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The Effects of Marijuana on Consciousness

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Does marijuana create an altered state of consciousness, or does it simply allow users to interpret more information at a quicker speed giving us the illusion of being “stoned”? For many years people of all ages have been using marijuana mainly for recreational purposes, not knowing that it increases their senses and perhaps even helps cure or prevent disease. After many carefully constructed experiments, it is now accepted by several scientists around the world that marijuana effects the human body as a whole, thus creating an altered state of consciousness.

The impending paragraphs will discuss how marijuana users are affected while intoxicated. Some of the areas that will be covered include how marijuana affects the users long-term and short-term memory, as well how marijuana has the ability to construct false memories. The paragraphs will also discuss how the human body changes as a whole, how users perceive themselves at any particular time, the way in which individual senses increase with the use of marijuana, and finally the psychological affects that may differ from user to user depending on their current emotional state.

Long-term memory is crucial to human processing, without it people would remember nothing. Marijuana in some cases can actually heighten long-term memory. For example, some marijuana users may experience distance memories such as childhood experiences more vividly while intoxicated then when not under the influence. This is said to happen because while intoxicated, users are in a “dream like state”, allowing the brain to bring back memories which may have been forgotten (Lenson, 2001). For example, many users tend to reminisce with old friends about experiences they may have had many years earlier. With that said, long-term memory or recall can also worsen with very high levels of intoxication. For example, while intoxicated people have a tendency to forget what they were going to do, or sometimes they will complete a task without knowing why they did so (Tart, 2001). There is no complete explanation for why this happens, but one reason may be that because marijuana increases human senses, it allows more information to be processed in a smaller amount of time. As a result, there may be too much information available and certain things may be temporarily forgotten. ...

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...btle affect that can only be noticed with special tools and experiments, but it does occur, and it does help people to perform certain tasks more efficiently after the marijuana has lost its initial effect.

Furthermore, marijuana is becoming more popular as the years go by, and people are starting to realize that there is more to the illegal drug marijuana then what most people think. An average person would never allow their child to smoke marijuana, mainly because there are a few health risks, similar to those of cigarettes. Some side effects of marijuana include lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and various mouth diseases. But the truth is marijuana may in fact be healthy to some parts of the body. It allows the individual to experience familiar situations in a totally new perspective. This not only gives the individual a chance to learn but it also gives the individual a chance to grow as a person, allowing him/her the ability to control their environment and enjoy it to its fullest capacity. So is marijuana an altered state of consciousness? Indeed it is. Everybody is different, and it’s completely in the hands of the beholder on what the individual wants to experience.
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