Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Marijuana, a Canibus is a smoked are ingested substance that causes many changes in the human body. It is a green or brown mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. Marijuana has many street names including pot, herb, weed, Mary Jane, and chronic only to name a few.

During the 19th century, folk lore doctors used marijuana as a muscle relaxant and appetite stimulant. Folk lore doctors made elixirs from the marijuana to be used for asthma, bronchitis, depression, gonorrhea, and migraine headaches. Although medical marijuana use was relatively high during the 19th century, it dropped drastically during the 20th century. Marijuana was thought to be not effective because potency varied too much. Also better and more effective treatments drugs were becoming available. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 almost completely faded the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was revised, classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug, so it was no longer available.

The revision made it very difficult for testing of marijuana. In 1976, marijuana became once again available to treat certain conditions. From 1976 through 1988, only 6 Investigational New Drug applications were approved, and in 1989, 34 new applications were approved by FDA. Then in 1992 the program was suspended.

Tetrahydrocannaninol, THC is an active chemical in marijuana, and currently is manufactured into a pill which is used to treat nausea and vomiting that occur in cancer patients and to help AIDS patients eat more to keep on weight. Marijuana is a source for THC, but doctors aren't quick to prescribe it, because more testing of long-term side effects need to take place.

Marijuana can be addictive, a user seeking out and taking the drug compulsively displays addiction. Studies have shown that not...