way sensory information gets into and is acted on the hippocampus. This area is crucial for learning, memory, and integration of sensory experiences with the emotions and motivations.
The neurons in the information processing system of the hippocampus are suppressed. Learning behaviors that depend on the hippocampus also deteriorate. Many lose interest in schoolwork, relationships, and other activities.
CANCER effects: Since marijuana has more tar in it than in cigarettes, and is usually smoked without filters, lung damage is common. Several reports show a large percentage of marijuana users among cases of cancers of the lung, oral pharynx, and larynx.
IMMUNE SYSTEM depression: Marijuana is a general immuno-suppressant; it lowers defenses against infection by weakening various natural immune mechanisms including macrophages and T cells. It is a very serious negative effect on patients with pre-existing HIV, organ transplants, and cancer chemotherapy (the very conditions suggested as a treatment). It can accelerate AIDS and increase the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS and Kaposi's sarcoma.
OTHER side effects: Medical studies that showed an increased risk of heart attack and increase rates of anxiety depression and suicide in schizophrenia. Long-term use can result in brain changes.
The medical use of marijuana may actually contribute to the dangers of the diseases for which it would be used to combat.
Pot sales in America are the largest source of money for violent Mexican drug cartels.
Because California has vast quantities of marijuana grown, it has been a source of marijuana for the rest of the country. Pot shop owners took advantage of state laws that were intended to create exemptions to marijuana prohibitions for a limited number of ill people.
It doesn't look like a good use of time to arrest all the California people who use or give marijuana and are in strict compliance with state laws.
The government should still pursue marijuana cases involving violence, illegal use of player arms, selling pot to minors, and money laundering.
Like anything else, the police don't have to arrest everyone who is speeding to make people slow down. It will at least get Californians, who are generally health conscious, to see the dangers of marijuana.