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Martin C.

Van Beek English 1010 Tuesdays 10-11:20 Professor Strickland Issue Exploration Paper

Marijuana: Industrial Material or Dangerous Substance


Marijuana has many different uses as well as some significant benefits, or psychosiss depending upon whose viewpoint you hear. It has been debated for many years whether or not this plant should be legalized and used for its plethora of uses, or if the public getting its hands on this narcotic agent would be to dangerous to allow to happen. In this IEP I will be talking about the pros and cons of marijuana use and its various applications. I have explored both sides of the issue and these are my findings. I will start first with the current Utah Laws on Marijuana. In Utah, the current laws for possessing Marijuana to selling paraphernalia range in a variety of different offenses. Having less than an ounce can lead up to 6 months in prison with a $1,000 fine. One ounce to One pound can lead to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. Selling Marijuana paraphernalia possession can lead to 6 months and a $1,000 fine, and sale can lead to 1 year of prison time and a $2,500 fine. Selling paraphernalia to a minor is a felony, with a 5year prison incarceration and a $5,000 fine, same with selling Marijuana. Any conviction in Utah with Marijuana involved will result in a drivers license suspension for up to 6 month (NORML Org). For such high penalties, why would anyone take a risk in trying to provide this substance? In a film called The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, it explains many of the reasons some one may have for wanting to take these risks to grow and sell the plant. Marijuana in Canada makes upwards to $7 Billion annually, with sometimes upwards of 85% of it flooding into the U.S. It also shows how for some people, Marijuana has extreme health benefits such as

in the case of Greg Cooper (The Union 2007). A man suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, who smokes Marijuana, and the results as shown in the film are night and day. His compulsive shaking that cannot be controlled is toned down to the point you almost cannot even notice it anymore. None-the-less, do the health benefits and potential profits be enough to have the plant become legalized? An article by USA Today talks about the legalization of Marijuana that happened in Washington. Roger Roffman, a professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work, says that, It can help people relax and interact with others. He also states that it can also enhance experiences such as listening to music. With these statements he also discusses that the plant can have effects like thinking impaired, having difficulty remembering and organizing ones thoughts, as well as difficulty multi-tasking. Professor Roffman also states that during a young adults years of college, their brains should be working at peak performance, where smoking Marijuana during these times lowers peak performance rates. Especially in things such as academics, job performance, even as far as life satisfaction. Along with these symptoms and changes, increased heart rate can result, as well as feelings of paranoia and anxiety. Yet Marijuanas money potentials still put it in the lobby for legalization. CNBC created a documentary about just that, the money made in the business of Marijuana. It shows the billions of dollars that can be created by Marijuana selling and growing. Not just in a illegal sense, but from medical Marijuana sales in California. This way a crop is being generated and sold out of a single state-helping boost its economy. If it did not grow its own Marijuana then it would be getting imported from other locations, or people would be smuggling the Marijuana in and some one else would be making all the money. People who would smuggle the plant risk quiet a bit to earn a large sum of money, which can be a dangerous life style.

Marijuana, since it is an illegal substance with many states, can often be found in shady communities, as demonstrated in Reefer Madness. This propaganda film made in 1936 helped sway public opinion and voting to illegalize Marijuana. The film depicts high school students who go to a dope house and start getting involved with the dealers. The kids begin to smoke more and do more reckless and irresponsible things before finally, committing a murder and then suicide. This scared many people of the time into not trying Marijuana and thinking that it was something that was truly horrible. For a brief time though in 1943, the U.S. Department of Agriculture created a film to encourage farmers to grow hemp. The brief film called Hemp for Victory, talks about the many industrial uses for hemp, such as cloth and cordage. It also talks about how during the War of 1812 many naval ships had thick ropes made of hemp fibers. At the time, these were just a few of the known uses and applications for hemp, but during World War II, which is when this film was made, hemp was known to make plastics as well as many other useful things. Yet the law remained and Marijuana was turned into an illegal substance. The Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) released a statement on their position on Marijuana in 2011. The document claims that smoked Marijuana is not medicine. It supports this by talking about how the drug was tested in the 1970s for its medical value and was found to have none, as well as the FDA not approving it as any type if medicine. The document also states that smoked Marijuana is extremely dangerous, and that anything approved by the FDA is much safer that smoking Marijuana as a therapeutic choice. The document also attacks medicinal clubs of charging more money for profit, yet claiming to be a non-profit organization. Yet there are many more uses to hemp than smoking it.

