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Mykayla Willis

Speech Date: 4/13/16
MW 1:00-2:30

Topic: Marijuana
General Purpose: Inform
Specific Purpose: To communicate what marijuana is, the legalizations in different states and the
overall effects of the drugs.

I.

Introduction
A. Attention Getter: Did you know that 61% of Americans say they support
marijuana legalization? There’s a catch to the all-time high support, 24% of
legalization supporters said marijuana should be made available "only with a
medical prescription." Another 43% said there should be "restrictions on
purchase amounts." And 1/3 of legalization supporters said there should be
"no restrictions" on purchase amounts.
B. Reason to Listen: Some of you have probably tried marijuana or at least
knows someone who has and you most likely don’t know as much as you
think you know about what it is or the effects.
C. Credibility Statement: I connect to this topic because I’ve dabbled with the
recreational use of marijuana so the research I’ve done is not only
informational to you but to me also and I’ve discover so much that I’ve never
knew even though I felt I knew a lot about this topic.

D. Thesis: Despite being a controversial topic and not being legalized in many
states, marijuana is used for recreational purposes and medical purposes with
short term and long term effects overall.
E. Preview of Main Points:
1. First, I will describe what marijuana is and how it is used.
2. Next, I will examine the short/long term effects of marijuana and the
“gateway.”
3. Lastly, I will reflect on the legalization of marijuana.
II.

Body
A. Marijuana/How it is used
Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant,
Cannabis sativa. The plant contains a mind-boggling chemical called delta-9tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit
drug in the U.S because fewer young people believe marijuana is risky. People
can smoke marijuana or can mix it in their food and have edibles. Marijuana is
smoked using hand rolled cigarettes or papers to make joints, pipes, bongs and
even emptied cigars refilled with marijuana. Some people even use vaporizers
to avoid inhaling smoke. The most common edibles are brownies, cookies,
candy or even tea. People extract THC from the marijuana and use it in the
form of oil, wax or shatter.
a. According to a yearly survey of middle and high school students,
rates of marijuana use have steadied in the past few years after
several years of increase.
b. THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, creating
euphoria, according to NIDA.
B. Short and Long term effects/gateway
1. Marijuana has short and long term effects on the brain. The short term effects
is what people are most familiar with. The “high” effect is short term causing

altered senses, changes in mood, impaired body movement and memory,
difficulty with thinking and problem solving and also altered sense of time.
The THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream after one smokes
and the blood carries the chemical to the brain and a few other organs.
Marijuana has long term effects such as the brain development. When using
marijuana starting as a teen, it may cause reduced thinking, memory and
learning abilities. Physical effects would be breathing problems, increased
heart rate, and when used during pregnancy it could cause problems with child
development during and after pregnancy. People see marijuana as a “gateway”
drug, for its therapeutic benefits. It causes many to be stress free and escape
from the problems they have. They use it to take a mini mental vacation.
a. "Some of the side effects of THC include a decrease in IQ, memory
and cognition, especially in younger people," said Dr. Damon
Raskin, medical director at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center.
b. A study showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in
their teens and had an ongoing cannabis use disorder lost an average of
eight IQ points between ages 13 and 38.
C. Legalization of marijuana
1. States would legalize marijuana for medical use, recreational use or none.
Some states that allows the medical use are strict on what type of medical
conditions that allow for treatment depending on the state. The four states that
have legalized marijuana for recreational use (June 2015) has a bit of
restriction too, in Alaska adults 21 and older can now and transport, buy or
possess up to an ounce of marijuana and six plants. Oregon voters allows
adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in public and 8 ounces in their

homes. Other states have passed laws for legalizing the possession of up to 20
ounces of cannabis oil.
a. The Drug Policy Alliance believes marijuana should be removed from the
criminal justice system and regulated like alcohol and tobacco because of
the opportunities like creating jobs, saving money, reducing harm.
b. According to the National Cancer Institute, marijuana has been used for
III.

medicinal purposes for more than 3,000 years.
Conclusion
1. Marijuana can be used for medical purposes and recreational purposes
having long term and short term effects and being legalized in a few states.
I’ve informed you on what marijuana is, how it is used, the effects on the
brain and the legalization laws in the U.S.