Legality of Cannabis

Cannabis is the officially name for the drug that most people refer to as marijuana, weed, or pot. It is a substance that is derived from a plant called cannabis sativa and it grows wild in a variety of tropical and temperate areas of the world. It is a plant that can be cultivated to grow in just about any climate and is very commonly done indoors using hydroponic technologies.

Delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol, the technical name for THC, is the main ingredient found in cannabis and is the part that is responsible for giving the “high” feeling. The potency of THC can vary from plant to plant. There are three forms that come from the cannabis plant and the most common is marijuana. The two others are hashish and hash oil. The dried flowers and leaves of the plant is what’s responsible for making the marijuana and although it is the most common, it is also the least potent of all the products. Hashish is a product of the resin of the plant and can be smoked or added to food and eaten. Oil is the most potent of the three and is also smoked.

The legality of cannabis remains an ongoing battle, but here are some of the facts by number:

  • Research has proven that cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug throughout the country, where 33.5% of the entire population admit to using it at least once.
  • 20% of teens between the ages of 14 and 19 have used it at least once
  • 49.5% of adults ages 20-29 years old have also reported using it
  • The average age that a person first uses the drug is reported to be 18.8 years
  • In a poll taken on 17-year-olds, it was found that 28% of males and 24% of females have used the drug
  • In a poll taken on 12-year-olds, it was found the 4% of males and 2% of females have used the drug

One of the reasons that the legality of cannabis is always up in the air is because of the short and long-term effects of the drug. While many people argue that there are no long-term, negative effects, research has proven that’s just not true.

Some of the possible long-term effects of prolonged cannabis use are an increased risk of respiratory disease, including cancer; decreased memory and learning abilities; and decreased motivation in areas of work, study, and concentration.

The legality of cannabis has changed over the years on a state-by-state level, but it continues to be a closed topic on the federal and national level.