The Many Faces of Marijuana


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The Many Faces of Marijuana

  1. 1. The Many Faces of Marijuana<br />Rena Walter<br />World History 2010-2011<br />Weed, bud, pot, marijuana has many names. The smoke-able plant is thought of as evil, wrong, and addictive in the 21st century. But do you really know what it is, where it comes from, or what it does? I hope to help answer these questions for you in the following pages, to help you base your own opinion on what you actually know, and not judge the plant because of popular belief. <br />    The plant cannabis dates back further than most believe. In fact, its earliest recorded use was in 6000 B.C., where cannabis seeds were actually used as food in China. Cannabis soon became more versatile, as hemp fibers in China were used to make textiles in 4000 B.C. In 2727 B.C., the first medicinal purpose for the plant appeared. The marijuana tea treatment was discovered in the writings of the Chinese emperor Shen Nung. It was used to treat types of arthritis, aches and pains, and memory loss. Marijuana's popular use as a medicine helped the plant "spread throughout Asia, the Middle East and down the eastern coast of Africa, and certain Hindu sects in India used marijuana for religious purposes and stress relief" (Stack).<br />Marijuana's history in the United States dates back as old as our country does. In 1545 Spaniards brought marijuana to the new world, and it was introduced to the United State’s early colonies in 1611, as a major commercial crop. ( Cooper and McCullagh stated, "For the first few hundred years after colonies were established on Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, the possession of intoxicants was not forbidden." As soon as the 1900's came around, so did controversy over the drug. In 1901, a few big countries, including the U.S, signed a drug-controlling treaty.  In the year 1914, the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was enacted, regulating cocaine and opiates. Over the next few years, people started to believe marijuana had the same effects as much harsher drugs, and more restrictions came about. Soon, many cities and states outlawed the drug, fearing it would become a gateway drug to cocaine or opium. (Cooper & McCullagh)  <br />Moving closer to the 21st century, the drug became more popular, but also more frowned upon. In the 1960’s, marijuana was most widely used by college kids, and the “hippie” scene. Following the 60’s, in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act became a reality. Marijuana was classified as a Schedule 1 drug, along with heroin and LSD. Being a Schedule 1 drug also meant that it was though of as having the highest potential for abuse and absolutely no medical use. While Presidents Reagan and Bush were in office, Colombia was where a majority of the marijuana was coming from, being smuggled across southern borders. This resulted in the war on drugs, with more restrictions and caution at the southern borders. ( But it seemed no matter how many laws were enacted against the drugs, it still gained popularity over the years. In the 1990’s, the drug became a teenage way of life. <br />Despite all the controversy over the years, living in the 21st century, many of the laws enacted against marijuana have changed. Many restrictions have lessened, and 15 states have legalized Medical Marijuana, including Arizona. There has been a lot of conflict over whether the drug is really medicinal, or if the proposition is only a front for recreational use to be closer to legalization. Science has proven that marijuana can drastically help patients in pain or that have HIV or cancer. Whether it really affects the disease itself or just mellows the user out, it is widely popular for medicinal use. <br />Nowadays, marijuana is huge in society. "According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 95 million Americans age 12 and older have tried "pot" at least once, and three out of every four illicit drug users reported using marijuana within the previous 30 days." (Office of Drug Control Policy) <br />There are a lot of rumors about marijuana. Technically, it can not cause lung cancer or disease on its own, it all depends on how it is used. Cigarette smoke is exactly the same, the only difference is the effects on mentality. ( THC is what causes the mental state affected by marijuana, and can be ingested in a number of ways. Many medical dispensaries carry a wide variety of edible THC sources, ranging from candies, to sodas, and baked goods. The most common edible way to ingest THC is probably hash brownies. Concluding if someone wanted to avoid the average harm smoking anything can cause, they could easily find an edible way to get their "high."<br /> Another myth about marijuana is that it is a "gateway drug." This means that it leads to other, more serious drugs. If you look at the statistics, that is not true. said "As marijuana use increased in the 1960s and 1970s, heroin use declined. And, when marijuana use declined in the 1980s, heroin use remained fairly stable. For the past 20 years, as marijuana use-rates fluctuated, the use of LSD hardly changed at all. Cocaine use increased in the early 1980s as marijuana use was declining." These are just a few statistics taken from random periods of time showing the relation between marijuana and other drugs. In fact, most marijuana users dont use any other drugs at all. For example, in the Netherlands, when marijuana use increased tremendously, cocaine use decreased dramatically. (<br />To be realistic, the argument on marijuana use could go on forever. In writing this report, it has helped me not only learn the facts, but also come up with my own opinion on marijuana use based on what I know, versus what other people think and say. Is marijuana acceptable in society or just another harmful drug? Now it’s your turn to decide.<br />Works Cited <br />"Marijuana History." Drug Rehabilitation | Drug Education | Narconon International. Narconon International. Web. 11 May 2011. <>. <br />"Marijuana: History of Marijuana Use —" Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free Online Reference, Research & Homework Help. — Columbia University Press. Web. 11 May 2011. <>. <br />"Marijuana Myths." 420 Forums, Cannabis Legalization News, Medical Marijuana Pics, How to Grow Marijuana Seeds, Make a Bong, Pass a Drug Test, Find a Dispensary or Doctor. Web. 11 May 2011. <>. <br />Size, Font. "America's Love-Hate History with Pot - CBS News." Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News - CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc., 13 July 2009. Web. 11 May 2011. <>. <br />Stack, Patrick. "TIME Magazine: The New Politics of Pot." Breaking News, Analysis,<br />Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - Time Magazine, 22 Oct. 2002. Web. 11 May 2011. <>.<br />