The origins of opioids can trace their beginnings from the poppy fields of the Middle East. There have been stories of wine laced with opium to lull the unsuspected drinker into a Europhobic stated after consumption. The medicinal uses of opioids predate historical writings. Stories exist of crying babies given small amount of opium to soothe their pain in order for them to sleep. The popularity of opium quickly spread throughout the Middle East which eventually led it it being openly traded with China and Europe.
Plants that had medicinal purposes in history eventually have become illegal as their originally uses have caused them to become an abused product in society. Drugs such as marijuana, like opioids, at the turn of the 20th century, joined the list of drugs originally used for medicinal and recreational purposes that are now deemed a illegal. Are the plants themselves harmful to man or is man’s ability to turn a plant into a harmful product the problem within society?
Society, as a whole, has an addiction to all forms of drugs illicit and legal. Sold in alleys, pharmacies, convenience stores, and pharmacist, drugs are accessible in all forms in numerous locations. History itself has shown that man has always used various forms of drugs not only for medicinal purposes bur for rituals and ceremonies. It was said in Hindu texts (Vedas), that marijuana was one of five sacred plants, and that a guardian angel inhabited its leaves. Ancient Hindus believed marijuana was a present from the gods that could help people gain liberation over fear and give them happiness and well-being. Indians have consumed bhang since ancient times. Cannabis and milk was prepared traditionally by mixing it with other ingredients such as almonds, rosewater, and ghee. This was used over centuries to help reach a deeper spiritual state, and it is still widely used in India to date.
Marijuana itself is attributed to the medicine man along with various types of mushrooms. The medical uses are of cocoa leaves by the Incas gives a view of how they society accepted drug use. Drug use is most likely the term one shouldn’t use in describing what he Incas did. Chewing on coca leaves for energy was probably no different than one chewing a spearmint leaf. Is it possible that an individual consumed a large amount of leaves to attain a high during this period of time? How much raw opium can one consume before an individual is considered an addict?
From opium sprung the opium dens where users would smoke raw opium. The Chinese emperor would eventually outlawed opium, but the British would instigate the Opium Wars in order to open up the trading of opium. The addictiveness and profitability of opium only was a preview of what was to come in the expansion of the drug business. The 19th century governments were no different than drug czars of the 20th century; peddling of addictive drugs for profit.
Opium itself is a stimulant, especially when smoked. The image of Asians in smoke houses were the images Americans would instill in their minds of American society when moralist campaigned against opium in the early 1900’s. As with the images of blacks with heroin, the image of the Chinese dominated the mindset of Americans when the subject of opium was brought up. This eventually led to the smoking of opium becoming illegal. Almost around the same period of time, marijuana was a little known plant that was coming into its own as a smokeable leaf that had a stimulating effect on the user. Marijuana, unlike opium or cocoa leaves, is a drug that could be used in its original form. The potency could not be increased scientifically.
Scientist, in their pursuit to create new uses for natural substances, were able to increased the potency of these naturally grown plants, thus creating an altogether now drug. Morphine and heroin, created by man, soon became the new and popular addictive drugs compared to the older natural drugs. Creative vendors are constantly finding creative ways to sell over the counter medicines that easily became additive to the users who were not able to purchase the illicit ones. The Pharmaceutical scientists chose the field in which they can create new drugs. Number of them have chosen to take natural drugs and find new ways in which their medicinal purposes can be used to aid society in their uses only to create addicts, Users do not easily give up the habit of using drugs such as heroin without the aid of some other drug as a replacement. Ecstasy, another man made drug, in contrast does not create addicts, but like heroin, in large doses can be deadly. Man effectively has been to take the natural abilities of a plant in order to create products that are both addictive and deadly.
The heroin and ecstasy user is at the mercy of the seller, when they purchase their products. Not knowing what ingredients was truly mixed and dose leaves them at the mercy the pill itself. Ecstasy has not history of use as it is a stimulant and hallucinogen. Hallucinogens such as LSD, have not negative side effects like Ecstasy. The difference between the two is the stimulant contained in Ecstasy. Users of this drug can dance all night repeating an action over and over. The body can overheat to the point water does not excrete from the sweat glands. If excessive water is taken, then can lead to serious problems for the user.
There are those in the scientific field who have attempted to find positive uses of the made made drugs. Therapist to run placebo test on subjects with mental disorders; by using drugs, such as LSD and Ecstasy. The euphoria caused by their uses are the main focus of their study in fighting certain forms of depression. Ecstasy particularly being a schedule I drug has made it difficult for doctors to suggest that ecstasy has medicinal uses in society if the drug itself is illegal. Heroin already has medical and profitable uses as an addictive painkiller. Ecstasy and LSD only have uses in the world of psychology; and unlike heroin, no as addictive. Marijuana, like Ecstasy and LSD, can cause hallucinations; not to the level of the two aforementioned drugs. Marijuana itself is a schedule I drug. Unlike LSD and Ecstasy, marijuana is not man made. Of all the illicit drugs on listed on schedule 1, marijuana is the only natural drug not manipulated by man.
Marijuana not being an addictive drug is the most curious of all the drugs on schedule 1. Marijuana itself has not been associated with domestic violence, auto accidents, or instances of rape; like alcohol. Marijuana, unfortunately, found its way on the list as those with higher morality just it unsafe to use. Studies in the past and today have shown the marijuana, unlike like Ecstasy, LSD, and heroin, not only has multiple of uses, but is used across the globe. No individual can overdose with marijuana like they can with heroin and ecstasy. The marijuana user only has to worry if their weed is laced with some other types of illicit drug to enhance the hallucinogenic effects of the drug.
