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Marijuana History

Marijuana happens to be probably the most widely used and controversial drug in the world. While some people cry out for stricter marijuana laws and stiffer penalties for users and dealers, others decry legal systems which punish nonviolent "pot smokers." United States citizens of all ages and social statuses consume it, yet American politicians seeking reelection are loathe to advocate its legality. Overall, a better knowledge of a brief history, uses, and dangers of marijuana might help societies to produce easier and democratic policies for its regulation.

Marijuana Subsitutes


Like many other mind-altering drugs, marijuana has been utilized worldwide for centuries. Ancient Chinese texts describe its use within both recreational and medical settings. Archaeological evidence suggests that the cannabis plant first spread from Asia to Africa, and was seen growing in Europe as early as the sixth century, A.D. Over a millennium later, colonial Americans grew hemp like a cash crop for its usefulness in textiles.

Between 1850 and 1942, American doctors regularly prescribed marijuana for pain relief, stomach problems, and arthritis. Cannabis was also used recreationally - and legally - during most of this time. It wasn't until 1935 and also the passing of the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act that most states started to strictly regulate the drug.

Marijuana Time Line


Throughout the 1950s and 60s, marijuana was seen primarily like a rebellious, countercultural, or "hippie" drug." However, it still didn't carry the taboos or stiff legal penalties which exist today. The 1970 Controlled Substances Act contributed to today's status quo by making marijuana a Schedule I drug - within the same class as heroin, cocaine, and other narcotics. Included in the Reagan administration's War on Drugs, mandatory sentencing laws passed within the 1980s which still require sentences of twenty-five years or even more for thrice-convicted marijuana offenders.

These legislative decisions remain controversial even today, and reform advocates reason that marijuana is not nearly so dangerous or habit-forming as to necessitate such strict legal penalties. Additionally they frequently push for that decriminalization of marijuana, specifically for medical use. Groups of these advocates are large and diverse, and can include such organizations because the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Regardless of differing opinions around the legality and social acceptability of marijuana, running out of energy agree the number of people arrested for nonviolent marijuana crimes has become a serious problem. United States jails are filled with millions of these convicts, and Congress spends billions of taxpayer dollars keeping them secured. Furthermore, these offenders are typically placed in the same facilities as murderers, violent drug dealers, and other dangerous criminals. They face long, life-consuming sentences, and even marijuana users who need assist with addiction rarely have access to medicine programs. Increasingly more marijuana users find themselves behind bars, however the drug problem in America is not improving.

Thankfully, assistance is readily available for those who need it. If you are struggling with marijuana or any other addictive substances, make use of the links below for a confidential consultation. We're waiting night and day to get you started on the direction to recovery.

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