.. juana has the effect to increase alpha wave activity by a small amount. Alpha waves are related to relaxation, which can be associate with human productivity. Experts are unsure if marijuana affects short-term memory, but they think that any effect disappears when the person is no longer under the influence, similar to the immune system effect. According to “Hemp for Food,” a study done in 1981 showed that the subjects tested actually believed that smoking potent marijuana 16 times a day had improved their minds over a time period of 10 years.

Their brains have been tested, and the results showed that there was no difference between their brains and one of a non-smoker. There is also no proof of an increase in IQ by smoking marijuana. Another study said that there was no impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual-motor performance, tests of concept information, abstracting ability or cognitive style and tests or memory. The study states that heavy and prolonged use of ganja does not damage one socially or psychologically (86). Marijuana and the Reproductive System There are many claims that say that marijuana causes damage to the reproductive system.

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The D.E.A. states that smoking marijuana can make young children go through puberty much later than normal children. They also state that the drug can cause difficulties in babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy. From this source, Peter Fried, Ph.D., found that “Marijuana use during pregnancy has harmful effects on children’s intellectual abilities a decade or more after they are born.” The harm done by drugs is real and long-lasting. Dr. Drew from the TV program Loveline, had said that marijuana can cause birth defects if either the male or female used it, even if it was used four months prior to conception. He also believes that smoking marijuana can lower one’s sex drive, and that it does not help if the man has an impotency problem.

Marijuana use may lower the sperm count in males, but not to the point to be used as birth control. “Marijuana Myths” responds to the belief that marijuana causes developmental problems in children, by claiming that it was a false rumor created by anti marijuana groups in order to steer people away from drug use. They state the studies done on this subject to be faulty or misread. However, they do admit that there may be some effects to childhood development, but they say that they are not drastic and are rare. They say that marijuana does not make men impotent or sterile and that for some, it enhances their sex lives.

Feelings and emotions become more colorful to them. Bill Drake, author of “Marijuana: An Herb for the Aging,” states that marijuana may actually arouse an interest in sexuality in the elderly. Jamaican studies, from “Hemp for Food,” have displayed that mothers who use marijuana believe that their children are healthier. The experiment that was done that claimed that marijuana is harmful to the reproductive system was rejected by the scientific community because the controlled animals were given near-lethal doses. Once off of the drug, the animals returned to normal.

When done on actual human beings, experiments have not shown damage to the reproductive system. Not all mainstream claims are false, and not all alternative claims are true, but people would rather get their news from the television than from a piece of paper that they found in their mailbox. The majority of the population gets its information from mainstream media sources because they believe that it is more credible than alternative media sources. Evidence shows how the public is provided with contradictory facts, so one can see that it can be a difficult in choosing the which source to believe. The news has to make stories short, due to limited time, but alternative media sources have plenty of time to gather hidden or unbroadcasted information.

In contrast to TV news, documentaries done on this topic are able to spend unlimited hours researching since they rarely have deadlines. People should be presented with facts only if they are in complete detail and have been thoroughly investigated. Alternative media seem to have this ability, yet are sometimes doubted for their information because people usually believe things that are said on either TV, radio, or other sources of mainstream media. There is not much that can be done to fix this problem. Alternative media groups are constrained in the medium of their production.

They have small budgets and are unable to spend the same amount of money that mainstream media sources spend. Since they don’t have expensive equipment to work with, they are forced to make the best out of what they have. Because their projects may appear unprofessional, people assume that what they have to say cannot be trusted. What people can do is try to educate others of this issue and attempt to get people to change their attitudes toward alternative media. What might be effective is if these alternative groups put their effort into creating a video or display that exhibited why alternative media is restricted, and why people should start looking at their claims from a different perspective. People would be better off if they are faced with both sides and come to a reasonable conclusion derived from both sources. Since the topic being discussed is on the legalization of marijuana, we need to use this information in creating a solution for this dilemma.

Because marijuana is illegal, there are few mainstream groups that will go against the law and promote the legalization process. Perhaps groups like C.A.N. can create a video or anything as effective to reach out to the public and make them aware of what they are missing out on. The pamphlets that are already being distributed by these groups are a small step, yet people are still hesitant in believing any information printed on them. However, people might change their minds if the information written on these pamphlets informed them of reasons to credit them. Alternative media groups are getting this idea across slowly.

It is only a matter of time until people start taking their claims into account. Works Cited Cannabis Action Network. Cannabis Action Network – Strategy and Objectives. New Orleans. —. Lies Lies Lies.

Berkeley, Lexington, New Orleans. —. Marijuana As Medicine. New Orleans. —.

Restriction Lifted on Growing Hemp. New Orleans: 1993. —. This is What The Government Says About Marijuana. Berkeley, Lexington, New Orleans. Cronin, Russell.

“High Hopes for the First Legal Cannabis Crop.” The Independent 12 July 1993: 6. Drake, Bill. “Marijuana: An Herb for the Aging.” 1986. Online. Netscape. 10 Feb 1997. Florida Legalization Organization.

Hemp for Food, Fuel, Fiber & Medicine, The Economy and the Environment. Lacrosse, Florida: 1989: 1-3, 5-8, 15, 80, 86-89. Gettman, John. “Marijuana & the Brain.” High Times March 1995: 33-36. Hager, Paul. “Marijuana Myths.” Indiana Civil Liberties Union Drug Task Force. Online. Netscape 9 Feb 1997.

Hilts, Philip J. “Relative Addictiveness of Drugs.” New York Times 2 Aug 1994, sec. 3:3+. “Now Research Indicates Marijuana is a Stimulant.” Medical Post 15 Oct. 1991. Loveline. Prod.

David Sittenfeld. With Dr. Drew, Adam Carolla, and Kris McGaha. MTV. 25 Feb. 1997. Rotstein, Arthur H.

“Pot Studies Called Likely Key to Brain’s Secrets.” Arizona Daily Star 12 Nov 1995: C12+. United States. Drug Enforcement Agency. Anti-Legalization Forum. FBI/D.E.A. Training Academy: GPO, 1994.

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