In a document published by Ernest Small and David Marcus, it talks about a variety of thing that hemp can be used for. The list being quiet large contains things from; baked goods, body care cosmetics, animal food, industry oils, long fibers, specialty papers, as well as a slew of other things that it can create. One of the main things that can be created from the whole hemp plant is a hemp fuel named Hempanol. The significant thing about this item is that it is a renewable fuel source. Instead of relying on dwindling fossil fuels we could create a fuel out of a plant. As you can see there are a variety of issues surrounding the Marijuana plant. From health issues to health benefits, to a plethora of uses, Marijuana is quiet the versatile plant. It is illegal to grow or posses in many states, and in the states its legal, it is still deemed illegal under Federal law. If this plant was legalized how would our world look and be shaped today? At this point only time will tell what changes may come.

Annotated Bibliography 1.Small, Ernst and Marcus, Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses in North America.
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-284.html A basic history of the marijuana plant. It was first discovered in China and harvested since as long as 8500 years ago. Since then it has been used for multiple different things; textiles, cloth, plastics, fuels, and many other things. One about Henry Ford creating the first Model T out of hemp plastic and ran on hempanol. It also talks about various chemical compounds found in marijuana and industrial hemp.

2.The Union: The Business Behind Getting High. Dir. Brett Harvey. Score G Productions, 2007. Film. A documentary that talks about the marijuana industry in Canada. It shows various ways that people took to growing the plant and how they would conceal it. It shows how that money is made drastically from sending the marijuana into the states and getting inflated rates at high risk. It also shows the medical qualities to the plant in a patient with M.S. Also how one person has made a business with cooking pot food.

3.Reefer Madness. Dir. Louis J. Gasnier. George A. Hirliman Productions, 1936. Film. A film made in 1936 about the negative effects of marijuana. A bit drastic in the way it showed drama portrayals. Shows how smoking marijuana led into a plethora of bad decisions that were manic at times. Decision after decision leading into murder as well as suicide. A propaganda film made to help in the banning of marijuana. 4.Marijuana Inc.: Inside Americas Pot Industry. Dir. Trish Regan. CNBC, 2009. Film/ Television. A film made by CNBC about the type of money that marijuana could generate. How selling medical marijuana in California has generated significant revenue under state law. How if it is not being grown in the states people would be smuggling it in. It also includes how federal agents will crack down on these growers, because under federal law it is still illegal. It also shows how homes are targeted for their marijuana by thieves more and more in the Emerald triangle.

5.Hemp For Victory. Dir. Raymond Evans. U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1943. Film. A brief film about how certain marijuana (hemp) strains are grown to produce thick durable rope. It shows the process of what soil to choice for hemp, to what machines to use to cultivate. It also shows the process of breaking the stalks down and extracting the hemp fibers from the stalk of the plant. Made in 1943 to help get support of farmers to grow hemp for World War II support.

6. Johns, Andrew. Psychiatric Effects of Cannabis The British Journal of Psychiatry. Volume 178, Issue 2. 2001. Pages 116-122 A British study upon how cannabis use can attribute psychosis in some cases. It is hard to determine whether the case is truly caused from cannabis use or from pre-existing conditions. Also examines how a person with schizophrenia could relapse with the use of marijuana. It also touches base with a common anxiety feeling that most cannabis user suffer from shown from studies.

7."Utah Penalties." Norml.org. Norml Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2013. <http://norml.org/laws/item/utah-penalties-2?category_id=889>. A list of laws in Utah about marijuana. Includes possession charges, paraphernalia charges, as well as selling. It goes into how much time you will serve in prison for being caught for doing various things with marijuana and the charges as well. Also shows the specific law in which these laws are stated.

8.Horowitz, Alana. "DEA Marijuana Report Details Federal Government's Opposition." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 Apr. 2013. Web. 6 Apr. 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/04/dea-marijuana-report_n_3016220.html>. A newspaper article about how a new study came out that showed 52% of Americans were in favor of marijuana becoming legalized. It mentions how Washington and Colorado have legalized it and when Obama was asked with what he thought he replied, We have bigger fish to fry. Article also includes a document that is the D.E.A.s Position on Marijuana.

9.Payne, Cathy, and Michelle Healy. "Marijuana's Health Effects: Memory Problems, Addiction." USA Today. Gannett, 07 Dec. 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/06/nih-marijuana-effects/1751011/>. This news article talks about how Colorado and Washington have decriminalized marijuana. It gets the opinion of a neuroscientist that works with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). He claims that people who smoke marijuana experience slower motor skills, impaired short-term memory, anxiety in high doses, impaired judgment and decision making as well. He says that it can increase the risk of someone with cardiovascular disease to have a heart attack, because it increases the heart rate by 20-100%. Not knowing the full effects of the plant before consuming could be very dangerous for some people and potentially cause death by heart attack claims Ruben Baler.