Setting some facts straight on a celebratory day for marijuana-users
It’s a constant topic of controversy: Cannabis use.
Cannabis is a plant that can be grown in many types of environments. Usable material is made from the drying and curing of the plant’s flower and sometimes leaves.
The drug can be taken in multiple forms, including being smoked in rolled papers or in a pipe. Another popular form is eating “medibles.” These are foods that have been infused with Cannabis in one way or another. For example, “canabudder,” is a butter that has been cooked with Cannabis clippings, strained and used in a recipe.
Other names for Cannabis are marijuana, grass, pot, dope, Mary Jane and weed.
According to a study done by the University of Washington, 49.5 percent of people between the ages of 20 to 29 have reported using the substance, and the average age that someone begins to use it is 18.8 years.
With minimum intake, Cannabis can affect attention, coordination and the way the mind processes information.
Although there have been few studies on marijuana and the pros and cons of continual use, doctors often prescribe the substance to ease chronic pain, increase appetite for those who would otherwise not have the ability to intake nutrients (sufferers of HIV/AIDS and cancer patients, etc.) and control muscle spasms.
Consequences for illegal possession can range from a $500 fine to receiving a felony charge, which is more than 10 years in prison and possibly a fine of more than $100,000, depending on the criminal record.
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act was passed in the 1998 General Election and then amended twice in the 1999 and 2005 legislative sessions.
This allows Oregonians with severe medical conditions to use medical marijuana.
According to Oregon Health Authority, there are 55,807 patients in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and 28,214 caregivers.
On April 20, smokers from all across the country celebrate the unofficial holiday by lighting up.
There have been many myths established about the origin of the holiday.
False myths include that 4-20 is the bill number to legalize Cannabis or that it is the police code for marijuana possession.
According to an article on About.com, a group of Cannabis users at a northern California school smoked at a specific location every day at 4:20 p.m. The phrase became popular among people outside of the group as a term for “lighting up.”
At the University of Colorado Boulder, 4-20 events can draw as many as 10,000 people. This event created major controversy in the media and the school provided information to prevent the event from happening. Despite the efforts, the celebration went on.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was founded in 1970 and provides a voice for those who oppose marijuana prohibition.
Many have joined together to protest either for or against the laws for Cannabis legalization. States are slowly allowing medical marijuana to be used.
Approximately 17 states and the District of Columbia have legalized it for medical use.
Protestors are still fighting to make it legal if used responsibly.
Ivanna Tucker/Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.