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