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Marijuana Cannabis sativa is definitely one of the most commonly used illegal drugs in the United States However its effects and dangers have been greatly misrepresented to kids and teenagers as well as adults Also there are many misconceptions about the drug including how addictive it is its effects on memory the brain the immune system on crime violence and traffic accidents as well as numerous others In the nineties many teenagers in the United States referred to the drug using slang terms Some of the most popular names are weed pot reefer and trees In actuality marijuana is a plant belonging to the hemp family The active principle responsible for the drugs effects is tetrahydrocannabinol THC obtained from the amber-colored resin of the flowering tops and leaves of the plant it has been found to contain more than 400 separate substancesCompton Encyclopedia Cannabis sativa One of the oldest known drugs was acknowledged as early as 2700 BC in a Chinese manuscript Comptons Encyclopedia In fact the Chinese used it for many medical purposes and as an intoxicant However in the past few decades many people have concealed the positive effects and medical uses of the plant and state it to be a harmful drug Marijuanas harms have no been proven scientifically According to Dr Peter Reuter director of the drug policy research center at the Rand Corp in Washington its not a very dangerous drug p64 Paul A Winters also the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse concluded that while marijuana was not entirely safe its dangers had been grossly overstated Since then researchers have conducted thousands of studies of humans animals and cell structures None of which reveal any findings dramatically different from those described by the National Commission in 1972 In 1995 based on thirty years of scientific research it was concluded that the smoking of cannabis even long term is not harmful to health p6
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