Marijuana Facts and History

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Marijuana Facts and History

This report on Marijuana Facts and History is taken from livefreenatural.com

Marijuana is continuing to be liberated from the persecution of the government and pharmaceutical companies as research continues to show the many health benefits. The National Cancer Institute, a government funded organization, has released a report that cannabis and cannabinoids are powerful agents of good health and “wonderful supplements” in the fight against cancer.

Cannabis an ancient medicine

The report begins with an important summary of the history of cannabis, noting that “Cannabis use for medicinal purposes dates back at least 3,000 years. It was introduced into Western medicine in the 1840s by W.B. O’Shaughnessy, a surgeon who learned of its medicinal properties while working in India for the British East Indies Company. Its use was promoted for reported analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and anticonvulsant effects.”

Physicians said cannabis o.k.

In 1937, the U.S. Treasury Department introduced the Marijuana Tax Act, which imposed a levy of $1 per ounce for medicinal use, and $100 per ounce for recreational use of cannabis. Physicians were the principal opponents of this act. The reason the American Medical Association (AMA) opposed the act was because it required physicians to pay a special tax for prescribing Cannabis, use special forms to procure it, and keep special records regarding its professional usage. The AMA also believed that evidence that cannabis was harmful was lacking, and passage of the act would impede future research into its medicinal value. In 1942, cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of concerns about its potential harm.

Later, in 1951, Congress passed the Boggs Act. This grouped cannabis with hard, narcotic drugs such as heroin, LSD, mescaline, methaqualone, and GHB. In 1970, the passage of the Controlled Substances Act groups marijuana in with Schedule I drugs. Drugs listed as Schedule I am distinguished as having no accepted medicinal use. Despite this designation, Cannabis was distributed by the U.S. government on a case by case basis under the Compassionate Use Investigational New Drug program established in 1978. This program was discontinued in 1992 under federal law. Within the past 20 years, neurobiology of cannabinoids has been analyzed. The first cannabinoid receptor was identified in 1988, the second in 1993. The location of cannabinoid receptors suggest a possible role in immunity and have been identified and appear to have a role in pain modulation, movement control, feeding behavior, and memory.

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