The Cannabis Sativa plant has been around for centuries and has various uses. Today, it’s most commonly known for its psychoactive properties, but it has also been used as medicine, rope, and fabric. This post will explore the history of Cannabis and discuss some of the most significant moments in its development. Stay tuned for more!
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system controls many functions in the body, including pain, mood, and appetite.
There are three types of Cannabis: Sativa, Indica, and ruderalis. Sativa is most popular for its cerebral high and long-lasting euphoric effect. It originated in the humid, tropical climates of Asia and South America. Indica is well-known for its body high and its shorter euphoric period.
This species originated near the Hindu Kush mountain range. Ruderalis is a short plant with few psychoactive qualities and is rarely cultivated as a drug because it has a poor high. It is known for its low THC content and small stature.
The History of Marijuana
The use of Cannabis for medical purposes dates back to ancient times. Medical Marijuana has been used to treat various diseases and conditions, including pain, nausea, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.
In the early 20th century, medical Marijuana was popularized in the United States by Dr. William O’Shaughnessy, who learned about its medical use while working in India for the British East Indies Company. Medical Marijuana was promoted as a treatment for all types of illnesses but fell out of favor with the development of aspirin and other prescription medications.
In modern times, medical Marijuana has regained popularity as people look to alternatives to traditional therapies. Medical Marijuana is now legal in many states. Medical Marijuana effectively treats various conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, and chronic pain more.
In 1990, voters in California approved Proposition 215, which legalized medical Marijuana for patients who have AIDS/HIV, cancer, and other serious illnesses where they might benefit from its use.
In most countries around the world, Recreational Weed is illegal. However, some places have made Recreational Weed legal for casual users. In Amsterdam, for example, it can be purchased in “coffee shops” and consumed on-site. Recreational Weed is also legal in Colorado and Washington states in the United States.
There are many arguments for and against Recreational Weed. Some people say it should be made illegal because it is a dangerous drug. Others argue that it should be legalized so that the government can tax and regulate it. There are also those who argue that Recreational Weed is not harmful and should be legal for adults to use.
In the United States, the first state to legalize recreational weed was California. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, which allowed for the use of Cannabis for medical purposes. Under the law, patients could possess and cultivate a small amount of weed for personal use without being arrested or fined by state authorities.
Mass unemployment and social unrest during the Great Depression stoked resentment of Mexican immigrants and public fear of the “evil weed.” As a result—and consistent with the Prohibition era’s view of all intoxicants—29 states had outlawed Cannabis by 1931.
Marijuana Tax Act
The Marijuana Tax Act was a law that was enacted in the United States on October 2, 1937. The act made it illegal to possess or sell Marijuana in the country. The act was introduced by Representative Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina.
The primary goal of the act was to prohibit the use of Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana. The act was heavily influenced by the Reefer Madness campaign, which was a propaganda film that was released in 1936.
The Marijuana Tax Act remained in effect until it was repealed by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Marijuana was viewed as a dangerous drug during the Marijuana Tax Act. Marijuana became associated with immigrants and ethnic groups that were considered to be deviant by mainstream American culture.
The Controlled Substances Act of 1970, signed by President Richard Nixon, repealed the Marijuana Tax Act and classified Marijuana, along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, as a Schedule I narcotic with no medicinal applications and a high potential for abuse. It was identified as a “gateway drug” in anti-drug programs such as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).
A report titled “Marijuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding” was published in 1972 by the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (commonly known as the Shafer Commission). The report recommended “partial prohibition” and lenient penalties for small-scale marijuana possession. On the other hand, Nixon and other government officials chose to ignore the report’s conclusions.
California was the first state to allow Marijuana for therapeutic use by persons with severe or chronic conditions, thanks to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The use of Marijuana for limited medical purposes is legal in Washington, D.C., 29 states, and the US territories of Guam and Puerto Rico.
Still, Marijuana is illegal under federal law in the United States, and the evolving legal status of Marijuana is a source of ongoing debate in the United States and around the world.
Effect of Marijuana
Marijuana’s mental and physical side effects are partly to blame for its shaky legal status. Euphoria or other mood changes, heightened sensory perception, and increased appetite are possible short-term effects.
While many people experience feeling “high” after taking Marijuana, others experience feelings of anxiety, fear, or panic. When a person consumes too much Marijuana, if Cannabis is very strong, negative effects are more likely.
In recent decades, the amount of THC in Marijuana—the chemical responsible for the drug’s potency—has risen considerably. The average THC content of confiscated Cannabis was around 4 percent in the mid-1990s. It had risen to around 12 percent, with some strains of Marijuana boasting THC levels as high as 37 percent.
The history of Cannabis is long and complicated. To make it easier to understand, we’ve broken down the timeline into three eras that highlight key moments in our society’s relationship with this plant. From its use as a medicinal herb at first contact between Native Americans and Europeans to its prohibition following the Mexican Revolution, here are some highlights from Cannabis’ journey through time.