Hemp Essay, Research Paper


Hemp is the plant called “cannabis sativa” which is more commonly called marijuana.Marijuana has been illegal in the U.S.. ever since the Great Depression. The question we must ask ourselves is “why?”

Why is a drug that has so many beneficial uses illegal? Is it because its poisoning the youth of today? Is it because itleads to harder drugs, the health problems, the addictiveness, the short-term memory impairment, the auto accidents,or is it simply because politicians tell us it is for “our own good?” We have grown up learning that marijuana is a terrible drug, and that

using it gives us brain damage, kill all of our brain cells, and makes us lose our memory.

The fact is though, that

marijuana does not effect us in any of the ways listed above. The idea that marijuana

impairs short-term memory is

true, but misleading. Any signs of short-term memory impairment vanish once the user is

no longer intoxicated.

Mainly the reason we think marijuana is bad is because that is what the Partnership for a

Drug-Free America wants

us to believe. They tell us that marijuana will cause brain damage and memory impairment,

it will kill brain cells, and

lead to more crime. But what they forget to mention is all the benefits we can receive from

legalizing marijuana. For

example, the medicinal uses, and the textile and construction uses. It is very likely that

legalizing marijuana would

decrease the crime rate, and by legalizing marijuana we will save a lot of money because

we won’t have to spend it

on fighting marijuana as part of the War on Drugs. There are many habits much worse

than marijuana, one example

being cigarette smoking. “Tobacco smoking kills more people each year than AIDS,

heroin, crack, cocaine,

alcohol, car accidents, fire and murder combined. Tobacco smoking is the number one

cause of preventable death

in the US. Tobacco smokers have 10 times the lung cancer of nonsmokers, twice the

heart disease, and are three

times more likely to die of heart disease if they develop it. Does it make sense that

tobacco is legal and marijuana is

not, when so many people die from tobacco smoking each year and there is not one

reported case of anyone ever

dying from marijuana use in its 10,000 years of consumption? You have probably heard

that “one joint is that same

as 10 cigarettes,” but this statement is misleading. ALthough marijuana contains the same

amount of carcinogens as

an equal amount of tobacco and more tar, tobacco is still worse. Every yr 350,000

Americans die from

tobacco-related disease according to the American Lung Association. A tobacco smoker

consumes much more

tobacco than a marijuana smoker consumes marijuana. This is probably because tobacco

has a 90% addiction rate

while marijuana is less addictive than caffeine. Also, tobacco contains nicotine that may

harden the arteries and may

be responsible for much of the heart diseases caused by cigarette smoking. Marijuana on

the other hand contains

the chemical THC which opens up the lungs and aids in the clearance of smoke and dirt. I

think it is safe to say that

tobacco smoking is much more dangerous than marijuana smoking. Another bad habit is

alcohol, which in my

opinion is the worst of all. 8,000 American teenagers are killed each year and 40,000

maimed from driving under

the influence. The mortality figures for alcohol use are 100,000 annually, compared to the

zero marijuana deaths.

The amount of marijuana needed to kill someone is 1 to 40,000, while the ratio for alcohol

fluctuates between 1 to

4 and 1 to 10. Not only do many people die each year from alcohol poisoning, but alcohol

has caused thousands of

fatal car accidents. Although, marijuana, when used to the point of intoxication, impairs

judgement and reaction

time, actual studies suggest that the effect alcohol has on one’s driving ability is much

greater than that of marijuana.

In fact, it is found that 85% of marijuana related car accidents also involved alcohol. It is

sad to think that a legal

drug like alcohol, the drug of choice for most teens, causes so many fatalities on our

highways each year, yet

marijuana is the drug that is illegal. I personally feel that marijuana is an amazing plant, and

it should be being utilized

today. The problem is that most people don’t know the benefits that can come from

marijuana. There are many

different beneficial ways for which marijuana can be used. Marijuana can be used for

medical and textile uses, for

food, for fuels, and for the economy. First of all, marijuana could be used for food. It is

believed that enough food is

grown worldwide to feed everyone and that famine exists because there are not sufficient

means of distribution. So

why not let people grow their own marijuana? Marijuana grows like a weed and has few

insect pests. It is usually

grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Hemp improves the quality of the soil

because it is grown without

pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Hemp is not finicky and grows under many different

conditions and has one of

the largest worldwide distributions of any plant. It is very nutritious and it contains high

amounts of protein and

essential fatty oils. The average adult can receive an adequate amount of protein and oils

from just one handful of

hemp seed a day. If this is the case, which it is, why are people starving around the world

when the solution is

marijuana for food? Hemp could also be used for fuel. By using marijuana for fuel we

could reduce the amount of

carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere. Hemp can also be used for heating

homes. Using marijuana for

fuel would not only help our environment save us a lot of money for fuel, but it would also

benefit our economy by

allowing the country to make huge profits because the cost of growing marijuana is

virtually nothing. Another way

marijuana can be used is for clothes, fibers, and paper. Marijuana has been used in the

past for textile and

construction and should be used today. For example, the first pair of Levi’s jeans were

made from marijuana

because it is extremely durable. ALso, sailors used marijuana in canvas for their sails

because it does become

corroded from the sea water. The pulp fibers of marijuana can be used for making paper,

which would reduce the

amount of trees that are cut down. One acre of hemp will make the same amount and

quality of paper as 4 acres of

20 yr old trees without the need for chlorine in the bleaching process and, creating no

toxic dioxin pollutants. What

I’m wondering in why haven’t we used marijuana for paper all along? I think it is senseless

that are constantly cutting

down trees and destroying rain forests when there is another alternative. There is only 4%

of America’s old growth

forest still remaining, and yet we are still cutting them down like they will grow back

instantly. The fact is that it may

take a lifetime for what has already been destroyed to grow back, so why keep ruining

America’s old growth

forests when growing marijuana grows much more quickly and it is cheaper? Most

importantly, marijuana should be

legalized for medicinal reasons. Hemp can be used to treat many diseases, some of which

include: multiple sclerosis,

depression, epilepsy, migraine headaches, asthma, glaucoma, cancer treatment, AIDS

treatment, emphysema, and

stress reduction. This list does not even include the many medicines that can be made from

marijuana, it only

includes the illnesses for which marijuana is used today. Marijuana is commonly used for

controlling nausea and

vomiting in cancer and AIDS patients that are being treated with chemotherapy or AZT.

