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Marijuana is a gateway drug to those who use and misuse the drug. Marijuana is classified as a gateway drug, one that helps people escape their reality and hide in their dreams; while most use it for recreational use, Marcy Dolin, a Multiple Sclerosis Patient using Marijuana for pain relief. Marcy, the 71 year old Marijuana User, was interviewed by The New York Times and gave a brief interview into why she does the drug. "I'm lying on my bed, smoking a joint. I smoke about eight a day, and eat a marijuana cookie before I go to sleep at night. I like the peanut-butter ones. I've been using marijuana for about 35 years, ever since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It takes the pain and muscle spasms away. Without it, I would be living on morphine and other horrible drugs. I couldn't do that to my family. That's no life, and I would have ended it. That's the truth. I used to take a drug called Neurontin, and I just never stopped crying. I was in a fog, totally depressed. I told my doctor that I was going back to just marijuana; he said he would have me arrested if he could. What are they going to do? I'm 71 years old. Are they going to put me in jail? I'm not hurting anybody. It's just here in my own house." (Meek, Miki, March, 2011.) But Marijuana, like many other temptations of the world has not only broken up the Shalom of the nation as a whole but has also has caused a global segregation, backlash from the Christian based organizations, and been the cause for most crimes rates rising around the world(." (Meek, Miki, March, 2011).
Marijuana is created from the dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant "Cannabis sativa" (T, Buddy, and 28 Mar. 2011.)". The different strands or types of Marijuana varies on the type of plant, the weather, the soil, the time of harvest, and other factors determine the strength of marijuana. The main ingredient in marijuana is THC (delta 9 tetrhydrocannabinol) (N.a. 2005). This is the primary chemical in Marijuana that causes its mind altering effects (T, Buddy, and 28 Mar. 2011).
After looking into why Marijuana is a banned drug coming across a straight answer was very difficult, but not an impossible task. Marijuana is illegal because of the THC content it contains. THC or delta 9 tetrhydrocannabinol is the main psychoactiveÂ found in theÂ cannabisÂ plant (Gable, R.S. 2004). THC causes different affects to the brain depending on the amount consumed and or smoked/eaten (Bigsby, J. 2007). On an upside, THC does have some medical uses. Its anti-emetic properties, (inhibiting vomiting), and are particularly useful in the treatment of cancer patients on chemotherapy. Also, as THC increases the appetite and reduces the vomit response, it is starting to be used in the treatment of anorexia and other eating disorder remaining beneficial to Cancer and HIV patients (T. D. Brisbois, 10, 2010).
Marijuana comes with a plethora of side effects. "Some immediate effects of marijuana include a faster heartbeat and pulse rate, bloodshot eyes, and a dry mouth and throat and other research shows that the earlier people start using drugs, the more likely they are to go on to experiment with other drugs In addition, when young people start using marijuana regularly, they often lose interest and are not motivated to do their school work" (James, A. 1984). "Heavy Marijuana users are more likely than non-users to be diagnosed with schizophrenia later in life" (N.a., Web. 6 Apr. 2011). A recent study found that people, who had used marijuana more than 50 times before the age of 18, had a threefold increased risk of developing schizophrenia later in life. "When it's smoked or eaten, marijuana triggers a mild euphoria and increased sensitivity to bodily sensations, along with a range of other perceptual distortions that are usually experienced as pleasant -- but not always, and not by all users"( Jeffery, A. 2001, February 9). A rare but probable effect of marijuana is called "Acute Panic Anxiety Reaction" which some describe this reaction as an extreme fear of "losing control," which causes panic. The symptoms usually disappear in a few hours (James, A. 1984).
Acute Panic Anxiety Reaction can become a serious long term issue. Some refer to this as having a bad trip. On several accounts, a bad trip can become inescapable which can because the Marijuana induced user to be in need of a trip to the hospital. This scenario seems to be extremely rare, but can happen to first time users (James, A. 1984).
"Contrary to belief, there were no tests done to prove whether Marijuana causes mental issues or memory loss" (Schuler, J. 1977). In fact to that being a rumor, it was started by a Cigarette Company Newport, to boost sales on their tobacco products. "Also, there is no convincing scientific evidence that marijuana causes psychological damage or mental illness in either teenagers or adults. Some marijuana users experience psychological distress following marijuana ingestion" (Iversen, P. 2005).
To prove the researchers wrongs, a tad bit of research was done to prove whether weed had the same effect to your lungs similar to cigarettes. Moderate smoking of marijuana appears to pose minimal danger to the lungs. Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke contains a number of irritants and carcinogens. But marijuana users typically smoke much less often than tobacco smokers, and over time, inhale much less smoke (Iversen, P. 2005).
