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January 23, 2020 | PBAT MAGAZINE

By Ruoyao Huang, Carlos Melgar & Kevin Sigaran

“When you are smoking you start to feel like peace, you feel free like your senses relax and improve your encouragement and remove stress,” said a college student and an alumnus of Flushing International High School. Smoke marijuana doesn’t make people become a bad person, but this society believes that if someone consumes any drugs make you a criminal. Marijuana should be made legal because there is not any research that proves that marijuana is affecting people's health like kill expungement of prior, low-level cannabis convictions. The law took effect on August 28, 2019. ling them, on the contrary people that smoke marijuana for whatever reason such as treat diseases are showing a positive result. 

For example kids with dravet syndrome which is a medical condition that was impossible to find a cure or any treatment but treatment with CBD cannabis oil that fortunately help to decrease frequent seizures that are caused by this disease, Marijuana or cannabis help to treat diseases complicated as this and other minor diseases. The FDA has also approved THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, to treat nausea and improve appetite.

The current Democratic Gov. of New York Andrew Cuomo just signed legislation into law amending marijuana possession penalties that applies to private and public possession of marijuana. Possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $50. Possession of marijuana in excess of 28 grams - 2 ounces is a violation punishable by a maximum fine of $200. Public consumption of marijuana through smoking or vaping will be handled as a violation of New York's tobacco control laws. However, marijuana is still not considered legal under New York State Law or under Federal Law.


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History of Marijuana

Marijuana, also called cannabis or weed. The impact and history of cannabis on humans is very long. The oldest known written record on cannabis use comes from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C. Ancient Greeks and Romans were also familiar with cannabis, while in the Middle East, use spread throughout the Islamic empire to North Africa.




In America, the first history of  marijuana can back to colonial times. In 1545 cannabis spread to the western hemisphere where Spaniards imported it to Chile for its use as fiber. At that time, most people use it as herbal medicine, textile or rope. Cannabis fiber can use to make clothing, paper or sail. Also because of its short growth cycle and versatility, it is widely cultivated in the Americas. Around the late 1800s, the Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy found that cannabis can be used to treat people’s stomach problems and promote hunger. In 1900s, marijuana started to be used for recreational purposes. People found out when people burn marijuana, it produces intoxicating smoke. In 1931, there were 29 states decide to make marijuana illegal.


U.S. Stamps

Federal Laws

The first federal law of marijuana is the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, this federal law was assigned by President Franklin D.Roosevelt on August 2, 1937. It stated that people who want to buy marijuana, should obtain a tax stamp, if people didn’t provide a detail about the amount and location of marijuana, they cannot buy marijuana. But in 1970, President Richard Nixon repealed the Marijuana Tax Act. Instead, he signed another law called the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Marijuana was listed as drug, with heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Marijuana was considered as “gateway drug” to more stronger substances. By June, 2019, there are 11 states and Washington D.C legalized marijuana in recreational use. Colorado and Washington had been the first two states legalize  marijuana.(


Despite the recent state law changes, in the United States even if you live in a state that has approved the use of recreational and medical marijuana, you are still committing a federal crime, federal law which catalogue the marijuana as a controlled drug like heroin and cocaine. Current federal drug laws are contained in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA classifies and regulates illegal drugs, and places listed drugs on a schedule according to their medicinal value and potential for abuse. 


Expert Opinions

There are contrary opinions of marijuana in the medical field. Rachna Patel, Medical Marijuana Doctor, “I've had patients use pharmaceutical drugs in conjunction with medical marijuana. As a doctor that's been treating patients with medical marijuana since 2012, I want to share with you some information that you'll find helpful. The most common conditions that I treat in my practice are Chronic Pain, Anxiety, and Insomnia. With these conditions, especially, I feel that medical marijuana far exceeds pharmaceutical drugs in providing symptom relief. I've seen patients completely come off of pharmaceutical drugs and use medical marijuana only on an as needed basis. Patients repeatedly have told me that the medical marijuana has improved their overall quality of life, from improving their performance at work to bettering relationships with their loved ones. Of course, I do feel that it's important that medical marijuana be used judiciously under the care of a supervision.” 

Conversely, Marvin D. Seppala, M.D. the Chief Medical Officer, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation stated: “I hope that this brief writing may provide those who are seeking help a general understanding of the disease of addiction, and some specific aspects of marijuana addiction. Many people say that marijuana is not addictive, but this is simply not accurate. People do become addicted to marijuana, just as they do to alcohol, opioids and stimulants. Marijuana addiction differs from these other types of addictions primarily by the outward or social manifestations, but internally, the same pain and anguish exist. Marijuana addiction is much less socially visible than alcoholism or heroin addiction, in which one can easily witness problems such as driving under the influence or development.”

National Institute on  Drug Abuse claims that “Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases. Recent data suggest that 30 percent of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults.” ( Also very well mind state that “Young people who are at high risk of becoming substance abusers may use marijuana first because it is easier to get than other drugs.” This means that the use of marijuana is easier and the surrender of the teenager that smoke increase the facility and wanted to try more and stronger drugs.

For this investigation we also wanted to find out the policy opinions of Congresswoman Grace Meng, the representative for Flushing Queens, in the House of Representative. Anthony J. Lemma III, District Director says that they are currently working to find a decision if marijuana should be legalized for recreational or medical use, but needs more research data that prove that marijuana can be used for medical research or if it is going to be a major problem or have a negative impact on our society.


People's opinions

However, the question of medicinal benefits is not the primary issue any more. There are already 33 states already permit medicinal use marijuana. Today, the debate is also about recreational use. To see how our community viewed this issue, we conducted a survey of FIHS students in the 11th and 12th grade. There are 54 students participate in this survey. We want to know some opinions from students and teenagers.  There about 58.5% of students which is the most of participates think the marijuana should be legal. Also there are students give out some opinions about the legalization of marijuana, “marijuana should be legal because even if is illegal people sell, if we make legal we are going to avoid drug trafficking that most of the time sells drugs in a bad way.”


FIHS Survey


College Student and Alumni of FIHS Roundtable Discussion


  • Marijuana should be legal because whether is legal or not people still used.

  • People should be able to choose what to do if they want to use they had freedom.

  • Some cases people drop the school because they make money selling but some decide to use to pay for their studies and make more money.

  • Smoking weed is good to eliminate the stress but this is what causes that they used more and more and cause addictions, and then you do it not because you want to relax is because your body needs it  and that’s the problem.

  •  At least 95% percent of students in college have tried weed, how often between 70-80%.

  • Some parts of the country the culture affect this percent in college, why? Because for them see people smoking marijuana can be normal so it’s not strange to see them also smoking weed.

  • People have access to marijuana in a really young age.

  • If marijuana is legal what would you prefer big business or regular people? Regular people that you know is better because you know them and you can ask for more cheaper and big business they are going to add taxes and be more competence.


NYU Campus Survey


The graph above is showing the survey we did in New York University, we choose  people randomly in the campus. Most of them think the government should make the age to buy marjiuana be same as alcohol and tobacco. “The reason why I started smoking is because I used to get bullied and go through suicidal thoughts at a young age plus I grew up having no role models so they was a day I decided to start smoking to heal my pain away.” said a young marijuana user. Marijuana not just help people with disease or relax also there some cases where people are going through a lot of things emotional and marijuana is one way to forget about or think more deeply and find a solution. 

There are many people have stereotypes and bias to people who smoke marijuana, they always think these people are bad just because they smoke it. But the fact is that marijuana also use very widely in medical area. Still, people need to be more careful to use marijuana in recreational way, because many people abuse it, then the government take actions to limit these people. In the future, states should consider to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. 

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