Legalization of Marijuana
[Vol 3/ Issue 2/ March 2018] [ISSN 2394-9295]
|Shubham Barolia||Saksham Tuli|
|5th Year, BA. LL.B(H)||5th Year, BA. LL.B(H)|
|Amity Law School, Noida||Amity Law School, Noida|
|Email id: firstname.lastname@example.org||Email id:email@example.com|
In today’s society, marijuana or cannabis is commonly utilized by many teens and adults. Whether it is for medical reasons, socializing, obtaining a high, or escaping depression; marijuana has impacted the lives of us humans in a lively manner. Even though cannabis is an illegal drug, countless amounts of people do not stop from getting a hold of it. There is only so much the law enforcement can do if the people do not wish to listen. Although marijuana affects the natural brain functions such as: memory, coordination, learning, and the ability to problem solve; allowing it to stay illegal causes no difference in the use, but inflicts on other more important issues that need to be dealt with.
Keywords: Marijuana, Cannabis, Smoking
History of Marijuana
Earlier marijuana uses: Marijuana has been used as an agent for achieving euphoria since ancient times; it was described in a Chinese medical reference traditionally considered to date from 2737 B.C. Its use spread from China to India and then to N Africa and reached Europe at least as early as A.D. 500.
Marijuana in America: Marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942 and was prescribed for various conditions including labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism. Its use as an intoxicant was also commonplace from the 1850s to the 1930s. A campaign conducted in the 1930s by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) sought to portray marijuana as a powerful, addicting substance that would lead users into narcotics addiction. It is still considered a “gateway” drug by some authorities. In the 1950s it was an accessory of the beat generation; in the 1960s it was used by college students and “hippies” and became a symbol of rebellion against authority.
1) Smoking weed makes you thinner – or at least less likely to be obese.
You might not think it after you’ve watched a munchie-struck stoner devour an entire KFC family bucket in one go, but dope smokers are less likely to be obese.
A study in the journal Obesity found that regular weed smokers are less likely to be obese than non-smokers.
The researchers from Conference of Quebec University Health Centers looked at 700 adults aged 18-74 – and found that cannabis users tend to have low body mass index scores (often taken as a sign of good health).
People with low BMIs tend to have less body fats and tend to be at lower risk for diabetes.
2) Marijuana can actually improve lung function
Smoking weed isn’t actually that bad for your lungs, and smokers actually have improved lung function when compared to both cigarette smokers – and people who have never smoked either.
The researchers, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, say that the big drags taken by weed smokers may actually ‘train’ lungs to be more efficient.
3) It can increase creativity
A 2012 study in Consciousness and Cognition found that marijuana made people more creative – at least in terms of how well they used language.
The researchers said, ‘We investigated the effects of cannabis smoked naturalistically on schizotypy and divergent thinking, a measure of creativity.
‘One hundred and sixty cannabis users were tested on 1 day when sober and another day when intoxicated with cannabis.‘Cannabis increased verbal fluency in low creatives to the same level as that of high creatives.’
4) Weed can help athletes perform better
Gordy Megroz of Outside conducted his own study after noting the number of athletes who credit marijuana use for increased performance and recovery.
And however unscientific you deem his little self-experiment to be, he found that he performed better on the treadmill and was less sore after a heavy squat session.
‘I do a heavy squat session while high, which would normally leave me sore for two days, but I’m surprisingly fresh 24 hours later,’ he wrote.
‘Even when not stoned, other aches and pains seem to dissipate, too.
5) Cannabis can kill cancer cells
In what could be a key moment for advocates of legal cannabis, the U.S. government has admitted that the drug can shrink cancer cells.
In a page of official government advice, the U.S. government now says,, ‘Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.’
The site says that the effect has so far been seen in rodent studies, and cautions, ‘At this time, there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest Cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy.’
Cancer Research UK warns patients that so far, there is no evidence that cannabis extracts can be used as a treatment.
6) It’s a far safer alternative to alcohol – in fact, it’s 114 times safer
Cannabis could actually be the safest drug available, after a study found it is actually 114 times less deadly than alcohol, according to the journal, Scientific Reports.
The reports‘ authors studied the effects of alcohol, heroin, cocaine, tobacco, ecstasy, crystal meth and cannabis.
7) Smoking weed can help you give up heroin
Smoking weed helps patients give up opiates such as heroin, a new study has found.
