Marijuana has been around for thousands of years. Everyone in the world may
think that marijuana is just a narcotic or a substance that brings a person's mind to
euphoria but there is more to it. Marijuana or cannabis can be used for medical purposes,
for patients with the HIV virus, glaucoma, epilepsy, and many other illness or pain
someone might suffer from. It should be made clear that marijuana is a medicine too,
other than being a narcotic. Many people just understand the bad affects of using
marijuana when there are good uses too.
Marijuana is one of the oldest psychoactive plants known to humanity. "The first
recorded use of marijuana or cannabis can date back to 6000 B.C. where it was
used for food in China" (Ernet L. Abel 120). By 2727 B.C. marijuana was used for
medical purposes in Chinese pharmacopoeia. In the 20th century, marijuana has been
used more for its euphoric effects than as a medicine.
It's psychological and behavioral
effects have concerned public officials since the drug first appeared in the southwestern
and southern states during the first two decades of the century. "By 1931, at least 29
states had prohibited use of the drug for non-medical purposes" (Alan W. Bock 46).
Marijuana was first regulated by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which required anyone
producing, distributing, or using marijuana for medical purposes to register and pay a tax
and which effectively prohibited non-medical use of the drug. Although the act did not
make medical use of marijuana illegal, it did make it expensive and inconvenient. "In
1942, marijuana was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because it was believed to
be a harmful and addictive drug that caused psychoses, mental deterioration, and violent
behavior" (C. Sherman, A. Smith, E. Tanner 215).