Marijuana has a long standing history of being one of the most controversial substances in America. While the history or the Cannabis plant indicates not only acceptance as a useful plant, but even advocated as a source of revenue and medicinal usage, much of the United States government propaganda over the last 100+ years has led Americans to accept very slighted and often false information about the plant and its uses. Based on the origin of the illegalization of marijuana and the inconsistent findings of its effects in comparison to other substances, both legal and illegal, marijuana should be decriminalized and treated as a recreational substance just as alcohol and tobacco are. The cultivation and utilization of the Central Asia native Cannabis plant dates back over 10,000 years when plants were cultivated for their hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant used for the fibrous content. The first evidence of medicinal use found comes from a Chinese health publication from the reign of Emperor Chen Nung of the Chinese Dynasty over 5000 years ago (Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1997).
The responses shocked me: six of them said "getting high," four of them said "damaging drug," and ten of them, fifty percent, said "medical uses." The response that overwhelmed me the most was "medical uses" because at my age I have not thought much about marijuana being used for medical purposes, but instead for pleasure purposes. According to Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base: "Marijuana plants have been used since antiquity for both herbal medication and intoxication."  If marijuana has been used since 3000 BC  for medical uses, then why is it illegal today for most people to use it for these purposes? An article in CONSUMER REPORTS writes, "For the past decade the Government has refused to provide either money or marijuana to researchers studying the drug's potential therapeutic effects, so this research has been nearly at a standstill," quotes one writer for CONSUMER REPORTS.
Most of the negative effects from marijuana are caused by the laws and the people who don’t know how to use the drug responsibly. Marijuana should be legalized to people but they have to be older than eighteen and have a job with those two credentials it will ensure people will try to use it responsibly like alcohol. Marijuana is a known stress relief and has been around since the beginning of man and until the past several decades it was used as a medicine and a substance used to ease the body. It is documented by the former U.S. Surgeon General that Marijuana use I a known reliever of many minor and major ailments "The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms” (Elders).
American politicians are constantly finding themselves in a heated debate concerning the legalization of marijuana. Currently the no’s have it but the real question is how long will they be able to keep it that way. Since, "To the agriculturist, cannabis is a fiber crop; to the physician, it is an enigma; to the user, a euphoriant; to the police, a menace; to the trafficker, a source of profitable danger; to the convict or parolee and his family, a source of sorrow" (Mikuriya, 1969). Introduction The future of marijuana in the United States is uncertain. Whether it is truly on the path to legalization on a nationwide scale, no one knows.
Medical Marijuana: America's Plant The use of marijuana, for both medical and recreational purposes, has long been a topic of much controversy. Using marijuana is seen as morally wrong by many, however to others it is seen as a plant with major health benefits. Upon first introduction to the subject it seems unclear as to why so much controversy is caused by this plant. The answer is rooted deep in America's history and to this day effects several parts of everyday American life. Marijuana policy affects Americans economically and health-wise.
In “Marijuana is Dangerous for Teens”, by Joseph Califano he states that, “nine percent of those who use marijuana become dependent on it”, although it is not a big number it is because that is not the biggest problem with marijuana. Along with all of the health problems that marijuana use causes it also opens up the debate over the gateway theory. A gateway drug is a substance taken that opens peoples’ minds up to taking other progressively more dangerous drugs. Millions of people who use marijuana use it illegally, at some point ma... ... middle of paper ... ... Sun- Times, December 24, 2006 Andrew Morral, Daniel McCaffrey, and Susan Paddock, “Reassessing the Marijuana Gateway Effect” Addiction, vol. 97, December 2002, pp.
Medicinal Marijuana Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General, once spoke about the legalization of marijuana for medical use in a press conference. "It's criminal to keep this medicine from patients," she said (Silverman, 1995, pg. 2). She received criticism not only from many citizens of the United States, but also strong criticism from the President who appointed her. The legalization of marijuana for medical use has always been a sharply debated subject, and many of the debaters are uneducated about the effects of using this illegal drug for therapeutic use.