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Marijuana

Marijuana originated in the middle east (Taiwan, Korea). China plays

an important part in Marijuana’s history. Hoatho, the first chinese

physician to use Cannabis for medical purposes as a painkiller and

anesthetic for surgery. In the Ninth Century B.C., it was used as an

incense by the Assyrians Herbal, a Chinese book of medicine from the second

Century B.C., was first to describe it in print. It was used as an

anesthetic 5,000 years ago in ancient china. Many (*) ancient cultures

such as the persians, Greeks, East Indians, Romans, and the Assyrians for

many things. These were what they used it for: the control of muscle

spasms, reduction of pain, and for indegestion. Imagine that if they still

practiced this, instead of taking an Alka Seltzer after you had mom’s Chili

or Tacos, you might be sitting in the living room on the LAY-Z Boy, smoking

a joint or however they would take it. The folk medicine of Africa and Asia

have used it as an herbal preparation. A mythical and legendary

pharmacist and emperor Shen Nung thought using it as a seditive was all

right. In 2,700 B.C. that same mythical emperor said it helped female

weakness, gout, rheumatism, malaria, beri-beri (?), contipation, and

absentmindedness.

In 1979 (A.D.) Carlton E. Turner visited China and found marijuana was

not in use in formal medical places. J. D. P. Graham of the Welsh National

School of Medicine wrote, One not need take to seriously the anecdotal use

of it’s use for many purposes in China or by the Hindus in the

pre-Christian Millennia …and by the Arabs! In 1890 in England’s Lancet

said cannabis extract was good for neuralgia, fits, migraine and

psychosomatic disorders but not for rheumatic conditions. It is not easy

to tell the dosage because of the variations in potency and the

irregularity in absorbtion. The time delay before the onset of the

possible effects of marijuana lowered it’s popularity as a medicine as did

the introduction of a variety of new and better medicines like aspirin,

morpheine (habit forming), chloral, barbituates tranquilizers, and when it

got on the list of drugs thought by the world community to require legal

restrictions.

Our first President, George Washington, grew cannabis on his

plantation. The cannabis he grew was more fibrous and is better known as

hemp. Hemp was used to make rope, twine, paper and canvas (the word

canvas comes from Cannabis) and was an important crop in the american

colonies. In Jamestown, Virginia it was grown for it’s fiber qualities in

1611. (Snyder, 1985) The U.S. Pharmacopeia had it listed as a useful

medicine from the year 1870 to 1941. A Pharmacopeia is a book of

directions and requirements for the preparations of medicines, generally

published by an authority; a collection or stock of drugs. This tells us

the U.S. Pharmacopeia was an authority on the use of drugs for medical

purposes, and said that the use of marijuana for said purposes was helpful.

The U.S. Pharmacopeia last listed cannabis (the dried flower tops of the

pistillate plants of cannabis sativa) in 1936.(Lovinge,1985,p434) That

years epitome of the pharmacopeia and the national formula described the

drug for physicians thus:a narcotic poison, producing a mild delirium.

Used in sedative mixtures but of doubtful value. Also employed to color

corn remedies. The next pharmacopeia released in 1942 (I gather they were

relaesed every six years) did not have cannabis sativa in it. The 1937

U.S. dispensatory said:Cannabis is used in medicine to relieve pain,

encourage sleep, and to soothe restlessness. We have very little definite

knowledge of the effects of therapeutic quantities, but in some persons it

appears to produce a euphoria and will often relieve migrainic headaches.

One of the great hindrances to the wider use of this drug is the great

variability and the potency of different samples of Cannabis which renders

it impossible to approximate the proper dose of any individual smaple

except by clinical trial. Because of occasional unpleasant symptoms from

unusually potent preparations, physicians have generally been overcaustious

in the quantities administered. The only way of determining the dose of an

individual preparation is to give it in ascending quantities until some

effect is produced. (The Book suggested using a fluid extract – powdered

cannabis in solution, 4/5 alcohol – three times a day, starting with two

or three minims.)(Lovinge,1985,p434)

Extracts, tinctures, and herbal packages of cannabis manufactured by

many drug companies, was available in any pharmacy until 1941 when The two

main professional directories of drugs in the United States dropped

it.(Snnyder 1985,p38) It is still used as a medicine in the Middle East and

Asia, and is completely legal in Amsterdam. Since the 19th Century, it has

been recognized as as intoxicant in Europe, and an intoxicant for many

centuries in Central and South America, and in Asia. An 1870 Book called

The Hasheesh Eater by Fitz Hugh Hudlow, discussed the intoxicating

properties of marijuana.(Snyder,1985,p39) Mexican farm workers emigrating

to the United States smoked marijuana regularly, and the surrounding

population… quickly followed.