Individuals can grow marijuana. The individual with the right tools can create ecstasy or crystal meth. Marijuana can not be manipulated other than the quality of the soil or fertilizers used. The creation of heroin, ecstasy, or crystal meth can have many forms. Every individual with a bathroom, basement, or garage can experiment with their mixtures at their own risk. The dangers that can easily be associated with the legalization of these drugs only become obvious as each chemist will inevitably want to create their own mix.
If ecstasy were legal, then drug companies themselves would be able to produce the pills according to the industry standard. The legalization does not deter the basement chemist compared to the grower of marijuana. The legalization of any drug has to have legitimate reasons other than a society’s insatiable need to get high. Larger questions arise as to who would use these drugs if there were legal. Pregnant women already use alcohol and smoke cigarettes; would they use such drug as a marijuana, ecstasy, and heroin? Studies have shown that the use of ecstasy and heroin during pregnancy does affect the neurological development of newborns. Marijuana on the other hand has had mixed reviews as to the effects this drug has on the development of newborns. The side effects were not as adverse as the effects of heroin and ecstasy use.
The legalization of any drug will eventually cut out the drug dealer, which in turn would cut into the profits of the drug cartel. Marijuana itself would make available to the public a safe drug medically and recreationally. Marijuana has yet to prove itself as a dangerous drug that leads to an increase in crime. Alcohol and heroin have often associated with crime. Ecstasy most definitely has not been associated with crime, as this drug produces euphoria. Ecstasy, the love drug, was used in the seventies as an aid in marriage counseling. The effects of ecstasy on individual’s sensory glands enable individuals to enjoy all forms of touch.
The heightened senses created by the use of ecstasy has lead psychologist to suggest psychological uses for ecstasy. The side effects of ecstasy compared to lithium are advantageous for the user. Lithium, for example, brings the individual out of a depression or manic state; where ecstasy produces euphoria. Marijuana similarly could be used as a psychological drug for patients, as the drug itself does place the individual in a euphoric state of mind. As a stimulant, marijuana has a relaxing effect that allows the user to amplify their mood. There are side effects such as negative reactions mentally to weed, such as paranoia; but overall the positive results reported by doctors warrants the very idea of removing marijuana from the schedule I drug list.
The potential income that could be generated from the legalization of marijuana would potentially be astronomical. Not only would tourist frequent the state that legalizes marijuana, but a whole new sub economy could be created from sales of marijuana. States such as Colorado already have grocery stores selling various week products thus creating jobs. Colorado is able to tax the revenue from the sales of marijuana, thus removing the income from the drug dealer. With the legalization of marijuana, individuals would be more than likely to purchase and smoke marijuana than any of the other illicit drugs. With the risk of going to jail removed, individuals could easily purchase weed and smoke it without worrying about the long arm of the law getting involved.
With the legalization of marijuana, the potential of putting a dent into alcohol sales must considered as a real possibility. The negative results from alcohol compared to the use of cannabis give the consumer an alternative to how they want to spend their leisure time. Alcohol is part of American society, but with the addition of marijuana as an alternative, the potential to reduce alcohol consumption has to be considered. With the reduction of alcohol consumption, brings the reduction of crime, auto accidents, and domestic violence. The positives that can be associated with marijuana outweigh the possibilities of the legalization of ecstasy or heroin.
It is extremely dangerous to consume alcohol with ecstasy, compared to marijuana and alcohol. If ecstasy were available as easily as alcohol the potential of individuals mixing the two increases; the public is not aware of the dangers of mixing stimulants and depressants. Heroin has already associated with crime, would only increase with alcohol consumption. The availability of heroin to the general public combined with alcohol could potentially lead to an increase of crime. More importantly, the availability of these drugs could lead to addiction. The drug industry would inevitably produce either ecstasy or heroin for public use, but the local chemist would be producing their own product from their own home grown facility. The problem that could arise is the homegrown chemist adding more addictive drugs into their mix in order to maintain repeat business. Individuals could potentially be addicted to the drug already, but with an introduction of a foreign drug could increase that addiction. Even worse could be the potential of the chemist mixing a toxic ingredient, if too much is taken, into his special mix.
Marijuana can be laced with drugs such as crystal meth and heroin. This could lead to some dire consequences. With the introduction of so many weed growers in a population, the individual has more choices and is not at the mercy of the dealer who potentially adds additional drugs to there marijuana. A variety of strains of marijuana has been cultivated by numerous growers. Such strains as White Rhino, Ice, Buddha, Shiva, K2, Citral, and Big Bud are just a few of the marijuana plants available to the consumer. With such a variety and potency level, the user has quite a few choices in seeking out there recreational marijuana. The need to lace weed is diminished as the variety of weed allows the user to find the weed that is right for them. Such a variety of weed offers doctors the ability to prescribe the right weed for their patients for their particular ailment.
Marijuana itself is by far the safest of all the illicitly drugs on the schedule I chart. Marijuana unjustly was labeled as a schedule I drug by overzealous individuals pushing their ideals of morality onto the general public. Before actually studying the benefits of marijuana, the drug was listed as illegal. No actually test can confirm, but the general consensus is that marijuana is a natural and harmless drug. As the drug itself is legal for recreational use in eight states and medicinal use in eighteen states; the general consensus is finally giving marijuana its fair consideration as a harmless drug. It is a matter of time, but marijuana will become legal in the United States. Thus ending the era of the man made junkies.