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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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