Discussion Topic- Drugs And Behavior

Discussion Topic- Decriminalization of Illegal Drugs


Oregon recently decriminalized the personal possession of all illegal drugs. What are the potential benefits and harms of this action? Do you feel other states should do the same?

For your peer response replies– Do you agree or disagree with your coursemate’s perspective? What additional

suggestions can you offer to support your classmate’s response?

Explore this Drugs Resource Website: National Institute on Drug Abuse


At Least 250 words.

Course Book: Drug Use and Misuse. 9th Edition. By Stephen A. Maisto / Mark Galizio / Gerard J. Connors. 

Cengage eReader.

**LO2, LO4, LO5**

Key Terms

amphetamines: Central nervous system stimulants that act like naturally occurring adrenaline.

avoirdupois: Something sold or measured by weight based on 1 pound equaling 16 ounces.

bath salts: A psychoactive “designer drug” that is synthesized from various amphetamine-like chemicals and can be inhaled, swallowed, smoked, or injected.

Cannabis sativa: The Indian hemp plant popularly known as marijuana; its resin, flowering tops, leaves, and stem contain the plant’s psychoactive substances.

fermentation: A combustive process in which yeasts interact with the sugars in plants such as grapes, grains, and fruits to produce an enzyme that converts the sugar into alcohol.

hashish: A drug produced from the resin that covers the flowers of the cannabis hemp plant. The resin generally contains a greater concentration of the drug’s psychoactive properties.

morphine: A derivative of opium best known as a potent pain-relieving medication.

narcotic: A central nervous system depressant that contains sedative and pain-relieving compounds.

opium poppy: A plant cultivated for centuries, primarily in Eurasia, for opium—a narcotic that acts as a central nervous system depressant.

patent medicines: Products that were sold, most often in the 19th century, as medicines that would cure a host of illnesses and diseases.

peyote (pa– -’o– -te–): A cactus plant, the top of which (a “button”) is dried and ingested for its hallucinogenic properties.

prohibition: The legislative forbidding of the sale of a substance, as in the alcohol prohibition era in the United States, 1920–1933.

solvent: A substance, usually a liquid or gas, that contains one or more intoxicating components; examples are glue, gasoline, and nonstick–frying pan sprays.

speakeasy: A slang expression used to describe a saloon operating without a license; popularly used during Prohibition.

synthetic marijuana: A psychoactive “designer drug” comprised of natural plants that are sprayed with synthetic chemicals that mimic the effects of cannabis when consumed.


True or False Questions Answer Key

  1. The first recorded use of cannabis was in the early 1800s.

FALSE. The use of Cannabis sativa dates back to around 2700 B.C. in China, where Emperor Shen Nung recommended it for the treatment of various ailments.

  1. Grape wine was the first alcoholic beverage to be used.

FALSE. Beer and huckleberry wine were used as early as 6400 B.C. Grape wine did not appear until between 300 B.C. and 400 B.C.

  1. The Opium Wars between China and Great Britain in the mid-1800s occurred in large part because Britain was unwilling to curtail its trade of opium into China.

TRUE. Most of the opium used in China at the time was cultivated in India and brought to China by British traders. Although opiate dependence as a major problem for China, the British were unwilling to curtain this trade because in England, those who used opium were not experiencing the same degree of dependence.

  1. Khat, a mild stimulant consumed by chewing, is used by Sufi men for religious purposes.

TRUE. Khat is a mild stimulant that has been used in the Horn of Africa and surrounding regions for at least eight centuries. Sufi religious men chew on khat while meditating on the Koran.

  1. Many of the drugs that are now illegal in the United States were widely used to treat a broad spectrum of maladies in the 1800s and early 1900s.

TRUE. Opiates, marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines were all used at one time or another to treat various ailments. Use of these drugs was restricted when their physically and mentally dependent natures were recognized.

Discussion Questions

You can assign these questions several ways: in a discussion forum in your LMS; as whole-class discussions in person; or as a partner or group activity in class.

  1. Discussion: Contemporary Issue Box 2.4: Drug Testing in the Workplace, at School, and at Home! (p. 45, 2.3, Current Drug Laws, PPT Slide #27), Duration 15 minutes.
    1. This box in the text includes three aspects of controversy over drug testing.
    2. What are these three aspects? Can you think of some examples of each one?
    3. What are some things that you think should be done differently with regard to drug testing?





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