Thursday, November 20, 2008

Marijuana use linked to homicide

It is one thing if the users themselves are the only ones being affected by drug use, but when it is putting others lives in danger as well, it is something to be considered when picking your side of the arguement.

In terms of life-time use, marijuana was reported to be the most common illicit drug used by a sample of 268 murderers incarcerated in New York State correctional facilities, for homicides that occurred in 1984. Spunt et al ("The Role of Marijuana in Homicide," International Journal of the Addictions, Vol. 29:195-213,1994) About one-third of prisoners who had used marijuana, had used it in the 24-hour period before the homicide, and three-quarters of those said they experienced some kind of effect from the drug when the homicide occurred. The authors speculate that drugs and violence may be linked in a variety of complex ways.

Material used in this publication has been reviewed and commented on by William M. Bennett,M.D., Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Clinical Pharmacology and Hypertension at Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Smoked Marijuana vs. Medically used marijuana

Fact 4. Smoked marijuana is not scientifically approved medicine. Marinol, the legal version of medical marijuana, is approved by science.

Medical marijuana already exists. It’s called Marinol.

A pharmaceutical product, Marinol, is widely available through prescription. It comes in the form of a pill and is also being studied by researchers for suitability via other delivery methods, such as an inhaler or patch. The active ingredient of Marinol is synthetic THC, which has been found to relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer patients and to assist with loss of appetite with AIDS patients.

Unlike smoked marijuana—which contains more than 400 different chemicals, including most of the hazardous chemicals found in tobacco smoke— Marinol has been studied and approved by the medical community and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the nation’s watchdog over unsafe and harmful food and drug products. Since the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, any drug that is marketed in the United States must undergo rigorous scientific testing. The approval process mandated by this act ensures that claims of safety and therapeutic value are supported by clinical evidence and keeps unsafe, ineffective, and dangerous drugs off the market.

There are no FDA-approved medications that are smoked. For one thing, smoking is generally a poor way to deliver medicine. It is difficult to administer safe, regulated dosages of medicines in smoked form. Secondly, the harmful chemicals and carcinogens that are byproducts of smoking create entirely new health problems. There are four times the level of tar in a marijuana cigarette, for example, than in a tobacco cigarette.

Morphine, for example, has proven to be a medically valuable drug, but the FDA does not endorse the smoking of opium or heroin. Instead, scientists have extracted active ingredients from opium, which are sold as pharmaceutical products like morphine, codeine, hydrocodone or oxycodone. In a similar vein, the FDA has not approved smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes, but has approved the active ingredient-THC in the form of scientifically regulated Marinol.

The DEA helped facilitate the research on Marinol. The National Cancer Institute approached the DEA in the early 1980s regarding their study of THC’s in relieving nausea and vomiting. As a result, the DEA facilitated the registration and provided regulatory support and guidance for the study. California, researchers are studying the potential use of marijuana and its ingredients on conditions such as multiple sclerosis and pain. At this time, however, neither the medical community nor the scientific community has found sufficient data to conclude that smoked marijuana is the best approach to dealing with these important medical issues.

The most comprehensive, scientifically rigorous review of studies of smoked marijuana was conducted by the Institute of Medicine, an organization chartered by the National Academy of Sciences. In a report released in 1999, the Institute did not recommend the use of smoked marijuana, but did conclude that active ingredients in marijuana could be isolated and developed into a variety of pharmaceuticals, such as Marinol.

Source:U.S Drug Enforcement Agency-

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Science of medical marijuana

THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana, produces effects that potentially can be useful for treating a variety of medical conditions. It is the main ingredient in an oral medication that is currently used to treat nausea in cancer chemotherapy patients and to stimulate appetite in patients with wasting due to AIDS. Scientists are continuing to investigate other potential medical uses for cannabinoids.74
Research is underway to examine the effects of smoked marijuana and extracts of marijuana on appetite stimulation, certain types of pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. However, the inconsistency of THC dosage in different marijuana samples poses a major hindrance to valid trials and to the safe and effective use of the drug. Moreover, the adverse effects of marijuana smoke on the respiratory system 4, 5, 6 will offset the helpfulness of smoked marijuana for some patients. Finally, little is known about the many chemicals besides THC that are in marijuana, or their possible deleterious impact on patients with medical conditions.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


1. Marijuana is often used as a stepping-stone drug, leading to heroin, cocaine, or other harder drugs.

2. Stoned driving and other dangers would be increased.

3. Some consider use of the drug as morally wrong.

4. Legalization would increase the chances of the drug falling into the hands of kids.

5. Because of drug-related arrests, people who have committed or are likely to commit more serious crimes can be taken off the streets.

6. Physical damage would be done to users that abuse the drug.

7. More widespread use would increase the dangers of secondhand smoke-damage to bystanders.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


1. The drug generally isn't more harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation.

2. Limiting the use of the drug intrudes on personal freedom.

3. Legalization would mean a lower price; thus, related crimes (like theft) would be reduced.

4. There are medical benefits such as the those for cancer patients.

5. Street justice related to drug disputes would be reduced.

6. It could be a source of additional tax revenues.

7. Police and court resources would be freed up for more serious crimes.

8. Drug dealers (including some terrorists) would lose most or all of their business.

9. The FDA or others could regulate the quality and safety of drugs.

10 Like sex, alcohol, or cigarettes, marijuana is one of life's little pleasures for some people.

11. Drug busts often trap young people in a flawed system that turns them into lifelong criminals.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Annual American Deaths Caused By Drugs


TOBACCO ........................ 400,000
ALCOHOL ........................ 100,000
ALL LEGAL DRUGS ................ 20,000
ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS .............. 15,000
CAFFEINE ....................... 2,000
ASPIRIN ........................ 500
MARIJUANA ...................... 0
Source: United States government...
National Institute on Drug Abuse,
Bureau of Mortality Statistics

Monday, September 29, 2008

My name is Nate Jones. I attend Utah Valley university and have been given the assignment by my health teacher to create this blog. I would like to hear your ideas and input about the legalization of marijuana. Is there any good in the idea or are we better off to just leave it the way it is?