The History of Marijuana

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Marijuana is listed as the third most common drug in the, United Sates behind alcohol and tobacco use. More than 14 million Americans use marijuana regularly regardless of the laws against its use or possession. The problems with legalization and criminalization of marijuana use have been an extremely controversial matter and have been a debatable subject over many years. Currently it is a crime and is against the law to posse and use the drug regularly known as pot, weed and mary-jane. However, the United States government has spent billions of dollars for years attacking the war on drugs. The medical profession has also spent millions in more profitable ways on medical marijuana research.

There has not been much research to support the idea that marijuana can become physically addictive. Although people may abuse marijuana, it has been used for medical purposes. Many state their opinion that marijuana has not caused major harm to people such as deaths. Its most commonly use is for recreational purposes. More than 80 million individuals say that they have used marijuana, whereas 20 million people say that they have gotten high in a year. Marijuana is illegal by law but alcohol and tobacco are legal and is highly addictive for some people, they are also known to play major roles for many deaths.

Presently taxpayers pay to help for people incarcerated and housed in prison facilities. The taxpayer is also required to pay millions more to feed drug dealers in state, federal prisons, they make up one third for the prison population. More prisons are needed because of being over population. In 2002 there were a total of 1,538,800 arrested on marijuana charges alone.

The History of Marijuana: Marijuana was discovered back dating into the ancient times. A physician from Ireland named W.B. O’Shaughnessy originally discovered this plant while in India. This was the start of when people began to use marijuana in India, China, North Africa, and it eventually reached Europe. The very first evidence refers to cannabis as a psychoactive drug. In the Chinese history writings prove that a Chinese emperor named of Shen Nung. He focused on its powers as a medication for gout, malaria, rheumatism.

In the early 1500s the Spanish brought marijuana to the America. The Englishmen introduced marijuana to the people of Jamestown in 1839 in which it became one of their primary crops with tobacco. They used both products and grew them as a source of fiber. By the time of 1890, marijuana was replaced by cotton as one of their major cash crops in southern states. Many of their medicines during this time contained marijuana. In the 1920s this is when marijuana began its popularity. Historians have stated marijuana surfacing made its way through entertainment era. The recreational use for the drug was being used by jazz musicians and many people in the entertainment industry. They had marijuana clubs, known as tea pads; they began to make their mark in every major city in the United States. Back in those days marijuana was legal and people were not arrested by the authorities. The authorities did not see marijuana as serious threat in communities. At this time marijuana was then listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942. Many years later in 1970 marijuana was considered as a controlled substance with heroin and LSD, and remains as an illegal drug today. ("Marijuana History", 2009, p. 1)

The Gateway Drug: Some people consider marijuana the drug as a recreational choice. The side of marijuana remaining illegal is that if a person has already tried and has used the drug occasionally; they would consider it to be legal for themselves and this opens the door for this person. Once a person is labeled to be an illegal drug user, he or she is placed on the wrong side of the tracks. Many argue that marijuana can act as a stepping stone or as a gateway drug and it could lead people to the use...
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