Researchers at Columbia University monitored patients undergoing treatment for opiate addiction – and found that patients who smoked weed were more able to sleep, less anxious, and more likely to complete their course.
The researchers also found that dosing patients with dronabinol – a drug consisting of the ‘active’ ingredient in cannabis, THC – helped with withdrawal symptoms.
High Times also points out that opiate-related deaths have dropped in American states which have legalised the recreational use of marijuana.
Disadvantages of Marijuana
There are both short and long-term disadvantages of smoking cannabis. Some depend on the amount and frequency you smoke and some are just there:
- Motivation – I know very few people who can be at the peak of productivity when high. For most people it’ll sap at least some of your motivation and leave some locked to the couch or make even the simplest of tasks three times as long… even preparing the next joint can become a mission in itself.
- Legality – it’s legal in only a minority of jurisdictions and in some places possession of even a small amount is enough to land you in serious trouble with an impending jail sentence or huge fine. If you’re somewhere they really frown on it then you’re better off not taking the risk.
- Interactions – cannabis can sometimes interact with prescribed medicines and reduce their efficiency. Check with a doctor if concerned.
- Smoking – if you’re smoking it then it’s bad for your lungs, period. Avoid by vaporising or ingesting.
- Psychology – in some people it can worsen the symptoms of mental health issues such as anxiety. For some it helps. It depends on the person and to a lesser extent the kind of pot you’re using. Frequent pot use in adolescence is also linked with an increased likelihood of mental illness later in life.
- Psychosis – some studies have demonstrated a possible link between cannabis use and a risk of psychosis however these studies seldom account for things such as socioeconomic status and preexisting genetic vulnerability and I would be cautious in assuming the link is definitive based on current evidence.
Fantasy – sometimes when you get high you’ll find yourself laughing your a** off at something which really isn’t that funny… but that’s a fun disadvantage, especially when the whole group is laughing at the same stupid thing.
Medical uses of Marijuana
Nausea and Vomiting
Treatment of side effects associated with antineoplastic therapy is the indication for cannabinoids which has been most documented, with about 40 studies (THC, nabilone, other THC analogues, cannabis). Most trials were conducted in the 1980s. THC has to be dosed relatively highly, so that resultant side effects may occur comparatively frequently. THC was inferior to high-dose metoclopramide in one study. There are no comparisons of THC to the modern serotonin antagonists. Some recent investigations have shown that THC in low doses improves the efficacy of other antiemetic drugs if given together. In folk medicine cannabinoids are popular and are often used in other causes of nausea including AIDS and hepatitis.
Anorexia and Cachexia
An appetite enhancing effect of THC is observed with daily divided doses totalling 5 mg. When required, the daily dose may be increased to 20 mg. In a long-term study of 94 AIDS patients, the appetite-stimulating effect of THC continued for months, confirming the appetite enhancement noted in a shorter 6 week study. THC doubled appetite on a visual analogue scale in comparison to placebo. Patients tended to retain a stable body weight over the course of seven months. A positive influence on body weight was also reported in 15 patients with Alzheimer’s disease who were previously refusing food.
In many clinical trials of THC, nabilone and cannabis, a beneficial effect on spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury has been observed. Among other positively influenced symptoms were pain, paraesthesia, tremor and ataxia. In some studies improved bladder control was observed. There is also some anecdotal evidence of a benefit of cannabis in spasticity due to lesions of the brain.
There are some positive anecdotal reports of therapeutic response to cannabis in Tourette’s syndrome, dystonia and tardive dyskinesia. The use in Tourette’s syndrome is currently being investigated in clinical studies. Many patients achieve a modest improvement, however some show a considerable response or even complete symptom control. In some MS patients, benefits on ataxia and reduction of tremor have been observed following the administration of THC. Despite occasional positive reports, no objective success has been found in parkinsonism or Huntington disease. However, cannabis products may prove useful in levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson disease without worsening the primary symptoms.
Large clinical studies have proven analgesic properties of cannabis products. Among possible indications are neuropathic pain due to multiple sclerosis, damage of the brachial plexus and HIV infection, pain in rheumatoid arthritis, cancer pain, headache, menstrual pain, chronic bowel inflammation and neuralgias. Combination with opioids is possible.
In 1971, during a systematic investigation of its effects in healthy cannabis users, it was observed that cannabis reduces intraocular pressure. In the following 12 years a number of studies in healthy individuals and glaucoma patients with cannabis and several natural and synthetic cannabinoids were conducted. cannabis decreases intraocular pressure by an average 25-30%, occasionally up to 50%. Some non-psychotropic cannabinoids, and to a lesser extent, some non-cannabinoid constituents of the hemp plant also decrease intraocular pressure.
