Marijuana has been used and cultivated for the last 12000 years.Notably, marijuana cultivation and use started in Asia around 3000B.C. The plant was widely used for its medicinal value, animal foodand as fiber for sewing. Over the years, the plant has spread to allparts of the world including Africa and the United States. The plantwas used to achieve euphoria since time immemorial (Sloman 61). Ihave discovered through documented research that the plant was legaland its use was not prohibited anywhere in the world. The illegalityand description of the plant as a drug was done recently after arealization that despite its medicinal value, the plant has othernumerous negative effects.
In 2737 B.C., the Chinese emperor Shen Nung discovered the medicinalvalue of the plant. Furthermore, this is the first time that theplant has been referred to and recorded. The emperor was consideredas the father of Chinese medicine and he discovered the healingproperties of marijuana. The plant was known as a cure for malaria,gout and out-mindedness. The Chinese were aware of the intoxicatingproperties of marijuana. However, the emperor asserted that themedicinal value of the plant surpassed the disadvantages. From China,the plant would later spread to India and North Africa beforespreading to Europe and the United States. I have discovered thatbetween 2000 and 1000 B.C., marijuana use spread to India (Sloman145). This was after the country was invaded by Aryans and whobrought with them the plant. I have researched and found out that theIndians used the plant for recreational purposes only. The plant wassaid to be the great herb that releases anxiety. However, it isessential to note that the plant was also used for medical purposessuch as anesthetic during surgery.
Marijuana moved from Asia to Europe and the Middle East. In 1400B.C., the drug was being used by the Muslims in the Middle Eastmostly for recreation. The Scythians, who occupied these territories,were responsible for bringing the drug to the Middle East. Later,they carried the drug to Russia and Ukraine (Hudak 66). This is wherethe drug use spread to Germany and Britain during the Anglo-SaxonInvasions. In the centuries that followed, the drug would spreadquickly to Africa, South Africa and later to the United States. Itwas during the 19th century that the drug spread acrossAfrican and in many regions of the world.
I was surprised to learn that it was until the 20thcentury that the drug found its way into the United States.Considering that the U.S. is a country of immigrants, I was convincedthat the country would have been among the first ones to cultivateand use marijuana. Notably, marijuana moved across the world beforefinally reaching the United States. From South Africa, the drugspread to Mexico (Sloman 75). I have found out that it is from Mexicothat the drug found its way to the U.S. In 1911 and 1912 during theMexican revolution, numerous Mexicans moved into the U.S., bringingwith them the drug. Although marijuana was publicly known to exist inthe U.S. in the 20the century, I have found out from research thatthe drug was in use since 1850. It was being used for medicalpurposes. Primarily, the drug was used for reducing labor pains andnausea. By the 1930s, U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics had realizedthe intoxicating nature of marijuana. There were concerns that thedrug was addictive and the U.S. was putting efforts in place toclassify the drug as illegal.
After a long battled with ruling out the plantation of the drug, theDrug Enforcement Agency put regulations prohibiting the plantation ofthe plant in any part of the country. Mexicans who were accused ofbringing the drug into the country were associated with anti-socialbehaviors such as sexually seducing children and engaging in criminalactivities. Prejudices against marijuana were associated with raceand minority groups such as the Mexicans and African Americans wereaccused of criminal activities including murders (Hudak 106). By the1950s, the drug had been declared illegal in most of the states. Theyouths were widely using the drug across the country. Authoritiesrealized that the teens were using the drug as a symbol of resistanceagainst the law and order.
Due to the high abuse potential of the drug, the U.S. ControlledSubstances Act of 1970 categorized marijuana among cocaine in theschedule I drug. I have discovered that most of the drug at this timewas coming from Mexico. However, Mexico also banned the plant in thecountry and hence the supply shifted to Colombia. However, thegovernment became extremely strict on the smuggling of the drug bycontrolling the southern borders (Hudak 48). This led to reducedusage and plantation of the drug. However, I have realized that theplant was still being grown in California. In 1982, the cultivationof the drug was regulated by the government and people startedplanting it in the homes. Its use was significantly reduced in thisperiod. However, teenagers started its use hence increasing itsoverall usage to date.
Medical research has indicated that marijuana use has variouseffects on the human body. There are some positive and negativeeffects on the body. The intake of the drug leads to the release ofdopamine hormone in the body leading to a feel-good situation.Furthermore, research conducted using rats indicated that the drugreduces epileptic seizures (Rick and Nancy 104). Thetetrahydrocannabinol component of marijuana is responsible for thiseffect. Another advantage of marijuana presence in our bodies is thereduction of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. I have foundfrom research that the chemicals in marijuana inhibit the formationof amyloid plaques, which kill brain cells hence causing Alzheimer.Moreover, it is imperative to state that the cannabidiol chemicalfound in the drug reduces the spread of cancer. This implies that theuse of the drug can reduce cancer deaths across the world.
Despite the above advantages of having marijuana chemicals in ourbodies, it is essential I state that there are many negative effects.One of them is the impairment of memory. Excessive use of marijuanahas been associated with memory loss. Furthermore, the chemicals inthe drug affect the balance of the user (Rick and Nancy 101). Othereffects on the body include redness of the eyes, increased heartrate, fatigue and psychosis. It is also essential I mention that thedrug makes people to get paranoid and anxious. Users of the drug havehallucinations and panic attacks from time to time. Since most of thedrug is smoked, it increases the risk of respiratory problems. Peoplewho use the drugs are likely to cough more.
Marijuana has a number of uses across the world today. There are twomajor uses namely medicinal and recreational purposes. Even thoughthe U.S. is yet to recognize the use of marijuana in its naturalform, it allows pills that contain marijuana chemicals. It isprimarily used to reduce nausea, pain and reduce inflammations (Rickand Nancy 95). Despite its illegality in many countries, marijuana isused for recreational purposes. Some form of marijuana is used asfiber and as animal food.
While concluding, it is abundantly clear that the use of cannabisstarted many years ago. Its discovery was based on medical challengesthat were facing countries such as China. Marijuana use for medicinalvalue started in Asia before spreading to the Middle East, Africa,Europe and finally the United States. Since its discovery, peoplehave always known of its intoxicating properties. The U.S. startedconsidering the ban of the drug as early as 1911 when the drug usewas associated with negative social behaviors such as crime andsexual abuse against children. By 1937, United States had managed tomake marijuana illegal and stopped its cultivation in the country.However, the drug was still being imported from Mexico and Colombia.Strict boarder regulations and the control of its cultivation in the1980s led to the reduction of its use. However, its use among theteenagers would resurge in the 1990s to date. Across the world, Ihave discovered that the drug has been in use for medical purposes,as well as for recreational purposes. This is despite the widespreadillegalization of the drug. Countries such as the U.S have allowedthe use of pills with marijuana chemicals for medicinal purposes suchas reduction of pain and nausea.
Hudak, John. Marijuana: A Short History. , 2016. Print.
Rick Bayer and Nancy Crumpacker. Is Marijuana the RightMedicine for You? A Factual Guide toMedical Uses of Marijuana. New Canaan, Conn: Keats Pub, 2012.Print.
Sloman, Larry. Reefer Madness: The inAmerica. New York: St. Martin`s Griffin, 2014. Print.