“Marijuana“, or “marihuana“, etc., is a name for the cannabis plant and a drug preparation made from it. Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds. Extracts with high amounts of THC can also be made from the cannabis plant.
Alabama Law –
Unlawful possession of marihuana in the first degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marihuana in the first degree if, except as otherwise authorized:
(1) He possesses marihuana for other than personal use; or
(2) He possesses marihuana for his personal use only after having been previously convicted of unlawful possession of marihuana in the second degree or unlawful possession of marihuana for his personal use only.
(b) Unlawful possession of marihuana in the first degree is a Class C felony.
Unlawful possession of marihuana in the second degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marihuana in the second degree if, except as otherwise authorized, he possesses marihuana for his personal use only.
(b) Unlawful possession of marihuana in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
Additional laws related to drug use –
Division 3 Drug Trafficking Offenses.
- Section 13A-12-231 Trafficking in cannabis, cocaine, etc.; mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment; trafficking in illegal drugs; trafficking in amphetamine and methamphetamine; habitual felony offender act.
- Section 13A-12-232 Sentence not to be suspended, deferred, etc., prior to mandatory minimum term; reduction, suspension, etc., of sentence for assistance in arrest, conviction, etc., of accessories, principals, etc.
- Section 13A-12-233 Drug trafficking enterprise defined; punishment.
Division 4 Sale on or Near School Campus.
- Section 13A-12-250 Additional penalty if unlawful sale on or near school campus.
Division 5 Drug Paraphernalia Offenses.
- Section 13A-12-260 Drug paraphernalia; use or possession; delivery or sale; forfeiture.
Division 6 Sale at or Near Public Housing Project.
- Section 13A-12-270 Additional penalty for unlawful sale within three-mile radius of public housing project.
A lot of people people smoke the plant’s dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds. But marijuana can also be mixed into food (like brownies, cookies, and lollipops), brewed as a tea, or inhaled with a vaporizer.
No matter how it gets into your system, it affects almost every organ in your body, and your nervous system and immune system, too. When you smoke pot, your body absorbs THC right away. (If you eat a baked good or another item, it may take much longer for your body to absorb THC, because it has to break down in your stomach before it enters your bloodstream). You may notice changes in your body right after you smoke. The effects usually stop after 3 or 4 hours.
Smoking pot can increase your heart rate by as much as two times for up to 3 hours. That’s why some people have a heart attack right after they use marijuana. It can increase bleeding, lower blood pressure, and affect your blood sugar, too.
We don’t yet know if marijuana is linked to higher odds of getting lung cancer. But the process does irritate your lungs — which is why regular pot smokers are more likely to have an ongoing cough and to have lung-related health problems like chest colds and lung infections.
Other physical effects of marijuana include:
- Shallow breathing
- Red eyes and dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite
- Slowed reaction time (If you drive after using marijuana, your risk of being in a car accident more than doubles.)
Changes to Mind and Mood
A lot of people use marijuana because the high makes them feel happy, relaxed, or detached from reality. Smoking pot can also have less-pleasant effects on your mind and mood, too. You might have:
- A distorted sense of time
- Random thinking
- Short-term forgetfulness
These effects usually ease up a few hours after you’ve used the drug.
Though you may have heard otherwise, marijuana can be addictive: Nearly 10% of people who use it become dependent on it. It isn’t clear whether marijuana is a gateway drug that makes people more likely to try harder drugs like cocaine and heroin.
The amount of THC in marijuana has gone up in recent years. Most leaves used to contain between 1% and 4% THC. Now most have closer to 7%. Experts worry this might make it easier to become dependent on or addicted to marijuana — and it also strengthens many of the drug’s mind-altering effects.
Even if you buy from a legal, state-regulated dispensary, it can be hard to know exactly how much THC or other compounds found in marijuana you’re ingesting, so the effects can be unpredictable.
Marijuana can also cause more health problems if you have a condition like liver disease, low blood pressure, or diabetes.
If you’re a man, heavy use could lower your testosterone levels, and your sperm count and quality. That, in turn, can zap your libido and fertility.
Research shows a link between marijuana use and mental health problems like depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, short-term psychosis, and schizophrenia. While it’s not clear if marijuana causes these conditions, it can make them worse.
If you’re a long-time user, you can have physical withdrawal symptoms — like cravings, irritability, sleeplessness, and less appetite — when you stop.
Signs of Marijuana use –
Signs of marijuana abuse are frequently visible in users:
- Red, blurry, bloodshot eyes
- Constant, mucus-filled cough
- Rapid heartbeat
- Hunger, referred to as munchies
- Dry mouth
- Anxiety, paranoia, or fear
- Poor memory
- Poor coordination
- Slow reaction time
- Loss of control