Marijuana usage when discussed brings about debate and division no matter the forum. This is a topic that many individuals feel either one or the other about. Very few feelings can be described as “Middle of the Road”. As students at Texas Christian University we felt that in the time we were in attendance no one had tried to measure how students felt and view Marijuana. This information could be used by organizations such as NORML; it could help them decide whether or not pursuing a NORML chapter on TCU’s campus would be worthwhile. NORML is a marijuana advocacy group that is working to “move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana”.
Our study tries to determine what people know and what people think they know marijuana use, Some questions fall in the realm of criminal justice, others with in health and a few in the possibility of alternatives to marijuana use. For example across the United States there are many different ways marijuana use handled in the criminal justice realm. According to the MPP, Marijuana Policy Project, Kansas is one the state with some the harshest drug policies. If an individual is caught with a gram of marijuana they face a one year prison stay and a one thousand dollar fine. Any subsequent marijuana charges can carry a prison stay of at least 10 months and up to three and a half years. Also they would be faced with a one hundred thousand dollar fine. In comparison according to NORML Texas also have some harsh laws. If an individual is caught with 2 ounces or less they could face up to 180 days in jail and a two thousand dollar fine. While this is not as harsh as Kansas it is harsh when you think about the fact there are places like California where you can possess 28.5 grams and max fine would be one hundred dollars.
In regards to health some view marijuana as something that can help people while others see it as something that could cause Health issues. The National Cancer Institute addresses the fact that some doctors who treat cancer use marijuana to manage the patient symptoms
The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. Although few relevant surveys of practice patterns exist, it appears that physicians caring for cancer patients in the United States who recommend medicinal Cannabis predominantly do so for symptom management.
On the other hand there are those who believe marijuana is detrimental to the health of those who use it. The National Institute on Drug Abuse for believes that marijuana use has many long- and short-term implications. These implications include increased heart rate during use, respiratory issues including a possibility heightened lung infections and frequent chest illness, and finally long time use can lead to mental illness.
Finally there are what legal alternatives to marijuana use. Some people view these alternative as not as harmful towards physical or mental health and assume that because they are legal they of course are better. Despite these beliefs many other feel these drugs are much more harmful than their illegal counterparts. In accordance with the AAPCC, American Association of Poison Control Centers, these substances that go by many different names including “Spice,” “K2,” “Sence,” “Skunk,” and many others are known to cause vomiting, hallucinations, and elevated blood pressure. In recent years though, these “legal alternatives” have gained similar ratings and punishments to that of their illegal counterparts. An article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin reads, “The Agency has controlled five synthetic cannabinoids in Schedule 1 under the temporary scheduling provision of the CSA, placing them in the same category as LSD, heroin, and marijuana.” All of these issues and ideas are addressed in our survey within unbiased questions. Using these questions we hope to ascertain the views and opinions of TCU students towards marijuana issues.