Because of nausea caused

by chemotherapy, these patients sometimes can’t eat, which could kill them. One way of

controlling the nausea is to

smoke marijuana, but the problem is that it is illegal. So what are they supposed to do,

starve? I don’t think there is

anything wrong with smoking marijuana, especially if it means their happiness. My

neighbor, Jason, has an aunt who

is dying of cancer. She has very little chance of beating this disease, and wants to be

comfortable for the time she

has left. She doesn’t want to be on all the heavy drugs. She tells Jason that she would

rather be in pain than be all

drugged up. She hates feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and sedated. When she smokes

marijuana she feels much better.

The pain doesn’t go away completely, but at least she can function. I think the fact that she

could be put in jail for

smoking marijuana is terrible. It is okay for a patient to be on serious narcotics to kill the

pain, but smoking

marijuana is out of the question. Marijuana has no side effects, whereas drugs like

Demerol and morphine have both

short-term and long-term effects on the patient. The short-term effects are dizziness,

sedation, itching and rash,

respiratory depression, delirium, decreased heartbeat, vomiting, disorientation,

hallucinations, decreased cough

reflex, and problems with urination. The long-term effects can actually be more serious

than some of the illnesses,

one example is liver damage. Marijuana, however, has no side affects, except sometimes

euphoria, which is minor

compared to the serious effects of narcotics. Glaucoma and multiple sclerosis are also

illnesses in which marijuana is

sometimes used. Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, is caused by

uncontrollable eye pressure.

Marijuana helps control the eye pressure and keeps glaucoma from leading to blindness.

Another illness that

marijuana is used for is multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is the disease in which the

body’s immune system

attacks the nerve cells. Marijuana can stop the spasms from occurring and can prevent the

disease from getting

worse. Marijuana should be legalized in th US because it has medicinal and textile

purposes which can benefit

everyone. Marijuana can be used as a material for clothing and the effects it has on both

cancer and AIDS patients

are positive. Marijuana is inexpensive to grow, allowing us to obtain a huge profit on the

medicinal and textile

industries, and it can be used as an alternative form of cigarettes. If the US government

were to take hold of this

operation, new jobs would open and money for the War on Drugs could be distributed to

other programs.

Marijuana must not be ignored or destroyed. Marijuana’s many uses are not and cannot

currently be used to its

fullest potential because of the drug laws. Among the most important uses of marijuana are

for medical and health

reasons, and textile and construction materials. The undeniable truth is that the benefits that

can come from legalizing

marijuana greatly outweigh the weak and unsupportive myths that keep this great resource

from being utilized. The

solution to this problem is to legalize marijuana and its many uses today. By legalizing

marijuana, many problems

would be solved. The only way for marijuana to be legalized though, is with the support

and help of everyone. Now

that you have a good understanding of what some of the many uses marijuana has, you’ll

help to decide. The most

important step to making marijuana legal is educating the public. One of the biggest

problems is that the people who

know about marijuana and agree that it should be legalized are too busy and too paranoid

to help. If you are

interested in helping, there are several organizations you could join. These organizations

need your help with getting

the word about marijuana out, so join one of the many committees in putting this issue

onto the ballots and into

legislatures of this country, where everyone can state their opinions in a straight forward

manner set forth in our

United States’ and individual states constitutions. The Florida Legalization Organization is

looking for sponsors for

the Hemp Re-Legalization Act which will re-legalize hemp for food, fuel, fiber, medicine,

recreation, sacramental

uses and almost all known purposes. One of the most important things you can do to help

is talk about marijuana

today, talk to friends, parents, co-workers, etc. Tell them you think marijuana should be

legalized, you may actually

be surprised at how many people will agree. Talk about the medicinal uses for marijuana ,

and the many other uses

you know about. You could photocopy fliers and literature and pass them around to

friends or anyone for that

matter. Spread the word about marijuana and have your friends pass the information along

to others. Post fliers

about meetings on campus or in the library. This is an easy way to inform people about

marijuana. Mostly what

these organizations need is volunteers, and funding for office supplies, printing, postage,

transportation, telephone,

etc. You can also write letters to elected officials such as the president, senator, or state or

local officials. Maybe

even spend some time with a local group doing telephone outreach, folding and mailing

literature, etc. Finally, you

can donate money and resources to activist groups like NORML, BACH, HEMP, etc. I

think that the best way in

spreading the word about marijuana is by talking about it. Go to the rallies with some

friends that are unsure about

the idea, and they can find out for themselves what it is all about. Also, go to Hempfest,

they are a lot of fun from

what I hear. They usually are much more fun than rallies and they are very educational. So,

if there is any question in

your mind about legalizing marijuana you should definitely attend. Every year the number

of people that go to

Hempfest gets bigger and bigger, but it is still not big enough. They need your support.

Whatever you do, do it right

away, This is an important issue that needs to be resolved soon and chances are that if you

don’t get started right

away, you never will.


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