You say marijuana is wrong even though it's a plant and must have a purpose. I've found that it is really only illegal because of racism and because the medicine companies would lose money, but sugar comes from a plant too, and it can cause diabetes and other illnesses. So, if the Bible says that our body is a temple then shouldn't sugar be grouped with things like tobacco and alcohol?
"Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:6-9).
I assume by purpose, you mean some purpose that benefits human beings. Let's see, poison ivy is just a plant, so does that mean it must have a purpose that benefits people? I probably can come up with a long list of plants that are clearly not beneficial to people.
The hemp plant, from which marijuana comes, was used for centuries to create rope, but then someone discovered you could get high from smoking it.
It is a false statement that sugar causes diabetes. A diabetic has difficulty processing sugar because of genetic problems in his body. In the same way, I know people who can't process gluten. Eating wheat and related flours makes them deathly ill. But wheat didn't cause their condition. A genetic problem caused their inability to handle gluten.
Why is marijuana a controlled substance?
"Marijuana is classified as a psychedelic drug and contains more than 400 chemicals, many of which are considered carcinogenic (cancer causing) when smoked." [http://www.daodas.com/reference/marijuana.html]
I find it fascinating that people are adamant that smoking should be banned, while at the same time wanting to legalize a smoked material that is known to be more harmful than tobacco. Personally, I think tobacco should also be banned because of its poisonous qualities. It currently isn't because it doesn't do what marijuana is known to do a person's thinking process.
"According to the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, Forth Edition (DSM-IV) published by the American Psychiatric Association, the symptoms of addiction fall into three categories:
- Compulsion or loss of control - taking more than intended, unsuccessfully trying to stop and spending too much time under the influence or recovering from the drug's effects;
- Tolerance - including withdrawal symptoms when drug use is discontinued; and
- Impairment - using the drug despite adverse effects and preoccupation with the drug over everything else.
Marijuana is psychologically addictive and can meet all three of these criteria." [http://www.daodas.com/reference/marijuana.html]
Sadly I've seen this for myself in users. I've dealt with people who tell me they can stop, but they continue to "accidentally" use when it is present. When they use, they binge. While under the influence they are zoned out and stupid. When they come down they are belligerent, angry, and rebellious. Just this week I lost a young man whom I care deeply about because his drug use means more to him than his desired career in the military, involvement in his favorite niece's life, and love for his twin brother. He isn't the first who tells me that he knows his usage is ruining his life, but who doesn't want anyone getting between him and his drugs. He tells me he will be able to stop, all the while continuing to use.
"... chronic marijuana use affects judgment, motivation, perception, cognition, and will. In addition, the drug causes an overall deterioration of personality; it leads to an estrangement from the mainstream of life; it lowers performance in all areas; and it leads to a social phenomenon in which users bond together into loose and tightly bound sub-social groups. The effect on the user's family life is frequently devastating." [Harold M. Voth, M.D., Senior Psychiatrist and Psychoanalysts, the Menniger Foundation, Associated Chief of Psychiatry for Education, Veterans Administration, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Kansas, Rear Admiral, Medical Corps, United States Naval Reserve. "A Psychiatrist's View on Marijuana"]
"A new study on marijuana and memory may show why pot hampers memory ... Twenty minutes later, the scientists started monitory the activity of certain nerve cells, or neurons, in the rats' brains. Those neurons normally send chemical signals to communicate with each other. The process occurs seamlessly, like musicians playing in sync with each other in an orchestra. But after the cannibinoid shots, the rats' neurons lost their coordination. The neurons sent their chemical signals at the usual rate, but they were out of step with each other, like an orchestra in which musicians play without working together." [Miranda Hitti, "Why Marijuana May Affect Memory"]
"Not surprisingly, marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Research has shown that marijuana's adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off. As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time." [NIDA InfoFacts: Marijuana]
Even if medical use for marijuana is found, it doesn't justify recreational use or self-medicating. The reason good doctors don't like marijuana is that its harmful effects outweigh any possible benefits.
I'm sorry for bugging you again, but I'd like to state my personal experiences as well on the subject of marijuana. I am not a user of it, though I have tried it a few times. It wasn't really my thing, but my husband's family is quite fond of it and uses it on a daily basis. I stayed with his family for nearly a year, living in the same household every day for that time, and actually saw the effect that it had on his family. Anyway, my husband's dad is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen, one of the deepest thinkers and smartest people I've ever met, and doesn't like to laze around, and he uses it several times a day, every day. Also, my husband's aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the tumor actually went away once she started doing it. Once she stopped and went back to the doctor's medication and diet regimen it came back and she died.
Actually, my husband tells me hemp and marijuana are completely different. He should know; his family has been growing it for a long time -- his dad has a doctor's permission. He uses it for high blood pressure, and it helps. Actually he showed me his doctor's papers when he went through a routine check-up, and the doctor was amazed at how well his body was working. My husband's dad is in his middle or late 60s, and the doctor told him his body was like that of a teenager. Sadly, because my mother lives in another state, the doctors would never prescribe it to her even though it seemed to be the only thing that helped. I guess you wouldn't understand her condition, no offense, she experiences constant pain, pain that cripples her from doing things around the house, even though she has to anyway because hardly anyone helps her with cleaning and cooking. It's very depressing. Sometimes she even cries. It really breaks my heart. I say, if marijuana eases it, then she should be able to do it. I just don't want her in pain. I want her to be happy.
My dad for almost his entire life was never bothered by poison ivy. He could pull it up, handle it, and never have a reaction. Does he prove that poison ivy is harmless? Not hardly. He's the exception to the rule. I know I have to stay far away from the stuff because I get severe reactions to it.
A few people manage to smoke tobacco for decades and seemingly suffer no ill effects, even though we know that tobacco is highly damaging. These robust few seem to be blessed with bodies that can stave off or repair damage better than most people. But such people do not prove that tobacco is not harmful.
I've known drunkards who manage to function at a reasonable level because they've adapted to being drunk most of the time. Does this prove that alcohol doesn't impair a person's coordination or thought process? No.
Your father-in-law might be an exception to the rule, but he doesn't prove the marijuana is harmless. The mountain of evidence shows that it does cause harm. It is documented to impair a person's thought process. That your father-in-law has learned to adapt to the harm doesn't mean it is harmless.
Your aunt's situation is unprovable, but I strongly suspect that the information you presented is not an accurate representation of what happened.
Your husband's information is false. Industrial hemp and marijuana both come from plants in the family of either cannabis sativa, or cannabis indica. The difference between the industrial hemp plants and marijuana is that industrial hemp is bred for low amounts of THC (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana) while marijuana is bred for high amounts of THC. They both still come from the same types of plants. It is much like discussing the difference between a Roma tomato and a cherry tomato. They both are tomatoes but bred for different traits. See Wikipedia: Cannabis for details.
As I've stated before, good doctors don't prescribe marijuana because it does far more harm to a patient than help.