Aside from all of the negatives, Marijuana has a lot of positive effects to all those using it as a recreational drug. "In The past, the 1960's and early 1970's I smoked marijuana for recreational purposes it seemed to enhance whatever I was doing, so that good things became even better. Making love, going on walks, or listening to music all seemed markedly improved if done after smoking marijuana.Â Thus, one reason I kept using it was that the use was reinforced by pleasurable experiences. (Eisenman, R. 2003)" Even research goes on to provide why marijuana is good for those who love using the drug. Scientists have never been able to induce an overdose from marijuana on lab animals. They were able to tolerate doses of up to 1,000 mg (N.a. 2004, September 27).
The Deaths that have been recorded to be the results of marijuana usage were later closely examined and found to actually have been caused by choking on vomit which was not directly credited to the drug (N.a. 2004, September 27). A John Hopkins study done over a fifteen year period has concluded that there were no long-term effects on cognitive skills or actual intelligence (Positives Legalizing Marijuana, Oct. 2008). This state that users of the drug have nothing to really fear about the effects. But the flip side to Marijuana finally sets in. Shalom has taken its course. Many religions believe marijuana can be used for spiritual purposes. These practices were in place long before the country of America was even established. The first amendment gives all Americans the right of Â "freedom of Religion". Though the many religions that find spiritual significance is smoking marijuana are not allowed to do so in America, despite its claim allowing people to practice religion any way they choose ( from the same source, Oct. 2008) The interviewer then goes on to say that "On another level, the use of medical marijuana could easily soothe the symptoms of thousands of people who suffer from fatal illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, Wasting syndrome, and nervous and neurotic problems" (A Historical Timeline of Cannabis Through the Ages ( John Stalks, 27 Sept. 2004). During the early 1850's the United Stated Pharmacopoeia listed allâ€¦ This leaves the reader in confusion. Does Shalom Out rule the Positives and Negatives of Shalom or is it the other way around (Ages John Stalks, 27 Sept. 2004)?
One may view the facts given and right away think Marijuana is good and brings Shalom, while others believe the exact opposite but that refers to the legal form of Marijuana. That being Medical Marijuana. Stated in a Los Angeles Times interview "Whether physiological evidence supports use or not, those people who use marijuana to sooth illness obviously feel better by using it. If marijuana use is psychological, then so be it. The bottom line is that marijuana use for therapeutic purposes should feel effective to those who are using it"(The Positive and Negative Effects of Marijuana, N.a., June 2004). From the hundreds of studies done over the years, scientists and the general public have a general notion of what the short and long term effects are. If one is willing to take the risk and use marijuana to help them cope with their illness, then it is their choice to do so" (Ziegler, J. 1997). This is a perfect example of what Medical Marijuana can do for a person. Medical Marijuana, if the risks are accepted, can be a very positive drug for patients with very severe diseases and illnesses such as HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, and Glaucoma problems. This enables Medical Marijuana to be considered for the imaginary award of Best Shalom Bring drug around. Medical Marijuana also serves as secondary treatment for those experiencing pain due to their illness or ailment (The Positive and Negative Effects of Marijuana, N.a., June 2004).
On the other side of the spectrum one could also argue how Medical Marijuana takes away from Shalom and alters peace for its own sickly cravings. Medical Marijuana can form an addiction to the drug, causing it to become overused, abused, and sometimes problematic for the users. Users of the drug through long term usage can experience withdraw syndrome, usually associated with other recreational drugs. This series of events can, as it usually does, turn a good thing bad. Making medical Marijuana a ridiculous ploy for bringing Shalom as it destroys and deters the progression of bring Shalom (Ziegler, J. 1997).
When you also think about Shalom and Marijuana, one of the first things that may come to your mind is the crime rate which comes along with annotation of drugs. In the argument for how Marijuana brings Shalom, one could bring up the point that Marijuana could help decrease the crime rate if legalized in certain high crime rated cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York City. But evidence proves otherwise. " In 2009, the last year recorded for total Marijuana arrests, showed how badly crime has risen since the sudden urgency for marijuana increasing showing the numbers being 52.9% (Shafer, Raymond P., 2009)" higher than any other year recorded for the rate of crime. The number proves exactly what the naysayers want them to, which is Marijuana is just overall bad (Shafer, Raymond P., 2009).
There's always a flip side to every negative, which just so happens to be a positive in this situation. Marijuana can be arguably one of the most mellowing drugs on the streets beside Ritalin. This helps prove the case that if people are mellow and not craving a high, wouldn't that lower the crime rate? To some extent this theory is correct. A mind is to only wonder how much the crime rate has dropped in such countries in which Marijuana is legalized such as Amsterdam and how that relates to the product of Shalom. To many, it seems as though Marijuana and Shalom can exist in the world together. The two seem to advocate peace and tranquility, but in reality it seems as though they cannot (Ranes, M. (2008).
