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Reducing drug use among street gangs 0809

Page history last edited by ecop 13 years, 4 months ago

Marijuana Abuse

In Street Teens In The







Description and Rationale


Street teens in the Philippines often use drugs and alcohol as an escape path to get away from their lives on the streets or to forget their horrible hunger pains in their stomach. Many teens get illegal drugs and drink under age to avoid their life’s problems. 


Might there be a way to keep street teens from using drugs and drinking alcohol? Maybe attempting to keep a better watch on drug dealing would be a good idea, or making it easier for teens to get involved in sports or a type of art? Why do Filipinos use the kinds of drugs that they use? How much is based off of what is cheap and easy to get? Would it be helpful to too start rehab clinics for teens only? 


The initial purpose of this project will be to research what types of drugs most street teens use and the affects on them, and if they do it because of depression or just to ease hunger pains. It is also going to be researched whether or not rehab could allow the teens to get a job and work, and if extra curricular activities would keep these teens away from drugs and alcohol. Through research on the internet it is seen that if the person has not been using drugs for a long period of time and their brain cells are not completely gone, that they can work after rehab(Brainsource).  Knowing this will help find how many street teens could get jobs to help their families get out of poverty. 


It is hoped that street teens will not use drugs or alcohol as a way to forget their hunger. They will instead go to a clinic were they can be helped through their addictions, or be provided with many opportunities to join extra curricular activities to help express themselves such as art, drama, and sports, so they do not have to rely on drugs.  

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Common Names and Synonyms

Marihuana is also called Cannabis. To Americans it is also known as Marijuana. The name is thought to come from the name Maria Juana which is spanish for Mary Jane.  Other synonyms include Ganja (Hindi/Sanskrit).






Kingdom: Plantae

Phylum: Magnoliophyta

Class Magnoliopsida (seed plants that produce an embryo with paired cotyledons and net-veined leaves)

Order: Rosales (does not include Leguminosae)

Family: Cannabaceae (Small family of flowering plants) 

Genus: Cannabis (two genera of erect or twining herbs that are pollinated by the wind, including the genera Cannabis and Humulu)

Species: C. sativa (Sown or cultivated)


There are many forms of Marijuana that some people are not familiar with. There is marijuana which is the flowering tops of the female plants , hashish which is resin made by heat that has been physically extracted. Kief the sticky, saturated resin bits of the plant before being turned into hashish, Hash oil ethanol extract of cannabis that had the ethanol evaporated. Resin the build up when marijuana is smoked has tar and lie properties.



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Morphology and Physical Description


The cannabis plant can have many buds but only if the female plant is kept away from the male plant. It will also depend on variables such as lighting, soil, sun, and methods of growing. If the plant is grown well it will produce up to 8 oz. of marijuana, but this is rare. It normally only produces 3-4 oz.of marijuana per plant. It is not important how many buds the plant will grow but the size and potency of the buds.

The cannabis plant can grow to a height of 13-18 feet, the flowers regularly bloom late summer to mid- fall. The cannabis plant normally has one of two flowers, one male the other female. The male flower grows in long clusters along the leaves. It blooms yellow flowers and then dies after blossoming. Female flowers grow in spike like clusters and stay green for a month after blooming until the seed ripens.


The Marijuana plant contains more than 400 chemicals 60 which scientists have placed into of the category of cannabinoids these are the chemical that are associated the most with the effect on the brain. 


Internally the plant produces a chemical that is psychoactive; it is called THC which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol.  Tetrahydocannainol, also known as dronabinol, is the main psychoactive product produced by the Cannabis plant. In it’s true form, while cold, THC is a glassy solid. When heated it becomes thick and sticky. There has never been a recorded case where someone died from an overdose of Marijuana. The effective dose of THC is at least 1000 times lower than assumed lethal dose.    


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Getting Food


When growing Marijuana there are two choices of where you can grow the plant, indoors, or outdoors. If you grow it outdoors you can produce a larger crop, but you can not control the environment as you can do with indoor crops. If you grow it indoors it will produce a smaller crop but is almost always superior to marijuana grown outdoors. When growing indoors it is easy to control the temperature, humidity, and nutrients the plant needs, while when growing outdoors it is not possible to have control over those factors. 




