The History Of Marijuana Essay Research Paper

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The History Of Marijuana Essay, Research Paper The modern history of marijuana dates back to the 1930’s. People didn’t care whether it was heroin, cocaine, morphine, marijuana or opium, one horror was no worse than the other. This reflected both the lack of scientific knowledge and morbid exaggeration that have characterized much of the discussion of marijuana since that time. A large and growing body of scientific information about marijuana has now been reported in the press. Attitudes toward marijuana are starting to become more thoughtful and sophisticated. The use of marijuana is still very much the drug of choice of young people. Pot smoking is no longer the deviant behavior of a few. It is normal social practice for all kinds of people-conservatives as well as

radicals, working people as well as students. A new trend in marijuana smoking is adult use. Older people also use marijuana regularly. Studies of marijuana use among older professional groups early in 1976 showed that in geographical areas of high use, there were numbers of professional and other upper middle class people who make fairly regular recreational use of the drug. Another sign of sophistication in the marijuana picture is that much more is known about it now. The new knowledge has not added up to a universally agreed-upon body of facts. Those holding opposing viewpoints on marijuana disagree chiefly on whether “recreational” use is harmful, and whether its possession should be legally permissible. The smoking of pot began to spread up the Mississippi from New

Orleans and Mexico in the 1920’s, mostly in the hands of Mexican labor workers, black riverboatmen and jazz musicians. Hemp grown for the fibers and cannabis mixtures for medical purposes were known in this country long before that. Recreational use of the substance was virtually unknown in the United States. Marijuana in a reefer to be smoked, as introduced from south of the border in the early years of the century, is still the form of cannabis generally used in this country. The cannabis plant itself grows freely almost everywhere in the world, except for the cold regions. The plants fall into three different groups with those from tropical climates markedly richer in THC than those from cooler climates. The part of the plant used makes a difference in potency in a reefer

(also known as joint or reefer). The female of the plant was long considered the potent partner, with the male almost without intoxicant content. In the past, male plants were weeded out to keep the female unfertilized and therefore supposedly more productive in chemicals. Throughout history people have experimented with every part of the plant and developed dozens of preparations of smoking, eating, drinking, or sniffing the vapor as it burns. Effects vary according to the way preparation is taken in. Smoking the American joint also may have varying effectiveness. First time users often report feeling no effect at all and practiced users experience different degrees of “high”. Experienced users inhale slowly and hold in the smoke as long as possible. This is one reason

marijuana smoking is usually done in company, so that the joint can be passed on to someone else-not allowed to burn up wastefully while the smoke is held. Experimentation with THC and other parts of the plant have demonstrated al number of effects that could be medically beneficial. None of the experiments has yet resulted in an acceptable, approved medication, but researchers are hopeful that some of them will. One possible beneficial effect of THC is bronchodilation, which may be helpful in asthma and the common cold, among other breathing disorders. Cannabis has also been shown to decrease pressure within the eyes, this checking the effects of glaucoma. Marijuana may not prove useful because of the tolerance to it that users develop. Also in special interest is the effect of