Douglas Lamar Gray bought a pound of marijuana in a room at the Econo Lodge in Decatur, Alabama. He intended to keep a couple of ounces for himself and sell the rest to some of his friends. After paying $900 for the pot, Gray was arrested in a police sting operation. He was charged with trafficking cannabis, tried, fined $25,000, and sentenced to life without parole in the maximum security prison of Springville, Alabama. Unfortunately, Gray's punishment is not unusual in the United States. Fifteen states require life sentences for certain marijuana offenses. In Montana, a life sentence can be imposed for growing a single marijuana plant or even selling one joint. However, all these strict laws haven't stopped Americans from smoking weed. Approximately one third of all Americans have tried marijuana at least once. Like the prohibition of alcohol, the prohibition of marijuana doesn't work.
Marijuana is a mixture of stems, leaves, and flowering buds from the Cannabis hemp plant. Marijuana has many street names such as pot, weed, grass, herb, ganja, dope, bud, dank, chronic, reefer, buddha, cheebah, keef, and hash. Cannabis contains THC which when smoked or eaten has pleasure giving effects. The most popular way to use marijuana is roll into a cigarette or joint; however, marijuana can also be smoked through a pipe (bowl) or bong. Marijuana intoxication starts with lightheadedness and evolves into a peacefulness of mind. During marijuana intoxication, often called being high or stoned, there is a changed perception of time. It may seem like hours have gone by, but in fact, only minutes have elapsed. Many users also feel an increase in appetite (the munchies) and find humor in almost anything.
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... only logical that they would try marijuana too. In the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal, the use of hard drugs is lower than here in the states. In Jamaica, where marijuana isn't legal but very widely accepted, there has been no connection between smoking pot and harder drugs. Marijuana, when legal, seems to act as a substitute for other, more dangerous drugs.
The legalization of marijuana has been a very sensitive topic throughout our history. Successful attempts were made in the 1970s to reduce the criminal penalties associated with marijuana possession. In the 1980s the government struck back with President Reagan's war on drugs. However, the public has once again become open to the idea of marijuana use. The time is right to push for the legalization of pot. Marijuana is once again socially accepted. Americans need to reaffirm our rights.
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