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Marijuana Essay

2555 words - 10 pages

Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Marijuana is often called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, reefer, or chronic. There are more than 200 slang terms for marijuana. HISTORY: Cannabis was acknowledged as early as 2,700 BC in Chinese manuscripts. Marijuana has been used as a medicine throughout the world since the beginning of written history. During this time, companies such as Lilly, Parke Daivis, Tildens, Squibb, and other major drug manufacturers, have made everything from sleeping elixirs, to stomach medicine from marijuana. These drugs were even knowingly prescribed for children. Since 1839 there have been numerous reports in favor of utilizing medical marijuana. In 1839 Dr. W.B. O'Shaugnessy, a respected member of the Royal Academy of Science, was one of the first in the medical profession to present the true facts concerning marijuana and medicine. Dr. O'Shaugnessy's report states clearly, that experience indicates the use of marijuana to be a beneficial analgesic, and to have anticonvulsant, and muscle-relaxant properties. He found it to be effective in treating rheumatism (inflammation or pain in muscles or joints), epilepsy, and spasmodic conditions. In 1860, Dr. R.R. M'Meens, indicated to the Ohio State Medical Society, the usefulness of marijuana in treating tetanus, neuralgia (pain in the nerves), uterine hemorrhage, child labor, convulsions, asthma, bronchitis, and even postpartum psychosis. It was also noted for its affect as an appetite stimulant. This is desperately needed in modern medicine especially by cancer and aids patients to prevent them from literally wasting away. Many of these patients have indicated that no other remedy helps to stimulate the appetite as effectively as smoking a small quantity of marijuana. It was also noted that smoking the natural plant was significantly more effective than the chemically created, orally consumed, synthetic marijuana. In 1891 Dr. J.B. Mattison indicated the use of marijuana for treatment of migraines, gastric ulcers, deliriuma (mental disturbance), and tremors due to alcoholism. He also found it to be instrumental in actually replacing the craving for, and thus curing alcoholism. He found the same effect carried over in treating other serious addictions such as morphine or heroin addiction. In 1890 Dr. J.R. Reynolds found marijuana to be an excellent aid in combating a number of problems associated with aging. Dr. Reynolds noted marijuana's usefulness in overcoming senile insomnia as well as it's psychological benefits in helping older people cope with some of the feelings and emotions associated with growing older. INCREASE & DECREASE OF USAGE SINCE DRUG'S DISCOVERY: The use of marijuana reached a high point in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and has been declining ever since. In a 1978 survey, 37 percent of high school seniors said they had smoked marijuana in...

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