Marijuana is a drug obtained from a plant called cannabis sativa. Another name for cannabis sativa is hemp. The plant was grown in the United States of America for agricultural purposes during the colonial period up to the beginning of the 20th century. It was used in the manufacture of birdseed, clothes, lacquer and ropes. Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug among the youths in the United States and other countries in the world, as well (Iversen, 2001).
Once I get to know that my teenage child smokes marijuana, I will advise him/her on the merits of using the drug as well as the dangers associated with it for his/her life. The teenager may be smoking because of pressure exerted to them by their sisters, brothers or friends around them or because they see older people smoking.
The media encourages teenagers to use marijuana. Characters in various television programs like movies smoke marijuana openly, contributing to the fact that the youth, spending most of their time in front of TVs, regards it as a normal issue.
Its use is seen as a way of relieving stress and, therefore, a gateway to escaping problems arising at schools, in families and the way to solve conflicts with friends. Out of curiosity, many teenagers are tempted to smoke to know how it feels to be under the influence of drugs. Whatever the reasons, my child will have behind marijuana use, I will advise him/her to avoid it completely because of the following five reasons (Joy, 1999).
Use of marijuana has been banned not only in the United States of America where its use originated but also in most other countries. This is mainly because of the effects it has been found to have on its users and the society in general. According to Iversen (2001), the use of marijuana is a health hazard. Once smoked, marijuana is absorbed in the blood stream.
It lowers the pressure of the blood and at the same time, it increases the rate at which the heart beats. Pulse rate may go up to 20 to 50 times beyond the normal rate or even more if it is used in combination with other drugs. Researchers have found that low blood pressure and high pulse rate puts marijuana users at a greater risk of heart attack, which is likely to take place within the first hour of smoking than normal people.
There are high chances of conducting chest illnesses like heavy coughing and lung infections. Its users may develop a stinging mouth. Studies have also shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound contained in the drug lowers down the immune system of the body making the body weak to resist diseases. This makes its users vulnerable to other diseases.
Chances of giving birth to abnormal children are high for pregnant mothers if they take marijuana. Miscarriages and premature births are also common. It is costly to treat diseases associated with smoking. In severe cases, these diseases cause death leading to reduction of the population. Mental disorders are also associated with marijuana. Once absorbed in the blood stream, it distorts the normal functioning of the brain. There are reported cases in which excessive use of marijuana leads to insanity (Joy, 1999).
According to Joy (1999), marijuana is associated with risky sexual behaviors that put an individual at risk of conducting sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and HIV aids.
Drug users fall as victims of rape where they force other people into sex. Drug consumption increases rate among students. Mainly, drug users perform poorly at schools, which they often decide to quit. This lowers the status of education in the society. Finally, marijuana users tend to be violent. Some do not carry out their roles in the family like provision of basic needs.
Wife battering is very common among drug users. This leads to family breakages. Marijuana and other illegal drugs are expensive. Because of the above negative effects associated with marijuana use, there should be some control over the marijuana use. Consumption of marijuana in large contents should be avoided. If it has to be used, people should follow doctor’s prescriptions on how and when to take it to avoid its negative effects on the user and the whole society as well.
Iversen, L. (2001). The science of marijuana, London: Oxford University Press.
Joy, E. (1999). Marijuana and medicine: assessing the science base, New York, NY: National Academies Press.