University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Informative Marijuana Speech
Marijuana, the “Killer Drug” as it has been called, has been around for longer than you think a. People really don’t know the origins or the properties of the plant at all. b. Not only has the usage of pot grown in recent years, but the number of strains and uses have grown as well. Lately state legislation across the nation have allowed marijuana for medical and even recreational use. However there are still many out there against marijuana, saying it’s harmful for you or makes you lazy and inattentive
Transition: The growing of marijuana on American soil actually dates back to the 1600’s in the form of Hemp and wasn’t considered the “Killer Drug” until about 1910
1. Back then hemp was used to produce rope, sails, and clothing. a. All vital finished products that the colonists relied on to live. 2. In fact in 1619 the Virginia Assembly passed a legislation that required each and every farmer to grow hemp on their land. a. Hemp comes from the fibers of a marijuana plant stem.
b. Hemp became so important that it actually was considered a legal tender in colonial markets. i. In fact the Deceleration of Independence was written on hemp. 3. However back then, no one thought to every grind it up and put it in a pipe like people do nowadays. 4. As the 19th century rolled around many pharmacies began using at refined hemp, marijuana, in many medicines to treat ailments ranging from a toothache to a broken heart. 5. Marijuana didn’t get a bad name until 1910 during the Mexican Revolution. a. During the revolution Mexicans came over the border in waves and with them they introduced marijuana for recreational uses to the U.S. citizens b. The plant became associated with the immigrants, and the public fear and prejudice became one with marijuana. Any terrible crime that was committed by a Mexican immigrant was blamed on marijuana. i. That’s just unfair honestly.
c. It took until the 1960’s for marijuana to be used widely in America. i. Reports commissioned by JFK and Johnson discovered that marijuana had no chemicals present that led to violence nor lead to heavier drug usage. (PBS) Transition: Since then marijuana enthusiasts went all out creating new strains with different purposes and “highs” as you’d call it. 1. A strain is a specific type of marijuana, like a specific species. 2. All strains of marijuana come from two basic types.
a. Sativa and Indica.
3. Sativa plants usually grow tall and thin and are better suited for outdoor farming because it’s hard to grow a plant indoors that can sometimes reach 25 feet in height a. Also the Sativa high you get is more known to provide energy and can be very uplifting to the user. This uplifting energy also sparks creativity in which you can see in many artists and musicians work. 4. Indica plants are nearly the exact opposite. They are better suited to indoor growing because its tendency to grow short and wide. a. The high you get from indica is usually a sleepy, groggy high. “Couch Locked” as people like to call it. Indica strains tend to have a very strong sweet or sour odor to the buds that can be very relaxing and is helpful when treating severe anxiety, sleeping disorders, and general body pain. 5. However these two strains are usually bred together to target certain form of effects that can be better suited to treat illnesses or just to be way more fun to smoke. Transition: Currently the politicians around the country have begun passing legislation on the legal uses of marijuana. 1. As many people already know Colorado and Washington both have legalized marijuana for recreational use. a. Some may say California has too, but at this point it’s still supposed to be solely for medicinal purposes, and you will be arrested without the proper licenses to possess marijuana. b. As of now there are 20 states in the nation that have some form of legalization. i. Two states, California and Washington, have completely legalized weed. ii. Whereas the other 18 states have either decriminalized possession, making it a civil fine rather than criminal, or has made it attainable for medicinal use. c. The nation is taking steps, slowly but surely, to legalization across the board.
Transition: However the legal use of weed just doesn’t benefit patients with painful diseases, or people just trying to relax and have a good time. It could benefit the nation’s economy. Drastically. 1. Marijuana is currently one of the largest cash crops in the nation, and the government is receiving no benefit from it a. As of right now it is the largest cash crop in 3 states, a top 3 crop in 30, and a top 5 crop in 39 states. (NCBS). i. These profits are readily accessible as well.
2. Since there has never been a time of widespread legal use among the nation’s people, it’s very hard to judge the kind of profits that will come from the sales. a. Economists for NBC have judged that this new market can raise anywhere from 10 to even 40 billion, but with the potential to grow to even 100 billion annually. Transition: It’s apparent that the selling of marijuana can generate large profits, but do you know the health benefits and risks? 1. First off there has never been a recorded overdose death because of marijuana. a. That’s a few million deaths short of alcohol and tobacco cause 2. Marijuana is used by cancer patients to reduce pain and induce appetite. a. I’d like to quote a high school buddy of mine who was diagnosed with cancer at 18 “They say pot smoking is entrance to harder drugs… I say it’s an entrance to the local drive through.” 3. According to the University of California, marijuana has been known to increase happiness, reduce anxiety, and might even contain cancer preventing chemicals. a. However, long term usage has also been linked to increased schizophrenia at an older age, as well as lowered IQ’s in young developing minds. 4. The big question is it addictive?
a. Some say “yes absolutely addictive! You’ll rot your mind out kid!” b. Scientists claim that marijuana is addictive, others claim the opposite. (WeedBlog) c. If you asked a user however they’d tell you straight up “I can quit whenever I want, I just choose not to.” d. I’m going to quote the late comedian Richard Neville here “Is marijuana addictive? Yes, in the sense that most of the really pleasant things in life are worth repeating.” Transition: Hopefully I was able to shed some light onto y’all about a very controversial subject in our modern society.
1. So next time you judge someone for smoking down, think about what I’ve
told you. a. Its history in the U.S. dates back before the Deceleration of Independence was signed. i. Artists from all over the world for many decades attribute marijuana to their creativeness and success. ii. It’s one of the few all natural medicines out there with no nasty side effects. iii. Not to mention we as a people are just years away from full legalization. b. Marijuana has been entrenched in our society for a long time, and it’ll be here for even longer.