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Marijuana: Drug of Deception

A publication of the Lions Club

This is the full text - unedited -- of a brochure on marijuana put out by the Lions Club International.

The statements made about marijuana range from laughable to ridiculous. None of them, that I can find, are supported by any kind of scientific evidence, except maybe for that stuff about the red eyes. They even say that marijuana use causes weight loss! Curiously, they do not mention "the munchies."

Readers are encouraged to write to the Lions Club at the address below and correct their misinformation by pointing to these web pages.

Marijuana is made from the leaves, small stems, and flowering tops of the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana, also called pot, grass, weed, is usually smoked in a loosely- rolled joint or in a pipe. It has a sweet, lingering odor.

Marijuana causes the user to experience a feeling of well-being---of detachment from ordinary circumstances. This "high" is usually followed by feelings of depression.

Marijuana is not just one substance; it contains more than 400 chemicals. The most widely known compund in this group is commonly called THC (delta- 9-tetra-hydro-cannabinol).

THC is the primary mind-altering ingredient in marijuana. A portion of THC is absorbed into fatty tissue in the brain and reproductive organs, and in most other organs as well. It takes the body at least 30 days to eliminate all effects of smoking one marijuana joint.

Marijuana is up to ten times more potent today than that which was produced in the 1960s.

Some experts previously thought Marijuana to be harmless. It is now known that the reasons users can stop smoking without feeling severe withdrawal symptoms is because of the body's storage of THC. Effects of Marijuana on the body

* Marijuana reduces brain energy, impairing the users' ability to remember, feel, think, anticipate, and predict.

* Because THC is stored in fatty tissues and works like a time-release capsule, regular marijuana smoking produces a constant state of sedation.

* Since THC remains in the center of motivation of the brain, it weakens the users' ability to live drug-free.

* The lungs of marijuana smokers are highly susceptible to emphysema and bronchitis.

* Research shows that marijuana contains cancer-causing agents.

* Marijuana impairs normal sexual development in both males and females.

* Heartbeat rate increses by as much as 50% through marijuana use. Results are chest pains, and possible heart disease.

* Regular use causes a decrease in the blood supply to the heart, and diminishes white cell production.

* The body adjusts to regular use, making it essential to increase the amount used in order to achieve a "high".

* Continual marijuana use deteriorates the body's immune system.

Symptoms of Marijuana use

* Marked change in behavior patterns

* Carelessness about personal appearance

* Lack of motivation

* Reduction of short-term memory

* Excessive irritability

* Red eyes and fatigue

* Abrupt mood changes/outbursts of anger

* Less concern for the feelings of others

* Bouts of depression/paranoia

* Inability to react quickly/decreased coordination

* Inability to get along with family/co-workers/peers

* Loss of weight

* Sleeplessness [to go with the fatigue I suppose]

* Short concentration-span

* Highly susceptible to common infections

* Expressionless speech/blank stares

* Faulty perception (cannot accurately judge distances, speed or time)

* Decreased academic or work performance

Marijuana connection

Some researchers have found a direct link between increased marijuana use, and

--juvenile and young adult crime such as theft

--truancy and school drop-out rate

--psychiatric referrals of adolescents and young adults

--cases of teenage chronic organic brain syndrome (burnout)

Lions Drug Awareness Program

Since its inception in 1984, the Lions Drug Awareness Program has emphasized prevention through education. Lions are working together to join families, educators, and other key leaders in a concentrated effort to create drug-free communities.

Lions' primary focus is Lions-Quest "Skills for Adolescence," and Lions-Quest "Skills for Growing." These positive prevention curricula span Kindergarten through eighth grade, and are helping young people choose healthy lifestyles.

For full details contact:

Lions Club International

Special Research and Development Department

300 22nd Street

Oak Brook, IL 60521-8842

Telephone: 708/571-5466

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