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The Comparison and Contrast of Marijuana and other Harder Drugs - Essay Example

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The author concludes that the comparison and contrast of marijuana and other harder drugs have certainly helped in changing the author's perception of marijuana being a somewhat safe drug to one that is too similar to other drugs such as cocaine and heroin for it to be legalized…
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The Comparison and Contrast of Marijuana and other Harder Drugs
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Download file to see previous pages Marijuana is different from heroin and cocaine in that it is a ‘natural’ drug, not a derived drug. It is known by many names such as pot, weed, grass, and skunk; all terms, however, refer to the “dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis plant.” (NDIC, 2003a, p.2) Heroin, on the other hand, is derived from opium; although opium itself is a natural substance extracted from the “seedpod of the opium poppy’ (NDIC, 2003b, p.2) heroin is manufactured from morphine which is an element of opium. Cocaine is derived from the coca leaf in South America and has to go through a chemical process to become cocaine. (NDIC, 003c, p.2)
There are clear evidence and statistics reporting on death by overdose of pure cocaine and heroin use but I was unable to locate any such evidence of death by pure marijuana use.1 Heroin and cocaine, being powders (other than heroin sold in solid form in the west of the US) can be mixed with other substances like sugar, powdered cleaning agents and strychnine before being sold and thus create the risk of death, whereas it is difficult to dilute marijuana in any way.
Marijuana is not associated with violent behavior as is evidenced by heroin and cocaine. A study conducted at the University of Victoria in British Columbia found that the use of marijuana on its own is not related to violent injuries in need of hospital attention but that the use of cocaine on its own is related. (NORML, 2007)
There are also differences in “long-term differential associations of cocaine use and marijuana use on decision making” according to a study undertaken by Verdejo-Garcia et al. 2007. They investigated the connection between prolonged marijuana and cocaine use and its effect on learning. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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