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            Legalizing Marijuana Marijuana is the name for the drug that comes .
             from the leaves and flowers of the Indian hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. It .
             is a tobacco-like substance produced by drying the leaves and flowery top .
             of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette called a .
             joint or in a pipe or bong. Recently, it has appeared in cigars called .
             blunts which are longer. This drug is a mild hallucinogen, meaning that it .
             distorts sensory perceptions. The intoxicating part of the plant lies .
             mostly in its strong-smelling, sticky, golden resin. This is given off by .
             the hemp flowers, especially those of the female plant. The resin protects .
             the plant from heat and helps it stay moist during its reproductive cycle. .
             Many users describe two phases of marijuana intoxication: initial .
             stimulation, giddiness, and euphoria, followed by sedation and pleasant .
             tranquillity. Mood changes can often accompany altered perceptions of time .
             and space and one's bodily dimension. The hemp plant can be found growing .
             as a weed or as a cultivated plant throughout the world, in many soils and .
             climates, with the more potent varieties produced in dry, hot, upland, .
             climates (Berger 1). All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. They all .
             contain THC, the main active chemical in marijuana. THC was first .
             identified in the mid-1960s. Its chemical structure is complex and unique, .
             making it unlike that of any other psychoactive drug. There are also four .
             hundred other chemicals in the marijuana plant besides THC, but they do .
             not cause the same effect. For this reason, marijuana is, by far, the most .
             frequently used illegal drug. Though its use in the United States is .
             primarily for the pleasure effect of the drug, it has been used as an .
             intoxicant in various parts of the world for centuries.

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