In the Book of Matthew, (Matthew 5:9, NIV) the definition of shalom is defined by Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Ranes, M. (2008). This could also be interpreted as saying those who are peaceful and advocate peace are the organizers of Shalom. These are the people who are the activist of peace and oversee the flow of peacefulness. In the case of Marijuana, the question which is usually asked is who oversees the peacefulness of Shalom? Who should be in control of the peace for Marijuana? Are the governments in control or are the people in charge of the Shalom of Marijuana (Sarah O'MearaÂ , 2008)?
Arguably, the people should be the commanders of their Shalom. They people, the users, the abusers or the drug should be the person who control the amount consumed by them. Others can argue that the government should step in, "if Marijuana is legalized, should be taxed by the government. If the government makes the rules for Marijuana and the legalistic views, should be also administered by the government" (Time Magazine. 2010, August 3). In turn, the government should be in control of the Shalom of Marijuana. Confusingly enough, trouble arises with this concept (Jeffery, A. 2001, February 9).
Shalom, also defined by Webster's Dictionary means "Peace" (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shalom). Plain and uncomplicated enough, yet this translation gets lost through the renditions of others. The only way to truly gain shalom is to bring the hindrances that are stopping it together, and unify the two. Easier said than done, especially with the topic of Marijuana is thrown into the conversation. Marijuana, like many other drugs, can be classified as a drug which is destructive. Something dubbed a Destroyer Drug. Like many other destroyer drugs, Marijuana can help ruined a plethora of relationships including: families, job related relationships, friendships, hobbies, and lastly personal. For Marijuana to be deemed as helpful, it surely comes with a lot of destructive properties. An insert from a London based magazine, belfasttelegraph.com; an interview was given to show how Marijuana can ruin your mind and your life. ""But a spokesman for mental health charity Rethink says: "We think for those with a predisposition to mental illness, statistics show you're more likely to develop psychotic illness. We use the peanut allergy - some eat them every day and are fine, others have an allergic reaction (MacGowan, A. 2005).
We don't think it's addictive, but we do think people can become dependent." Whatever the argument, in a recent report for the Government, the drugs advisory panel concluded that cannabis did pose a "real threat to health" and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced her intention to reclassify cannabis from a Class C to a Class B drug"" (Sarah O'MearaÂ , 2008)
The idea is intact. Marijuana can and probably would destroy your life if you use it excessively. Medical marijuana users usually understand the risk and are willing to live with the sacrifice of their already aching bodies only getting worse as use of the drug continues. In order to accept that risk, speaking for medical marijuana users, they have to be in perfect Shalom with themselves and at harmony with God. Reverting back to the ultimate philosophy that Marijuana and Shalom can exist in the world together. On the other hand, a problematic resolution to connecting Marijuana and Shalom cannot be sought after for non medicinal users. The risk seems significantly higher for those who are not using it for Medical reasons than for those which actually are. This can be realized because that those who are using for medicinal reasons accepted the long term effects when those who aren't do not really understand the effects because they have not been informed of them (MacGowan, A., Payne, D., & Iversen, P. (2005).
In better terms, Marijuana and Shalom can exist in a world together if under the correct circumstances. But finding those correct circumstances is more of a difficult task than actually having Marijuana and Shalom exist in the world together. Marijuana, like many other temptations of the world has not only broken up the Shalom of the nation as a whole but has also has caused a global segregation, backlash from the Christian based organizations, and been the cause for most crimes rates rising around the world. Marijuana has done all of the listed, and yet still remains in high demand, which in the eyes of some critics could be classified as anarchy (Gable, R. 2004).
Marijuana just doesn't break apart a nation, but it destroys it. If not being used for Medical purposes, Marijuana can and will harm you. That's just the facts. Marijuana is harmful to the lungs and even causes the mind to change negatively over extended periods of time. It also causes people to question the reality if God. The question often asked is if weed exists, is it God owned since he owns all on the world. A simplistic question can turn into a complex one when you ask the wrong Christian Organizations. How could God put something so dangerous and harmful on Earth for human consumption? Is Marijuana just a ploy from the devil to get God's people to fall into a deceiving but enjoyable sin? What exactly is Marijuana when God is in relevancy? Those are the types of questions asked when trying to tackle the situation about how Marijuana relates to God and has proven to be a tough question to answerÂ (N.a.,2008, June 4).
In conclusion, no one really knows. No one really knows whether Marijuana is helpful to building a relationship with God or not. Science says one thing, but usually is contradicted by the Bible which is where the question of Marijuana lies. All that really can be trusted is if Marijuana is a controlled substance and the Bible forbids the over usage of them. Whether Marijuana makes an exception to the rule or not is a question of personal opinion that cannot be proven true or false with the evidence shown of Marijuana vs. Shalom. The topic is one of great magnitude and without proper evidence, it's hard to say whether Marijuana can exist within a peaceful and Shalom filled environment or whether Marijuana is against the greater good of God's natural intention for Earth (N.a.,2004, September 27).