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    Posted December 30, 2013 by
    DoeRenee
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Does marijuana help you?


    Skip the Pills and Booze, Non Toxic is For me

     

    Of course I would buy recreational retail cannabis.

     

    We seem to overlook a huge glaring point in this conversation, which has oddly become a "debate".

     

    Before we can go on, we must educate on all vertebrates' Endocannabinoid system. Humans and all animals with a spine have this system, which is the largest receptor system in the body. Why has this system been kept from our science textbooks?

     

    Better yet, why isn't SCIENCE at the forefront of this "debate"? Rather than get into the possibly dark answers to these questions, as an engineering student, I must first point to hard research.

     

    Here are links to research via the National Institutes of Health regarding the Endocannabinoid system, that are sadly not mainstream.

     

    1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2241751/

     

    and 2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20925267

     

    While the endocannabinoid system has been thoroughly investigated in the medical field, many still question its role in the recreational use of marijuana.

     

    Although its long-term effects continue to be debated, evidence shows that marijuana is a surprisingly benign substance that poses no risk of overdose and minimal risk of addiction. Experts also believe that the psychoactive properties of marijuana are most likely to be temporary and pose no risk of brain damage in the long run. We of course are finding out the seemingly miraculous results of using cannabis medically, which is inextricably linked to our endogenous Endocannabinoid system.There is so much more to say here, however, for sake of staying on topic, I will move on.

     

    Granted the use of marijuana should still be approached with caution, evidence points to marijuana as ultimately being safer than most commonly available substances, including caffeine, tobacco and alcohol.

     

    So, what's the big debate about? If it is safer than LEGAL substances, why isn't it legal now? Moral and made up concerns by current leaders- yes. Sadly, many of their worries were fed to them before they truly understood what they were being taught-- as children. On top of that, it's wide accepted that cannabis is physically addicting. It is not. I had the opportunity to take Dr. Robert Melamede's Endocannabinoids and Medical Marijuana class at my university, UCCS (University of Colorado Colorado Springs). Simple biochemistry explains why it is not physically addicting. Cannabis creates a surplus of brain chemicals and neurotransmitters like dopamine rather than depleting one's brain of these satisfying brain chemicals and thus, the brain is not trained to be addicted, physically. There are even studies that show cannabis can be an addiction interrupter for those addicted to toxic substances. Now, psychological dependence is surely possible, especially for people already prone to addictive habits. People need to get that physical addiction and psychological dependence are two totally different outcomes.

     

    I feel horrible when I drink alcohol. The few times I have had raw tobacco, it wasn't so great either. Other people may have different experiences than I. The only recreation I enjoy is cannabis. I feel instantly calmed down and more like myself. And, just so happens, this choice is non-toxic. When I am in a non legal state or country, I am completely fine without cannabis.

     

    What's the big deal? We need to know a huge reason we feel uncomfortable because our background of relatedness is based in lie-ridden propaganda. This is why my fellow millennials and I are at a cross-roads.

     

    Will we stand for and empathize with our elders who were ruthlessly lied to? It's not always that easy, but that is the task we face.

     

    For the average American, who isn't financially invested in the outcome, it is commonly agreed upon that recreational cannabis should be available for responsible adults. The same applies to alcohol and tobacco; if you do not wish to partake, you simply choose not to buy. Yes, there will be overuse of all substances. Our job is not to control others' choices. I neither condone or condemn drug use, rather I respect the choice ability of all adults. We know the physical effects of cannabis (despite what Reefer Madness claimed) are anything but violent, if anything calm and peaceful, maybe lethargic at times.

     

    We've imprisoned our own citizens for lifetimes. We have made illegal the cultivation of the cousin plant, Hemp, despite its necessary uses as a soil phytoremediator, atmospheric and environmental cleanser, food, fuel and fiber. Hemp is a topic that deserves its own report.

     

    Again I question, what's the big deal?

     

    We can spend so much time upset about the big deal that has been made in the past 80 years about a natural plant that has always been an integral part of humanity - or- we can start speaking up, and big time. And finally, take policy into our own hands, remembering taking small steps with huge conviction is the key.

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