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Legalizing Marijuana Essay, Research Paper

Marijuana has been used throughout history in many different cultures to change mood,

perception, and consciousness – in other words, to get high. Its effects range from increasing

creativity to provoking mystical experiences, to heightening the capacity to feel, sense and share.

After alcohol, it is the most popular of what are called “recreational drugs.” It has been used

around the world for other purposes. In some primitive tribes of South America, Africa, and

India, “cannabis” is used in religious ceremonies and for medical purposes. African mine workers

have used it to ease the drudgery of their work and many Jamaicans use it at the end of the day to

relieve fatigue. It has been used as an intoxicant in various parts of the world for centuries and in

the United States mostly in the 20th century. Marijuana was first described in print in a Chinese

book of medicine, “Herbal,” in the 2nd century B.C., and was used in China as an anesthetic 5,000

years ago. The ancient Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and East Indians used the drug to

control muscle spasms, reduce pain, and to treat indigestion. It was commonly used in folk

medicines in Africa and Asia. The Assyrians began using it as an incense in the 9th century. As

early as 1611, marijuana was cultivated for its fiber in Jamestown, Virginia, in which they would

fine people for not growing the plant and reward you if you did grow the plant in some cases. In

19th century America, it was used by the medical profession for treating spastic conditions,

headaches, labor pains, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. It is still used as a medicine in the Middle

East and in Asia.

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