Marijuana, also known as Cannabis, whether recreational or medical has been a hot topic throughout the world. Recently it has been legalized to be used medically in Florida and other states in the U.S. But, as to it being legal recreationally is still up in the air, prompting the question: Why is marijuana seen as such bad or a lethal drug? For starters, marijuana is a plant that can be smoked, vaporized, ingested, even used as a topical cream and if you look into our history, you will discover that the so-called “Devil’s Lettuce” has been used nearly as much as 5,000 years ago. According to Narconon,com "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." In fact, neuroscientists and doctors have discovered that the human brain contains cannabinoid receptors that only exists because our brains have evolved to use this plant, and not the other way around. So in all actuality, we probably SHOULD use marijuana.
So why was “The Ganja” outlawed in the U.S. in the first place? Some would say that the marijuana ban was to help deport Mexican immigrants. The immigrants supposedly brought into the U.S. so what a better way to make the Mexican immigrants look bad? Demonize Marijuana, of course. One tactic to dissuade people from using marijuana is that advertisers would say that marijuana made people of color act violent. They even made a film called “Reefer Madness” in 1936 to demonstrate that marijuana use leads to a life of crime and lethal mistakes.
But that is far from the truth. Ask anybody who has ever smoked weed and I am sure they will tell you violence was something they never considered while stoned. In fact, they may tell you that they felt the total opposite and wanted to sit down and watch funny cartoons and munch on a snack. Oh yes, that sounds so violent. (Sarcasm)
The sad truth is that we live in a world where the leading cause of cancer, tobacco, and one of the leading causes of domestic violence, alcohol, are recreationally legal to use. Think about that for a minute. How many people that are terrified of marijuana say “Weed is a such bad drug,” and then get blacked-out drunk later that night, wake up the next morning in an unknown place regretting their actions? Most people who smoke marijuana recreationally do not even plan on going anywhere besides their friend’s house and play Cards Against Humanity and order a pizza.
But that is just recreational use. What about all the medicinal benefits of this miracle herb? I will name a few. Studies have shown that the non-psychoactive component to marijuana, CBD (Cannabidiol), to have pain relieving properties, is a anti-convulsant, has anti-anxiety properties, is an anti-depressant, and even an anti-psychotic. Yes, you read that right; An anti-psychotic. Unlike THC, the psychoactive, mind-altering component of Cannabis, CBD helps create a clear and focused mind. It is good for people with mental illnesses like PTSD and schizophrenia. Maybe one day, when it is legal in the federal sense, marijuana can be used to treat schizophrenia and pharmaceutical drugs will no longer be the go-to drug for patients, as many anti-psychotics have a multitude negative side-effects including fatigue and noticeable weight gain caused by the drug slowing down the body’s metabolism.
And yet, after all of the evidence that marijuana is helpful, it is still a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has high-potential for abuse and apparently no medical use, as said by the DEA. Because it can be intoxicating, one could agree that marijuana should be monitored to a degree, but putting it in the same category as heroine and LSD, now THAT is what I would call reefer "madness.”
Photo of Reefer Madness from:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reefer_Madness#/media/File:ReeferMadnessPoster.jpg