Legalization of Marijuana
What is marijuana? According to Harvard Medical Professor Lester Grinspoon, it is a "miracle drug", one that prevents blindness, acts as an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients, and prevents muscle spasms in epileptics. When speaking of the same plant, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics for over thirty years, Harry J. Anslinger said that this "evil weed" led to killings, sex crimes and insanity. How can two such highly respected experts have such night and day outlooks on the same thing? While Anslinger presided as America's leading anti-drug official his McCarthyish hunt down of Marijuana users led to the downfall of many well respected Americans. During the 1900's the United Stated has committed itself to and unprecedented war on marijuana that is costly, unjustified and impossible to win.
The topic of Marijuana is quite broad. It encompasses history, legislation, and the benefits as well as the harms of the plant itself.
Marijuana is the name of the plant known to botanists as Cannabis Sativa. Other names for the plant exist throughout the world. In Africa, Marijuana is known as "dagga", in China as "ma", in Northern Europe as "hemp" and in the United States as either "pot", "buds", "reefer", "weed" or the more direct, "smoke". Marijuana goes back over five thousand years. It is one of the oldest agricultural commodities not grown for food. Hemp, first cultivated in China as early as 2800 B.C., soon stretched to central Asia where it spread like milkweed or thistle. Marijuana soon began to crowd out neighboring grasses and reaching heights of three to twenty feet stretched over large plains. Local people began to use the plant for its strong, durable fibers which they used for rope and to construct material similar to linen. Early in the Christian Era, Marijuana reached the Mediterranean countries of Europe. Its cultivation spread through the rest of Europe during the Middle ages. Hemp's progression to...
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