Marijuana


In this report I will show you my views on Marijuana, if it should be
legal, for medical and/or recreational purposes.

Marijuana has many names: Dope, Marihuana, Ganja, Pot Mary Jane,
Cannabis Sativa (Scientific) to name a few.

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