When growing 10 plants indoors it is required to have a 400 watt high pressure sodium or metal halide growing light. Each plant will produce 1/2 to 1 ounce of marijuana. Plants grown indoors will not look the same as the ones grown outdoors it will be smaller but will be more potent if provided with the correct environment. You may plant the seeds in almost any container for house plants, the pot must be 12 to 24 inches high, the width and depth should be about 12 inches. You fill the containers with soil 4-6 inches from the top, remember to have drainage holes. You will need to buy sterilized bags of soil, preferably soil that is used with fast growing vegetables. Your soil must have a certain pH level in order to have the healthiest plants possible the pH 6.0 to 7.0, in order to measure the pH level you must get a pH meter. 


A very important part of growing marijuana is the lighting, you must understand what type of lighting the plant needs before you even start setting up your growing room. For the first two weeks you set a light timer for 16 hours on and 8 hours off everyday. After the first two weeks you increase the number of hours each day till you are at 24 hours a day. This will increase the growth rate of the plants. While the plant must have 24 hours of light this will drastically increase your electric bill if you are using high voltage lights which is best for the plants health. When the plants are around 12 inches tall you need to stop having light on them 24 hours a day, instead you have light for 12 hours and 12 hours with no light. By doing this the plants will flower. If growing with a high powered sodium light the harvest time will be about every 12-16 weeks, each plant will produce around 7-14 grams of marijuana.             



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Cannabis plants reproduce sexually; the female part of the plant can produce hundreds of seeds at a time. The male part sheds its pollen and dies weeks before the seed ripens on the female plant. A Cannabis plant in reproductive state needs more than 12-13 hours of light in order to stay in its reproductive state. Flowering will occur when darkness is at least 12 hours a day. The flowering cycle can last from 5-10 weeks depending on the strain of plant. 




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The soil for the cannabis must have a certain ph level, the normal level is around 6.5 to 7.2. If the cannabis plant does not have a certain time period in the sun, it will alter the plants sexual expression. Both male and female parts on the plant are either sterile or fertile, but both are always the same. 



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Origin and Distribution


Evidence of cannabis plants dates back as far as the 3rd millennium BC, when a plant was found in an ancient burial sight. The most well known people groups to use cannabis are the ancient Hindus, India, and Nepal, they used it as a drug it was mentioned as an intoxicating hallucinogen in an ancient writing. Cannabis was also used by the ancient Assyrians. It is thought that marijuana was brought from Ireland to the Philippines.  


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Importance to People



 Cannabis is used in many ways by humans. It has been used for clothing, nutritional products, sometimes used in oil-based paints, creams for moisturizer, cooking, used in bird seed, and in plastics. Production of cannabis is outlawed in most countries even when used for recreation. 

THC has been proven to have medical benefits such as helping cancer and AIDS patients by increasing appetite and decreasing nausea. A new study shows that THC can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, by preventing inflammation caused by microglia cells. Although scientists have proven that THC can help medically it does have side effects such as constant short term memory loss but in some memory loss was disproven by MRI’s. 


More people are smoking marijuana because it is much cheaper compared to other drugs and liquors. Users seem to be less violent when on marijuana compared to coke ,angel dust and meth. Along with other drugs it has been proven to have medicinal strengths, most marijuana smokers do not commit crimes to pay for more drugs because the drug itself is not an addictive drug. However the high is psychologically addictive because the users like the way it makes them feel. Someone can smoke marijuana for five years consistently and stop right away and never use it again. People also smoke it because they are depressed and they like the feeling of the high they receive, unfortunately people also do it because of pressure and just to fit in.     


Marijuana affects people bodies in many ways the most important are Increased heartbeat, it will generally slow down in about 20 minutes, drop of the pressure in your eyeball, change of blood pressure, sense of cold or hot hands and feet, discoloration of the white of the eye to somewhat pink because of dilation of the vessels in the conjunctiva of the eye, relaxation of the muscles, and a dry mouth. All of these effect are temporary and go away mostly in an hour. The psychological effects of marijuana begins almost immediately after smoking it within 2-10 minutes, with the highest peak between 30-60 minutes. The most important effect of marijuana is the heightening of the emotions, this can very from person to person. Other typical effects are getting high or stoned, your feelings slowly change to calmness and relaxation. Sometimes people will get dopy, and time will feel like it is going very slow to the point where minuets last for hours. Colors, shapes, and smells become more vivid to the brain. Other typical reactions are eagerness to eat, and uncontrollable laughter. Hallucinations rarely occur but it does happen from time to time. Marijuana can also have to opposite effect on people they can receive feelings of anxiety, panic or confusion, if they are in a bad mood or are sick before smoking it their mood will heighten and make them feel worse.     


