Is Marijuana Dangerous to your Physical Health?


Recreational use of marijuana has been going on for many years, and
like cigarettes many people refuse to listen to health reports. More and
more reports are coming out on the effects of marijuana on the body. Just
how harmful marijuana can be is questionable. Some health reports state
that it is very detrimental to the body while others are explaining how
chemicals extracted from the marijuana plant are being used as medication.
The problem is, just what are the effects, and how bad is it for someone
who uses this drug?

I have picked this topic because I am very interested in the effects
of marijuana on the body. It is commonly known that marijuana is a widely
used drug. Many movies depict people having a great time, smoking
marijuana, and laughing as hard as they can. But is this really what is
behind the drug? Without looking at health reports, one may think so. If
so many people use it, how can it be bad for you? After seeing so much
positive feedback about marijuana, it would really be nice to see just what
is behind this mysterious plant.

In this paper, the researcher will explore whether or not marijuana is
harmful to your physical health. It will be shown that marijuana is
popular and that many people may not know what they are taking into their
bodies. It will be shown just what parts of the body marijuana effects and
how it effects them. The main purpose of this collection of information is
to see just what marijuana does to the body and to determine whether the
effects are good, bad, or a combination of both. Many different areas of
research will be used.

The report "Marijuana Retains Popularity Despite Anti-drug Attitudes"
in The Dallas Times Herald by the Associated Press shows just how popular
marijuana remains despite health warnings. A 40-something woman referred to
as Ruth has a little something to say. "It\'s a very nice high," she said.
"Often in these drug stories, people forget to mention that part" (The
Associated Press, A-6). Ruth is among the 17 million Americans who use
marijuana regularly. Part of the reason for marijuana\'s popularity is its
cheap price. John, a scientist who uses the drug says an ounce can cost
him from $40 to $100 (The Associated Press, A-6). Another reason for its
popularity that is that "the cops basically ignored it" a few years ago,
said Bill FitzGerald, of the County Attorney\'s Office (The Associated
Press, A-6). Today, the county boasts a "Do Drugs, Do Time" program
targeting all drug users (The Associated Press, A-6).

"Marijuana: Is there a new reason to worry?", an article in the March
88 issue of American Health by Winifred Gallagher had a lot to say about
just what parts of the body marijuana effects. The majority of the effects
of marijuana are caused by a chemical called THC
(delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana, when smoked, enters the body
though the lungs and is passed to the blood stream. According to Doctor
Billy martin, a professor of pharmacology at the Medical College of
Virginia, THC seems to turn on a number of biological systems (Gallagher,
92). Harvard\'s Dr. Norman Zinberg studied a group of marijuana smoker and
concluded that "essentially, marijuana doesn\'t cause psychological problems
for the occasional user" (Gallagher, 92). Heavy use however, is thought to
create a lack of motivation, or commonly called "burn-out". New York
Hospital\'s Millman prefers the term "aberrant motivation" to describe the
inert attitude of some heavy smokers" (Gallagher, 92).

"The Health Hazards of Marijuana," a report in the September 1990
issue of World & I by Gabriel G. Nahas was very informative on the damage
caused by marijuana. Marijuana effects memory and behavior. "Marijuana
really interferes with short-term memory," says Dr. Richard Schwartz or
Georgetown University, and memory loss is one of the main problems with
kids who smoke pot" (Nahas, 287). Marijuana also effects the immune
system. Guy Cabral of the Medical College of Virginia reported that THC
impairs the competence of calls to destroy virus infected cells and tumor
cells (Nahas, 293). Marijuana also has devastating effects on human mental
development, and cause metal disorders.

An article in Newsday on August 14, 1990 by Jamie Talan called
"Marijuana as Medicine" had something completely different to say. New
findings "give the study of cannabinoids (the family of chemicals in
Marijuana) a new respectability", said Donald Moss, professor of psychology
at the University of Texas (Talan, D1). Miles Herkenham, chief of
functional neuroanatomy at the National Institution of