The Source of Non-Medical Marijuana

Common knowledge of citizens in America is that marijuana was being imported by Mexico drug dealers but perhaps, the illicit drug itself could be marketed and spread in the local countries of U. S. and even Canada. The National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) proved this evidence in 2008 when reports of prevalence rates of marijuana drug users were apparently reported in the local areas of the United States. Findings and surveys also showed that an increase in growing marijuana is 36. 6 % prevalent in Mexico during the years 2001 until 2005.

Thus, an increase of confiscation of marijuana samples had been prevalent in the ports of United States and Canada between the years 2001 until 2006 (citation). Federal officials working to protect and safeguard the American citizens were aware of the illegal drug trafficking occurring in their nation and they are eager to fight against the proliferation of marijuana and the other illicit drugs in the country.

In fact, the federal law enforcement officials recently found out a port used by smugglers of drugs in transporting the drugs (specifically, cocaine) using the Interstate 5 corridor going to Canada in order to obtain a BC bud (a kind of drug extracted from marijuana) and thus, the strand of marijuana had undergone the potency test showing that the marijuana confiscated have a THC level content of 30 %. Obviously, the marijuana being studied is highly potent and actively addictive drug (citation).

Moreover, it is significant to put into account that there had been an apparent increase in the manufacturing of marijuana even in domestic households. Since year 2000, there had been increasing instances of transporting illegal/prohibited drug across the countries of Mexico, Canada, and the United States of America. Such procedures of illegal transporting of the prohibited drug, marijuana had become the focus if the law enforcement officials to cease and stop its popularity and proliferation among citizens of the U. S. and especially the youth.

In so doing, most operations of drug dealing were shifted to domestic keeping or placing the drugs in homes where they are safe from inspection of the law enforcement and federal officials of the country and so that they have more edge in gain and profit with regard to illegal drug dealing and marketing, and so they have easy access on the illicit drug for their own benefit, and for the drug pushers/dealers to escape being detection and confiscation among authorities (citation). Marijuana Use Driving Dependence and Treatment

Marijuana can be an addictive drug. Rates of teen admissions to treatment for marijuana as the primary drug of abuse have increased by 188. 1 percent between 1992 and 2006, compared with a 54. 4 percent decline in rates of teen admissions for all other substances combined, Rates of reported clinical diagnosis of marijuana abuse and dependence for those under age 18 admitted to treatment increased by 492. 1 percent in the same period, compared with a 53. 7 percent decline in rates of clinical diagnoses for all other substances combined.

These sharp increases in teen treatment admissions and clinical diagnoses of abuse and dependence parallel sharp increases in marijuana’s potency (p7). Marijuana and the Brain When an individual smokes marijuana, THC, the main psychoactive ingredient, moves quickly from the lungs into the bloodstream to other organs, including the brain. THC acts by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, over0stimulating them and disrupting produces the intoxicating effects that marijuana users experience.

In addition to the intoxicating effects, marijuana affects the areas of the brain that are important for learning and memory (the hippocampus); body movement, control, and coordination (the cerebellum and the basal ganglia); higher cognitive functions (the cerebral cortex) and reward (the nucleus accumbens). During intoxication, the impact of marijuana on these and other areas of the brain can result in impairments in short-term memory, attention, judgment, coordination and balance and altered perception of time.

Other effects can include huger, thirst, intensification of colors and the feeling of a dry mouth and, in some instances, anxiety, panic and distrust (p10). When marijuana is smoked, THC is absorbed by the lungs and arrives in the brain within minutes. The effects of the drug begin immediately after it enters the brain and generally last from one to three hours. If the drug is consumed in food or drink, its effects begin more slowly (usually one-half to one hour later) and last longer (generally up to four hours) (p10).

Because the brain is still developing during adolescence and into the 20s, there is growing concern that the developing brains of young people are particularly susceptible to the harms of marijuana and other licit and illicit drugs. Contrary to the long-held notion that the brain is fully developed by the end of childhood, research has shown that adolescence is a period of profound brain modification and refinement.

Key areas of the brain—particularly the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for functions including impulse control, planning, decision-making and allocating attention—are not fully mature until an individual is into his or her 20s. The prefrontal cortex, as well as the hippocampus and cerebellum, are “strongly implicated in the cognitive impairments associated with chronic cannabis use (p10). Research about the effects of marijuana on the developing brain is in its early stages; however, one study found that individuals who start using marijuana before a age 17 may later experience deficits in visual scanning tasks.

A study of a small group of abstinent adolescent cannabis users found that they had “deficits in sustained attention and performed a working memory task less accurately than controls (p10). Some research has found that long-term heavy marijuana use may cause cognitive impairments, particularly with respect to memory and attention, which can last up to a day or two after smoking marijuana. One study found that adverse cognitive effects in very heavy marijuana users were still present 28-days post-abstinence.

Cognitive impairments may worsen with increasing years of regular use. Also, studies have demonstrated that “chronic marijuana use is associated with alterations in brain networks…responsible for some higher level cognitive processes (p10). Conclusion This White Paper underscores the urgency of addressing the dangers associated with nonmedical marijuana use, particularly for our children and teens. Current evidence is more than sufficient to demonstrate that marijuana does not just provide a harmless high; it is an increasingly dangerous game of Russian roulette.

Simple prudence should compel parents, school administrators, teachers, coaches, counselors, doctors, clergy, law enforcement and all others concerned with the health and welfare of our youth to take action how to prevent marijuana use among our children and teens. To educate the country about the dangers of teen marijuana use, the national government and the public health community should mount a major public education campaign. This chapter has reviewed five health issues: tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndromes).

These issues were examined from the perspectives of community psychology and preventive medicine; policy-based prevention (targeting a community) was also discussed. These issues were chosen for two main reasons: They have each received enormous attention in the media and each is highly preventable if certain activities are practiced. In addition, a large number of people are affected or have the potential to be affected if prevention does not occur.

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