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Are we right or wrong about Marijuana?

by jim moran

I've told you a bunch of my ski stories. I figure that it's time for a change. I thought about it for a while, and decided that there is nothing better than good controversy. No, I won't talk of religion; instead I choose something closer to home: marijuana.

My view is an interesting one as I am a former stoner that does not smoke anymore. What was so interesting was my purpose for quitting. I quit to keep from messing with my brain after that little traumatic brain injury I had. As a U.S. National Ski Team member and Olympian, I was used to stopping then starting all the time; I will honestly say that I was never stoned for any World Cup in my life. Give me a lie detector test if you want.

It's odd how people perceive illegal substances as horrible, but the legal ones that they do every day are cool and OK. The fact is that marijuana is the least dangerous substance of them all. I am a student these days, and one of my classes is called Substance Use/Abuse. I figured I have already studied the user side, now it is time to study the facts. I have opinions about this that the stoners will love, and facts that the non-stoner will respect. I will say this: It's all true.

My life as a stoner can be described as very fun. My life as a non-stoner can also be described as very fun. Why is it that people do or do not abuse this substance? There are many answers. There are people who enjoy it because of taste, smell, escape from the stresses of life, opening the door for imagination, heightening of the senses, and easing communication for introverts. The non-user feels that simply it is illegal, and it makes you stupid. That idea is both true and false.

First of all marijuana is illegal in most states in this country. On the stoner's side, many people are trying to legalize the medical use of marijuana. And unlike most other substances, marijuana does not cause sudden and dramatic personality shifts.

On the non-stoner side, it is proven that marijuana causes short term memory loss. It decreases reaction time, motor coordination, and oral communication abilities. Marijuana also reduces the ability to pay attention, track moving objects, perceive time, and learn things in general.

Now we will move to the most important topic: sex. Marijuana is proven to increase your heart rate by 50%. Faster heart rate means that you can get a harder cock. Sensitivity is increased which can make it more pleasurable for both the man and the women. The negative side is not a big deal-unless you plan to have a child. Marijuana will lower the sperm count in males, and massive amounts of it can cause a decrease in testosterone (that will make you not care about sex).

In women, marijuana is a teratogen. That means that it can cross the placenta. Your child may not die, but it can cause them serious problems. The point here is if you are going to have a child, stop smoking pot. You are not affecting yourself as much as you are affecting your unborn child.

Since most people relate intelligence with brainpower, it's fair to say that marijuana makes the stoner less intelligent. There are arguments from both sides. Some feel that short term memory is unimportant, because you will loose it anyway. Others feel that it is very important because you will forget what you were talking about or the name of the person that you were just introduced to.

Compare marijuana to the other substances that are legal. Tobacco kills 400,000 people per year. There is a study out that say's an equal amount of marijuana has fifty percent more tar than tobacco. Dude… I'd like to see you smoke a pack of joints in one day by yourself. You would be so damn stoned you couldn't do anything.

How about alcohol? Well, 200,000 die per year from alcohol. The drunk not only kills himself, he murder others as well. They don't mean to, they simply loose hearing, sensation, emotions, and coordination of motor skills. The same can be said of marijuana, and once again I could tell you both sides.

The simple question is why are some substances legal, and others illegal? People have found a way to produce power and heat from marijuana. They can make paper from it without cutting down any trees. It is less dangerous than tobacco, and alcohol. Why isn't it legal?

Right now there is a case in the Supreme Court as to the legalization of marijuana for medical use. We'll just keep an eye on that one.

I could be called an odd one because I feel everyone should be free to do what they wish. I am a believer that the punishment should match the crime. This is true of all the substances. If you take them enough you will become addicted, and be forced to follow the addiction. If you take the money that we spend on incarceration, and put that money into education, and rehabilitation, I think that many of the problems would be solved. Remember that this is the United States. It is the land of the free and the home of the brave!