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Marijuana History Essay Research Paper Marijuana originated

Marijuana History Essay, Research Paper

Marijuana originated in the middle east (Taiwan, Korea). China plays an

important part in Marijuana’s history. Hoatho, the first chinese physician to

use Cannabis for medical purposes as a painkiller and anesthetic for surgery. In

the Ninth Century B.C., it was used as an incense by the Assyrians Herbal, a

Chinese book of medicine from the second Century B.C., was first to describe it

in print. It was used as an anesthetic 5,000 years ago in ancient china. Many

(*) ancient cultures such as the persians, Greeks, East Indians, Romans, and the

Assyrians for many things. These were what they used it for: the control of

muscle spasms, reduction of pain, and for indegestion. Imagine that if they

still practiced this, instead of taking an Alka Seltzer after you had mom’s

Chili or Tacos, you might be sitting in the living room on the LAY-Z Boy,

smoking a joint or however they would take it. The folk medicine of Africa and

Asia have used it as an herbal preparation. A "mythical" and

"legendary" pharmacist and emperor Shen Nung thought using it as a

seditive was all right. In 2,700 B.C. that same "mythical" emperor

said it helped female weakness, gout, rheumatism, malaria, beri-beri (?),

contipation, and absentmindedness. In 1979 (A.D.) Carlton E. Turner visited

China and found marijuana was not in use in formal medical places. J. D. P.

Graham of the Welsh National School of Medicine wrote, "One not need take

to seriously the anecdotal use of it’s use for many purposes in China or by the

Hindus in the pre-Christian Millennia …and by the Arabs!" In 1890 in

England’s "Lancet" said cannabis extract was good for neuralgia, fits,

migraine and psychosomatic disorders but not for rheumatic conditions. It is not

easy to tell the dosage because of the variations in potency and the

irregularity in absorbtion. The time delay before the onset of the possible

effects of marijuana lowered it’s popularity as a medicine as did the

introduction of a variety of new and better medicines like aspirin, morpheine

(habit forming), chloral, barbituates tranquilizers, and when it got on the list

of drugs thought by the world community to require legal restrictions. Our first

President, George Washington, grew cannabis on his plantation. The cannabis he

grew was more fibrous and is better known as hemp. Hemp was used to make rope,

twine, paper and canvas (the word "canvas" comes from Cannabis) and

was an important crop in the american colonies. In Jamestown, Virginia it was

grown for it’s fiber qualities in 1611. (Snyder, 1985) The U.S. Pharmacopeia had

it listed as a useful medicine from the year 1870 to 1941. A Pharmacopeia is

"a book of directions and requirements for the preparations of medicines,

generally published by an authority; a collection or stock of drugs." This

tells us the U.S. Pharmacopeia was an authority on the use of drugs for medical

purposes, and said that the use of marijuana for said purposes was helpful. The

U.S. Pharmacopeia last listed cannabis ("the dried flower tops of the

pistillate plants of cannabis sativa") in 1936.(Lovinge,1985,p434) That

years epitome of the pharmacopeia and the national formula described the drug

for physicians thus:"a narcotic poison, producing a mild delirium. Used in

sedative mixtures but of doubtful value. Also employed to color corn

remedies." The next pharmacopeia released in 1942 (I gather they were

relaesed every six years) did not have cannabis sativa in it. "The 1937

U.S. dispensatory said:"Cannabis is used in medicine to relieve pain,

encourage sleep, and to soothe restlessness. We have very little definite

knowledge of the effects of therapeutic quantities, but in some persons it

appears to produce a euphoria and will often relieve migrainic headaches. One of

the great hindrances to the wider use of this drug is the great variability and

the potency of different samples of Cannabis which renders it impossible to

approximate the proper dose of any individual smaple except by clinical trial.

Because of occasional unpleasant symptoms from unusually potent preparations,

physicians have generally been overcaustious in the quantities administered. The

only way of determining the dose of an individual preparation is to give it in

ascending quantities until some effect is produced. (The Book suggested using a

fluid extract – powdered cannabis in solution, 4/5 alcohol – three times a day,

starting with two or three minims.)"(Lovinge,1985,p434) Extracts,

tinctures, and herbal packages of cannabis manufactured by many drug companies,

was available in any pharmacy until 1941 when "The two main professional

directories of drugs in the United States" dropped it.(Snnyder 1985,p38) It

is still used as a medicine in the Middle East and Asia, and is completely legal

in Amsterdam. Since the 19th Century, it has been recognized as as intoxicant in

Europe, and an intoxicant for many centuries in Central and South America, and

in Asia. "An 1870 Book called "The Hasheesh Eater" by Fitz Hugh

Hudlow, discussed the intoxicating properties of

marijuana."(Snyder,1985,p39) Mexican farm workers emigrating to the United

States smoked marijuana regularly, and the surrounding population…"

