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Marijuana Users Essay

1805 words - 8 pages

Marijuana Users


My preliminary report will explain as much as possible about the characteristics of marijuana users and how these characteristics differ from nonusers of marijuana. I'm sure you are asking yourself "Why do people use marijuana in the first place?" This is a difficult question to answer in one sentence, but my report will simplify that question by explaining as much as possible about what motivates marijuana users to start and continue using the drug.


From my readings so far, there has been a continuing trend that marijuana users first turn on to the drug by tremendous pressure from their friends or peers. The peer group has a powerful influence on ...view middle of the document...

This may not be too much of a surprise to us. What I was surprised to find in my readings is that chronic marijuana users are, as a class and individually, high academic achievers. Furthermore, they are achievement- oriented and even some chronic marijuana users even intended to go on to graduate school at a higher rate than nonusers in a particular study I read about.


There were no differences from what I read, between marijuana users and nonusers, in the number of probations, suspensions, disciplinary actions, or expulsions from school. Despite the perception of a marijuana user being a psychological profile of rebelliousness, risk taker, or stimulus seeking, the evidence revealed that disciplinary difficulty did not occur with greater frequency than that of the nonuser.


Marijuana use did not appear to effect any marital conflicts or problems. Ninety percent of all married, chronic users and 96% of all nonusers and occasional users had no history of extramarital sexual affairs. Marijuana use does, however, contribute to whether an individual chooses to get married or not. Both male and female users stated that they were very suspicious of marriage as if it seemed " unnatural or unnecessary."


The effect of marijuana on the particular individual using it brings euphoria, mellowness, decreased tension, and a sense of time passing slowly. Tastes and smells are intensified only somewhat less frequently. Users also experience noted increased sexual pleasure, increased appetite, sleepiness, thirst and a sense of increased creativity, awareness, and communications with others.


The effect of marijuana on the brain I found was pretty interesting. The effects can include profoundly pleasurable feelings when deep brain sites are electrically stimulated by the drug, whereas stimulation of certain other well- demarcated sites induces profoundly negative feelings, including anxiety and anger. Symptoms of marijuana use in the psychological mind include the " dropout" syndrome, abnormal irritability and hostility, abrupt mood swings, and impaired short term memory. Some patients studied had experienced panic reactions and paranoia. Clearly, marijuana use does have a negative effect on some people who use it.


Studies have shown that marijuana use and driving are a deadly combination. Seventy studies since 1971 have concluded in some respects, marijuana is even more impairing than alcohol. It may be coincidental, but highway deaths in the U.S. increased 45% between 1961 and 1971. This increased first appeared in college- aged persons, in later years spreading to younger and older age groups- which exactly correspond with the ages affected during that decade.


Marijuana is generally thought to hamper adaptation to college or in the military. Researchers have found, however, that marijuana use was unrelated to the length of military service, the highest grade or rank attained, or any history of...

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