The use in epilepsy is among its historically oldest indications of cannabis. Animal experiments provide evidence of the antiepileptic effects of some cannabinoids. The anticonvulsant activity of phenytoin and diazepam have been potentiated by THC. According to a few case reports from the 20th century, some epileptic patients continue to utililize cannabis to control an otherwise unmanageable seizure disorder. Cannabis use may occasionally precipitate convulsions.
Experiments examining the anti-asthmatic effect of THC or cannabis date mainly from the 1970s, and are all acute studies. The effects of a cannabis cigarette (2% THC) or oral THC (15 mg), respectively, approximately correspond to those obtained with therapeutic doses of common bronchodilator drugs (salbutamol, isoprenaline). Since inhalation of cannabis products may irritate the mucous membranes, oral administration or another alternative delivery system would be preferable. Very few patients developed bronchoconstriction after inhalation of THC.
In 2015, the legal marijuana industry in Colorado created more than 18,000 new full-time jobs and generated $2.4 billion in economic activity, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of the economics of legal cannabis in the state.
The study, conducted by the economic consulting firm Marijuana Policy Group, is based on two years of sales numbers from the state of Colorado. It measured both the direct effects of legalization — including close to $1 billion in retail sales in 2015 — and the industry’s spillover effects on the Colorado economy.
These indirect impacts of marijuana legalization came from increased demand on local goods and services: growers rent warehouse space and purchase sophisticating lighting and irrigation equipment, for instance. Marijuana retailers similarly rely on other companies, like contractors, lawyers and book-keeping services, to conduct their own businesses.
The elimination of the unregulated black market is often cited by legalization proponents as a benefit of creating a legal, commercial marijuana market. In Colorado and Washington, those black markets have persisted to an extent, frustrating regulators and providing fodder for legalization critics.
Through this example we can see that through the legalization of marijuana in India we can increase the employment and will also give boost to the local economy and will effectively deal with marijuana abuse.
In all of recorded history, not one person has ever died from consuming marijuana, says a public interest litigation that objects to the ban on cannabis or marijuana in India, saying that the move is not backed by scientific evidence.
Marijuana should therefore be legalised[ii] in the country so as to help patients, says the petition filed by AdityaBarthakur, a 34-year-old lawyer.
Barthakur added that marijuana has several “benefits” including helping cancer patients by easing their pain.
A small, yet significant development in his case, the petitioner says, is the Bombay High Court’s recent issuing of notices to the Central and state governments.
Quoting from the Atharva Veda, he cites a verse, whose translation, he says, is: “To the five kingdoms of the plants which Soma rules as Lord we speak. Darbha, hemp, barley, mighty power: may these deliver us from woe.”
The lawyer says that the shloka includes, “bhango” which is nothing but hemp or cannabis or marijuana. “It also finds a mention in the Atharva Veda as a divinity and sanctity which shall without doubt free us from bondage and danger,” he says.
Wanting an explanation as how was cannabis harmful to humans, he sent numerous applications under the Right to Information Act to various Central government ministries and agencies.
Gonzales v. Raich[iii]
the Court held that the commerce clause gave Congress authority to prohibit the local cultivation and use of marijuana, despite state law to the contrary. Stevens argued that the Court’s precedent “firmly established” Congress’ commerce clause power to regulate purely local activities that are part of a “class of activities” with a substantial effect on interstate commerce. The majority argued that Congress could ban local marijuana use because it was part of such a “class of activities”: the national marijuana market. Local use affected supply and demand in the national marijuana market, making the regulation of intrastate use “essential” to regulating the drug’s national market. The majority distinguished the case from Lopez and Morrison. In those cases, statutes regulated non-economic activity and fell entirely outside Congress’ commerce power; in this case, the Court was asked to strike down a particular application of a valid statutory scheme.
In Conclusion, marijuana is a very useful drug and should be legalized. Marijuana should no longer be grouped with cocaine and heroin, but with other recreational drugs such as caffeine and tobacco. The legalization of marijuana will help out our economy and create hundreds of jobs for Indians.
[ii]http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/marijuana-central-to-our-culture-how-is-it-illegal-lawyer-asks-in-pil/, last updated (April 20, 2015 11:22 am)
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