With the increase in the number of middle-class users in the 1960s and 1970s, there came a somewhat greater acceptance of the view that marijuana should not be considered in the same class as narcotics and that U.S. marijuana laws should be relaxed. The Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1970 eased federal penalties somewhat, and 11 states decriminalized possession. However, in the late 1980s many states rewrote their drug laws and imposed stricter penalties. Beginning in 1996, however, a series of states began enacting medical marijuana laws (see below). In 2012 voters in the states of Colorado and Washington approved the legalization of the private use and possession of small amounts of marijuana; Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and the District of Columbia have since taken similar steps. Opponents of easing marijuana laws have asserted that it is an intoxicant less controllable than alcohol, that society does not need another widely used intoxicant, and that the United States should not act to weaken UN policies, which are opposed to the use of marijuana for other than possible medical purposes. In 2013, Uruguay became the first nation to legalize the growing, selling, and use of marijuana, a move it undertook in part in an attempt to undermine drug cartels. Uruguay’s legalization, which was a source of controversy in the country, also was critized by international authorities for contravening treaties to which Uruguay was a party.
Marijuana has been used as an agent for achieving euphoria since ancient times; it was described in a Chinese medical compendium traditionally considered to date from 2737 BC It also has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. Its use spread from China to India and then to N Africa and reached Europe at least as early as AD 500. A major crop in colonial North America, marijuana (hemp) was grown as a source of fiber. It was extensively cultivated during World War II, when Asian sources of hemp were cut off.
C. sativa grows as a common weed in many parts of the world, and drug preparations vary widely in potency according to climate, cultivation, and method of preparation. Mexico, Paraguay, and the United States are the top marijuana-producing nations worldwide. C. indica is a shorter, hardier variety with rounded blue-green leaves, grown in Afghanistan for hashish. Most marijuanas grown in the United States since the late 1980s are hybrids of the two and yield a much more potent product than the marijuana of the past. The resin found on flower clusters and top leaves of the female plant is the most potent drug source and is used to prepare hashish, the highest grade of cannabis. The bud of the female plant, called sinsemilla, is the part most often smoked as marijuana.
marijuana or marihuana, drug obtained from the flowering tops, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa (see hemp) or C. indica; the latter species can withstand colder climates. It is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world, following only caffeine, nicotine, and alcoholic beverages in popularity. In the United States, where it is usually smoked, it also has been called weed, grass, pot, or reefer.
The Legalization Question
The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified marijuana along with heroin and LSD as a Schedule I drug, i.e., having the relatively highest abuse potential and no accepted medical use. Most marijuana at that time came from Mexico, but in 1975 the Mexican government agreed to eradicate the crop by spraying it with the herbicide paraquat, raising fears of toxic side effects. Colombia then became the main supplier. The “zero tolerance” climate of the Reagan and Bush administrations (1981–93) resulted in passage of strict laws and mandatory sentences for possession of marijuana and in heightened vigilance against smuggling at the southern borders. The “war on drugs” thus brought with it a shift from reliance on imported supplies to domestic cultivation (particularly in Hawaii and California). Beginning in 1982 the Drug Enforcement Administration turned increased attention to marijuana farms in the United States, and there was a shift to the indoor growing of plants specially developed for small size and high yield. After over a decade of decreasing use, marijuana smoking began an upward trend once more in the early 1990s, especially among teenagers, but by the end of the decade this upswing had leveled off well below former peaks of use.
A 1999 U.S.-government-sponsored study by the Institute of Medicine found that marijuana appeared beneficial for certain medical conditions, such as nausea caused by chemotherapy and wasting caused by AIDS. Because of the toxicity of marijuana smoke, however, it was hoped that further research might lead to development of new delivery systems, such as bronchial inhalers. A number of studies since 1999 have shown that smoked marijuana has pain-reducing effects when compared with marijuana stripped of its cannabinoids.
Marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942 and was prescribed for various conditions including labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism. Its use as an intoxicant was also commonplace from the 1850s to the 1930s. A campaign conducted in the 1930s by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) sought to portray marijuana as a powerful, addicting substance that would lead users into narcotics addiction. It is still considered a “gateway” drug by some authorities. In the 1950s it was an accessory of the beat generation; in the 1960s it was used by college students and “hippies” and became a symbol of rebellion against authority.
History of Marijuana Use
Discover librarian-selected research resources on Medical Marijuana from the Questia online library, including full-text online books, academic journals, magazines, newspapers and more.
Medical Cannabis Guidebook is a comprehensive roundup of almost everything we know about medical cannabis. Author Mel Thomas doesn’t beat around the bush and forgoes fancy phrasing in favor of easy to understand language – great news for anyone who wants the information without all the noise. Expect expert insight into which health conditions can be treated with medical cannabis and step by step instructions on how to do so. The book also features a number of case studies to give readers some insight into the real-world benefits of using medicinal cannabis.
Knowledge is power – particularly if you’re a medical cannabis user. By reading these books, you’ll be better equipped than ever to understand how medical cannabis works and how it might benefit you as a patient. Happy reading!
One of the most well known books in the industry, The Cannabis Manifesto can be considered essential reading for anyone interested in medicinal cannabis. As the founder of the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensary, author Steve DeAngelo is more than qualified to answer all your most pressing questions. Drawing on extensive research, The Cannabis Manifesto takes you on a compelling journey into the world of medical cannabis, exploring its physical, mental and spiritual effects and how it is shaping the face of modern health and wellbeing.
What this book lacks in physical size, it more than makes up for in quality information. Steve Elliott’s Little Black Book of Marijuana concisely covers the cultural and historical significance of cannabis before delving into its many medical applications. The book also acts as something of a cannabis index, as it refers to dozens of external sources (such as recipes, documentaries, articles and so on) and encourages you to check them out to expand your learning. The Little Black Book of Marijuana is proof that good things do come in small packages.
We’re here to help. Here are five excellent books on medical cannabis that are actually worth reading:
Canabo Medical Inc. has identified a few strains of cannabis that work well for treating sleep issues. The company has recently launched an online self-referral program for individuals with sleep issues.
Packed full of research, Clint Werner’s 2011 Marijuana Gateway to Health is a fantastic addition to your bookshelf, regardless of whether or not you’re a medical cannabis user. Although the title suggests a razor sharp focus, the book covers a lot of ground and is not exclusively focused on cancer and/or Alzheimer’s patients. In addition to detailing the medical benefits of medicinal cannabis, the book offers extensive insight into the history of cannabis as a form of therapy and the political factors that eventually led to its criminalization.
However, not all books are created equal, and the level of quality and research can vary enormously between titles, making it difficult for patients to get the facts they need to make an informed decision about their health and wellbeing.
As the name implies, Michael Backes’ Cannabis Pharmacy focuses primarily on the use of medical marijuana and is a must have for existing or prospective medicinal cannabis users. Unlike some books that tend to sensationalize and oversimplify the research, Cannabis Pharmacy relies on hard scientific evidence to discuss the benefits of medical cannabis and gives your practical advice on how you can incorporate it into your treatment. The most recent edition includes up to date information on dosing, e-cigarette designs, new cannabis strains and more. This is the perfect book for anyone interested in the science behind how and why medical cannabis works.
5 books on medical cannabis worth reading to help medical cannabis patients make an informed decision about their health and wellbeing.