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History and Uses of Marijuana

Whether you call it Hemp, Mary Jane, Pot, Weed; it doesn’t
matter. It is still Cannabis Sativa, or cannabis for short. And it is
still illegal. The use of marijuana as an intoxicant in the United
States became a problem of public concern in the 1930s. Regulatory
laws were passed in 1937, and criminal penalties were instituted for
possession and sale of the drug. “Marijuana” refers to the dried
leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant, which contains the
non-narcotic chemical THC at various potencies. It is smoked or eaten
to produce the feeling of being “high.” The different strains of this
herb produce different sensual effects, ranging from a sedative to a
stimulant.

The term “marijuana” is a word with indistinct origins. Some
believe it is derived from the Mexican words for “Mary Jane”; others
hold that the name comes from the Portuguese word marigu-ano, which
means “intoxicant”. The use of marijuana in the 1960’s might lead one
to surmise that marihuana use spread explosively. The chronicle of its
3,000 year history, however, shows that this “explosion” has been
characteristic only of the contemporary scene. The plant has been
grown for fiber and as a source of medicine for several thousand
years, but until 500~ AD its use as a mind-altering drug was almost
solely confined in India. The drug and its uses reached the Middle and
Near East during the next several centuries, and then moved across
North Africa, appeared in Latin America and the Caribbean, and finally
entered the United States in the early decades of…

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