Tetrahydrocannabinol

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Tetrahydrocannabinol has not only made a buzz in the medical field, but also in mainstream media. It’s constantly seen, talked about, and is used recreationally by major music artist, and various celebrities. In 1978 director and writer Richard Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong released a movie called Cheech and Chong Up in Smoke who found an extensive audience in the 1970s and 1980s for their films and stand-up routines. They were based on the hippie and free love era most remarkably known for their love for cannabis. The Grammy Award–winning comedy duo cracked the hard shell, and negative views on the recreational use of marijuana. Chong also play a role as Leo on the popular 1998-2006 shows That 70’s Show. The substance is never directly seen on the show, but the writers make tons of references, and uses of marijuana. Other classic movies have had high ratings since Cheech and Chong that provide a more in depth look on the use of the Cannabis plant such as, Friday, Pineapple, Express, Half Baked, and Where the Millers.

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Tetrahydrocannabinol also known, as THC is a chemical found in Cannabis Sativa, known as marijuana. It’s known to be a popular plant in today’s culture for its psychological effects to the nerves cells in the body. “Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception. There are also cannabinoid receptors on nerves in other parts of the body” (livescience). Some people call it a “high” sensation. The use of marijuana dates back thousands of years. “For the most part, it was widely used for medicine and spiritual purposes,” during pre-modern times, said Warf, a professor of geography at the University of Kansas in Lawrence (livescience). Since then its known effects have traveled their way through many parts of the world including the United States.

What makes marijuana relevant in current society the conflict and controversy that comes with it. People within the United States reinsure their opinion by going about it though the reinforcement theory. “The theory generally states that people seek out, and remember information that provides cognitive support for their pre-existing attitudes and beliefs” (Wikipedia). Some people that are highly opinionated about this debatable conversation discuss their own bias opinion, and use facts whether it is right or wrong to back up their beliefs. Due to the disagreement, and the facts held behind it the United States is currently deciding if the substance should be legal.  This is what keeps the conversation continuing and relevant. Innumerable studies have emphasized the industrial and medicinal uses of marijuana, yet the federal government declares that it has ‘no accepted medical use’ and remains to categorize it in the same class as heroin. Despite the laws against it, the medical marijuana market is priced at around $1.7-billion dollars (NaturalSociety). Research points to an assortment of medical uses for this rare plant such relieving stress for those who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), treating nausea and vomiting in cancer patients since the 1980s, improved breathing in asthmatics is supported by research dating back to the 1970s. The 1970s showed that smoking marijuana could reduce symptoms in glaucoma sufferers.

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Music has also played a large role in keeping marijuana relevant in popular culture. It’s constantly seen in many music videos from hip-hop to rock and roll. Artists ranging from George Clinton and The Parliament Funkadelic, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Biggy Smalls, Tupac,Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dog, Lil Wayne, and many more. They Show comfortably with the use of Marijuana though their videos, and everyday life though social media. These actions carry on to people who follow them, and they share their love or hatred for the substance. Furthermore, marijuana is seen everywhere from clothing brands to bumper stickers even though the substance is illegal, so it makes it hard not to discuss it, or have opinions about it.

Various individuals have had a care free thought about using Marijuana for recreational purposes, and medical benefits for a very long time, and others hate the thought of it being in this country. However, Marijuana seems to be a favorable topic of discussion.

The PATH To Healing

The unforgettable tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001 was a major hit for all Americans. Early Tuesday morning starting at 8:45 a.m. two American Airline planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. The disaster caused a large explosion that poured burning pieces and reminisce of the building onto the city of New York, the people, and tourist that were witnessing the tragedy from below.This attack towards the country left millions of Americans devastated. Many people lost family members such as mothers, fathers, sisters, and bothers. Furthermore, the majority of  men and woman that were the first responders to the sight such as fire fighters, policeman, and paramedics lost their lives as well.

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This catastrophe left the country painfully in mourning, and brought Americans to a really low point. Fortunately, as Americans always do, we push on to see a better day. Since the major event the city of New York has built a memorial in memory for the people, and heroes that lost their lives in the attack. There was a lot that took place in the construction of the memorial. In 2003 The Lower Manhattan Developers Corporation (also know as LMDC) had an open call for different architects from around the world to submit prospective plans for the future memorial. After various arguments and controversy, in 2004 LMDC announced their choice for the memorial. The corporation chose the Ground Zero Memorial sight by architect Michael Arad. The memorial presented the opportunity of peace of mind for the many mourning with broken hearts.

Since the development of The Ground Zero Memorial the city of New York has continued to build and become the metropolis that we know today. Today, a large project is in mid construction, which is causing a lot of controversy. Primarily due to the structure being only a couple of yards from the Ground Zero sight.

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 Calatrava’s revised WTC PATH Station proposal

The PATH station is expected to be the most expensive station in history. The World Trade Center Transportation Hub is a transit and retail complex is presently under construction by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed the elaborate constructions. In the unveiling of construction in 2004 the estimated price was 655 million dollars. In continuing the construction the price has exceeded over 4 billion dollars, and counting. The construction has cost an enormous amount of money, and is very elaborate with its long steel wings poised gracefully above the September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan. Some people believe that the form, and built of the new PATH Station is taking away from the actual Ground Zero memorial. This has become very offensive for many Americans (as viewed here in The Angry Architect Article). Citizens are seeing this new construction as a way for the city of New York to put a profit on an organic tragedy event. The world trade center memorial is a place to remember the thousands of Americans that were lost, and is not be seen as a tourist attraction for proceeds.

“Storey argued that there is a political dimension to popular culture; neo-Gramscian hegemony theory “… sees popular culture as a site of struggle between the ‘resistance’ of subordinate groups in society and the forces of ‘incorporation’ operating in the interests of dominant groups in society.” A postmodernist approach to popular culture would “no longer recognize the distinction between high and popular culture”

-Wikipedia

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On the other end of the spectrum citizens feel that PATH Station construction is a opportunity for the city to build it’s strength back up, and to be viewed as the “Big Apple” the city of dreams, and opportunity. The argument regarding The PATH Station’s location is a reasonable argument. This controversy is an example of the agenda-setting theory. The media such as certain news broadcasting stations profoundly emphasize the disaster. They then recoil and vividly discuss the location of the PATH station being next to the “amazing” memorial. The media sets up the viewers mind to see the new construction as a negative idea rather than looking at it as a growth for the city. Is it to soon for the city to make decision like this? If so, when is it the best time for the city to regrow?