Legalisation of cannabis with reference to utilitarianism Free essay! Download now
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Legalisation of cannabis with reference to utilitarianism
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| Words: 2000 | Submitted: 05-Nov-2014
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DescriptionAn essay discussing the issues with the legalisation of cannabis - with heavy reference to the principles of utilitarianism and the hedonic calculus by Jeremy Bentham
History of Cannabis
Cannabis originates from central to south Asia. Evidence for the inhalation of cannabis smoke can be found at present day Romania where charred cannabis seeds were found at an ancient burial site. Also, in 2003 a leather basket filled with leaf fragments and seeds of cannabis was found next to a mummified shaman in China. Cannabis is also known to have been used by the ancient Hindus of India and Nepal, thousands of years ago.
Cannabis was also known to the ancient Assyrians, cannabis was also introduced by the Aryans to the Scythians whose shamans burned cannabis flowers to induce a state of trance.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis consists of the dried female cannabis plant. This is the most widely used type, it contains between 3% and 22% THC.
What is THC?
THC is found in cannabis, It is the principal psychoactive constituent of the plant (the ‘drug’ part of the plant) THC was first isolated in 1964 by Israeli scientists. A pharmaceutical formulation of the drug called dronabinol is available under prescription in the US and Canada under the name Marinol.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabis also contains cannabinoids which are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. Of over 480 different compounds are present in the plant, and only around 66 are called cannabinoids. Among these compounds, the most well-known is the delta-9-tetrahdrocannabinol which is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Another important component is cannabidiol which makes up around 40% of the plant resin extract.
Cannabinoids exert their effects by interacting with specific receptors on the surface of the cells. The receptors are found in different parts of the central nervous system.
The main way in which the cannabinoids are differentiated is based on their degree of psychoactivity. The most abundant of the cannabinoids is CBD, which is thought to have anti-anxietyeffects, possibly counteracting the psychoactive effects of THC.
When THC is exposed to the air, it becomes oxidized and forms CBN which also interacts with THC to lessen its impact.
This is why cannabis that has been left out unused will has less potent effects when smoked, due to the increased CBN to THC ratio.
Other names given to cannabis include:
weed, skunk, sinsemilla, sensi, resin, puff, pot, marijuana, herb, hashish, hash, grass, ganja, draw, dope, bud, bhang
How can cannabis be used?
Cannabis can be smoked, vaporised or consumed in food or drink. Forms of smoking or oral consumption are most common.
Cannabis is unique in the way that it can deliver psychoactive effects which can have any combination of hallucinogenic, stimulant and depressant qualities. Each method leads to slightly different psychoactive effects due to the THC and other chemicals being activated and then consumed through different administration routes.
How are other ...
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