Marijuana as a Social Problem

Topics: Cannabis, Hemp, Cannabis sativa Pages: 3 (1091 words) Published: January 20, 2013
Marijuana as a Social Problem
Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. You may hear marijuana called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are more than 200 slang terms for marijuana. All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. In other words, they change how the brain works. They all contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. They also contain more than 400 other chemicals. Marijuana's effects on the user depend on the strength or potency of the THC it contains. The potency of marijuana has increased since the 1970s but has been about the same since the mid-1980s.

Marijuana inherits its name from Mexico, although it has a past steeped with global tradition. Long before its U.S. debut, marijuana was widely used, and popular among, some of the world’s earliest civilizations. History documents show that the fiber-rich cannabis plant was used to produce rope and woven fabrics around 7000 B.C. in Central and South Asia. Additionally, it was referenced in Chinese manuscripts dating back to 2700 B.C. and ancient Indian scriptures have attributed medicinal properties to it. After being used by half of the world for nearly 8,000 years, marijuana traditionally reached North America with Christopher Columbus in 1492 A.D. Initially, cannabis was only used to make industrial goods; its recreational use in America didn’t become popular until the early 20th century. It wasn’t until then that the misunderstandings about cannabis truly began to popup. The recreational use of marijuana soon became considered as harmful as cocaine or heroin. However, it has never led to a single case of human death from overdose in its entire history. This is a sharp contrast to the heavy mortality rate of its supposed counterparts. Nonetheless, the use and cultivation of the cannabis plant was made illegal at...
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