quickly followed. California and Utah were the first to call it a narcotic and

outlawed it completely except for mecial purposes. "From 1914 to 1931, 29

States, 17 of them West of the Mississippi made it a criminal offense to possess

or use it."(Snyder,1985,p40) An army report from 1925 concerning the Panama

Canal Zone said it wasnt habit forming and no steps should be taken to keep it

from being sold or used. The Uniform States Narcotic Act said all states should

control drug distribution. "By 1937 marijuana use was restricted by

law" (Snyder,1985,p42) and the Marijuana Tax Act was signed by President

Roosevelt. This act was made to collect more taxes and locate people selling

marijuana. You had to pay $1 for medical use and $100 for recreational use as

tax. This was a large factor why doctors quit using it as a medicine. "The

Narcotics Drug Control Act of 1965 increased the existing penalties for selling

and distribution of marijuana and heroin…" (Snyder,1985,p46) The National

Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was founded in 1970. Just

the facts Ma’am: It is illegal to own or sell marijuana. It is a misdemeanor not

a felony. Penalties vary widely in each state, for growing and selling it is

almost always a felony. It can cause cancer in the lungs and the throat IF

smoked. "Among the reasons to suspect potentially injurious effect of

cannabis use on the lungs, pointed out it "the almost ubiquitous

occurrennce of throat discomfort and irritation associated with marihuana

smoking" (Lovinge,1985,p15)but the same carinogens are present in tobacco

smoke. Marijuana takes away the discomfort and nausea associated with

chemotherapy taken to stop the growth of cancer. It also helps people with

glaucoma and it keeps them from going blind. It doesn’t lessen feelings and

pain, it heightens them. Users say they hear things better, and they see details

they have never seen before. If made legal, it could be regulated by the U.S.

government (Food and Drug Administration?) as to how potent it would be. Or

there could be a "government monopoly on it controlling the cultivation,

importation, manufacture, wholesale distribution, and retail sales. Controls

could also be placed on the quantity, potency,, amount, price, time and place of

sale, and age of buyers. This would do away with black market activity, cost of

law enforcement and tax revenue."(Snyder,1985,p89) It would also keep alot

of people out of jail/prison and save the government money. Interview with a

marijuana user. Q: Do you think Marijuana has had any long lasting effects on

you? A: None besides the effects regular cigarrette smoke does to your lungs.

Scientific facts prove there are none except the carcinogens produced by the

smoke. It doesn’t cause brain damage like your teachers tell you. Q: How do you

take it? A: Smoke it. I use pipes, bongs, & papers. Q: How often? A: Quarter

ounce a week, 15-18 joints a month. Q: How much does it cost? A: $200 an ounce,

$2,500 lb…and thats minimum quality. Q: How can you tell quality? A: Smoke it.

Q: How are "Thai Sticks"? A: Better than average. $65 1/4 ounce Q:

Where do you think most marijuana is grown? A: 80% of all (in US) marijuana is

grown in the US. 20% from Mexico & Jamaica In Alaska & Utahyou can have

up to an ouce legally. The biggest growinng states are the Carolinas, &

Texas. It grows wild in some places. And cows wont eat it. Q: Do you grow any?

A: Yes Q: How many at 1 time (the most)? A: 12…check them once a week. Q: Are

you in NORML? A: Yes, South Florida chapter. I’m the secretary. Q: Whats the

highest price you’ve ever seen? A: $150 1/4 ounce. Q: Is sinsimilia good? A: Yes

$100-125 ounce. thats usually imported. Q: can you use a plant more than once?

A: no. you kill the male plants as soon as you find their sex, and harvest the

females. Q: What kind do you grow? A: Average weed. Q: How do you get the seeds

or what you need to grow them? A: They are in the stuff I buy. Q: Whats the best

kind? A: Depends on how it’s grown. Q: Do you think alot of people smoke weed?

A: If it was legal & sold for the same price as tobacco (since when does

tobacco cost $200 an ounce?!?!) it would make 2.1 BILLION! Tobacco makes 3.1

billion, and alcohol make 1.6 billion. (I have NO idea how much 1 ounce of

tobacco costs, but it can’t be more than $10. Marijuana sells for 20 times that

much! That would be OVER 40 BILLION!) Q: Would it be better if legalized? A:

Yes, another taxable income for the government. Prices would go down. The crime

factor would be gone. It would take the money out of the hands of criminal and

put it in the hands of the government. It’s not addictive, you can’t overdose

unlike alcohol, but the smoke does cause cancer. Q: Would less people use it if

legalized? A: no. Q: How much is caught by the government? A: 2% of total in

U.S. Basically thats the government admittinng that they are losing the war on

drugs. Q: How does it smell? A: Usually good, sometimes bitter. a sweet smell.

Q: THC makes you high right? A: yes, they have found it causes no long lasting

effects. Water Pipes/bongs remove 80% of the smoke Q: Do you eat it? A: No,

eating uses up more. That way isn’t cost effective. (end of interview) Marijuana

doesn’t cause brain damage. The smoke does cause cancer, but so does tobacco.

The smoke can be reduced by up to 80% with special paraphenalia. We used to have

limited knowledge on the subject, now our knowledge is increasing.

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