With marijuana the more the user buys the cheaper it is, for a cheap low quality weed, it is $20 for a 1/4 ounce, $30 for a 1/2 ounce, and $45-$50 for an ounce. For one kind of bud it is a lot more expensive but a lot better. Average prices are $25-$30 for a half-eighth also known as 1.75 grams, $50-$60 for an eighth also known as 3.5 grams, $100-$120 for 7 grams also known as a quad or quarter, $150-$200 for a half ounce, $250-$400 for an ounce called a zip because fits in a zip-lock bag nicely, $900-$1300 for a QP or quarter pound. The street prices will very from area to area but this is almost average. 




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Survivability and Endangered Status


Cannabis is not an endangered species. If someone would want to grow the plant it would be very easy to grow in the Philippines. Marijuana is illegal, the penalty if caught with 0.3 ounces of marijuana resin or 17 ounces of marijuana is a minimum of 12 years in prison or the death penalty.



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Potential Solutions


Is marijuana presence in the Philippines good or bad? Marijuana‘s presence in any country I believe is bad. The drug itself is not necessarily bad, it can be used for medical purposes. More medicinal research and tests about the side effects of using the drug for medicine would be needed before determining if Marijuana is only a drug that can be used for harm to the body or if it really can help with some conditions. There are many promising medicinal possibilities for the illegal drug. It could benefit many people such as people with Alzheimer's, neuron growth, many types of cancer, and head injuries. Below are 3 possibilities with the advantages and disadvantages for each.  Along with each possibility is a report of progress made to date on each of the possibilities.


Possibility 1 - Rehab For Street Teens


From an interview I conducted, an ex-marijuana user said that he wanted to stop using marijuana because he knew it was bad for his health. He started playing basketball and he focused all his energy on getting a basketball scholarship, which he has recently succeeded in. This shows that with enough determination a marijuana user can quit. Through another interview I found that most people quit because of physical reasons. One person said they stopped because they saw the physical effects on their body and they were gaining weight quickly and they were starting to feel gross. Both of these people have managed to stay clean on their own but many people can not. This is an expensive habit and a very unhealthy one. There are possibilities for rehab clinics all around the Philippines. If I was given the opportunity I would love to start some type of rehab home for street girls that have been on marijuana or any type of drug and need help getting back on their feet so that they could work and try to start a new life. I would try and use art or sports as an alternative.     




It would help to bring up the economy in the Philippines by stopping people from not working because of drugs. It would raise the employment rate and help the Philippines become a better place to live and visit.


The reduction of marijuana use in the Philippines would highly benefit many street teens. They would be able to function in a healthy way without the help of drugs. 



Many teens would not be willing to come to people for help and they would there for not be able to get the help they needed. 


All the drug dealer would be out of work, stopping marijuana use would end many peoples livelihoods. These people would have to get work in other ways but they would not know how.   


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Possibility 2 - Medicinal Use


With the huge growth of horrible diseases, scientists are going out of the human comfort zone experimenting with marijuana that is known to harm the body and trying to make the drug usable as a cure or pain reliever.




It has been proven that when used by cancer patients it drastically reduces the spread of the cancer. With brain cancer it reduces tumors and kills the cancer cells. With breast cancer it stops the cancer from spreading. As for lung cancer it reduces tumors and also slows the cancer growth.


It would be proven that not all drugs are used for bad but they can be used to help people with deadly conditions. 




The drug will still be abused possibly even more if the drug is made legal. It will not be used in the way it was intended for. 


Marijuana being grown anywhere in the Philippines legally would be a problem. By making it legal for people to grow marijuana for medicinal uses it would also make it so that drug addicts would be able to get it a lot easier and they would not get punished for the possession of the drug.  


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