California and Utah were the first to call it a narcotic and outlawed

it completely except for mecial purposes. From 1914 to 1931, 29 States, 17

of them West of the Mississippi made it a criminal offense to possess or

use it.(Snyder,1985,p40) An army report from 1925 concerning the Panama

Canal Zone said it wasnt habit forming and no steps should be taken to keep

it from being sold or used. The Uniform States Narcotic Act said all

states should control drug distribution. By 1937 marijuana use was

restricted by law (Snyder,1985,p42) and the Marijuana Tax Act was signed

by President Roosevelt. This act was made to collect more taxes and locate

people selling marijuana. You had to pay $1 for medical use and $100 for

recreational use as tax. This was a large factor why doctors quit using it

as a medicine. The Narcotics Drug Control Act of 1965 increased the

existing penalties for selling and distribution of marijuana and heroin…

(Snyder,1985,p46) The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana

Laws (NORML) was founded in 1970.

Just the facts Ma’am: It is illegal to own or sell marijuana. It is a

misdemeanor not a felony. Penalties vary widely in each state, for

growing and selling it is almost always a felony. It can cause cancer in

the lungs and the throat IF smoked. Among the reasons to suspect

potentially injurious effect of cannabis use on the lungs, pointed out it

the almost ubiquitous occurrennce of throat discomfort and irritation

associated with marihuana smoking (Lovinge,1985,p15)but the same

carinogens are present in tobacco smoke. Marijuana takes away the

discomfort and nausea associated with chemotherapy taken to stop the

growth of cancer. It also helps people with glaucoma and it keeps them

from going blind. It doesn’t lessen feelings and pain, it heightens them.

Users say they hear things better, and they see details they have never

seen before. If made legal, it could be regulated by the U.S. government

(Food and Drug Administration?) as to how potent it would be. Or there

could be a government monopoly on it controlling the cultivation,

importation, manufacture, wholesale distribution, and retail sales.

Controls could also be placed on the quantity, potency,, amount, price,

time and place of sale, and age of buyers. This would do away with black

market activity, cost of law enforcement and tax

revenue.(Snyder,1985,p89) It would also keep alot of people out of

jail/prison and save the government money.

Interview with a marijuana user.

Q: Do you think Marijuana has had any long lasting effects on you?

A: None besides the effects regular cigarrette smoke does to your lungs.

Scientific facts prove there are none except the carcinogens produced by

the smoke. It doesn’t cause brain damage like your teachers tell you.

Q: How do you take it?

A: Smoke it. I use pipes, bongs, ; papers.

Q: How often? A: Quarter ounce a week, 15-18 joints a month.

Q: How much does it cost? A: $200 an ounce, $2,500 lb…and thats minimum quality.

Q: How can you tell quality?

A: Smoke it.

Q: How are Thai Sticks?

A: Better than average. $65 1/4 ounce

Q: Where do you think most marijuana is grown?

A: 80% of all (in US) marijuana is grown in the US. 20% from Mexico ;

Jamaica In Alaska ; Utahyou can have up to an ouce legally. The

biggest growinng states are the Carolinas, ; Texas. It grows wild

in some places. And cows wont eat it.

Q: Do you grow any?

A: Yes

Q: How many at 1 time (the most)?

A: 12…check them once a week.

Q: Are you in NORML?

A: Yes, South Florida chapter. I’m the secretary.

Q: Whats the highest price you’ve ever seen?

A: $150 1/4 ounce.

Q: Is sinsimilia good?

A: Yes $100-125 ounce. thats usually imported.

Q: can you use a plant more than once?

A: no. you kill the male plants as soon as you find their sex,

and harvest the females.

Q: What kind do you grow?

A: Average weed.

Q: How do you get the seeds or what you need to grow them?

A: They are in the stuff I buy.

Q: Whats the best kind?

A: Depends on how it’s grown.

Q: Do you think alot of people smoke weed?

A: If it was legal & sold for the same price as tobacco (since when

does tobacco cost $200 an ounce?!?!) it would make 2.1

BILLION! Tobacco makes 3.1 billion, and alcohol make 1.6 billion.

(I have NO idea how much 1 ounce of tobacco costs, but it can’t

be more than $10. Marijuana sells for 20 times that much! That

would be OVER 40 BILLION!)

Q: Would it be better if legalized?

A: Yes, another taxable income for the government. Prices would go down.

The crime factor would be gone. It would take the money out of the

hands of criminal and put it in the hands of the government. It’s not

addictive, you can’t overdose unlike alcohol, but the smoke does cause

cancer.

Q: Would less people use it if legalized?

A: no.

Q: How much is caught by the government?

A: 2% of total in U.S. Basically thats the government admittinng

that they are losing the war on drugs.

Q: How does it smell?

A: Usually good, sometimes bitter. a sweet smell.

Q: THC makes you high right? A: yes, they have found it

causes no long lasting effects. Water Pipes/bongs remove 80% of the

smoke

Q: Do you eat it?

A: No, eating uses up more. That way isn’t cost effective.

(end of interview)

Marijuana doesn’t cause brain damage. The smoke does cause cancer, but

so does tobacco. The smoke can be reduced by up to 80% with special

paraphenalia. We used to have limited knowledge on the subject, now our

knowledge is increasing. Marijuana doesn’t lead to sexual promiscuity all

the time, but a

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