The History and Use of Marijuana in The Society

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Last Updated on May 25, 2021 by Ben Lesser

Cannabis, also known as marijuana originates from a plant known as cannabis sativa, it has been used by human beings for centuries. First, the plant was used medicinally by many Asian countries on a statewide or national level. During colonial times, primarily by the ropemakers and textile manufacturers, the plant was brought to the Americas to be harvested for rope and fabric. The cannabis plant is known as Cannabis sativa, and marijuana comes from plants that are both a small family.

Humans have been using marijuana as a plant in their tents and cloaks, where they could use its fibers to make clothes and robes or to throw away its seeds that would then grow once they were discarded. The next move will allow them to recollect the materials they had harvested to create new camps, and the process will be repeated.
Marijuana was cultivated in large quantities in the Middle East and Europe through the Middle Ages and eventually settled there permanently, spreading to the rest of Europe and the Middle East.


There was not much of a chemically complex plant present that would have allowed it to become so useful as it is today. The drugs contain enough chemicals to be used for medicinal purposes. However, their mind-altering properties were not widespread enough to potentially make them viable for use.
We know that marijuana was used as medicinal substance by many ancient civilizations around 2700 BC, including Chinese, Indians, and Romans, including Galen and Pliny the Elder.[2]

Although the marijuana original purpose was to be used for medicinal purposes, it was also becoming clear that Europeans viewed the plant more as a useful source of fiber due to its fast-growing and all-weather plant qualities.


The use of marijuana, especially for rope making, grew dramatically as discovery became more common among ship voyagers as demand rose from domestic and alien sources. Therefore, more people planted it on their travels to have a great source of rope raw materials and the faster availability it offered upon their arrival. There have been considerable resistance to the plant’s use by all American countries during this time.

Marijuana in American history

After being introduced to Chile in 1545, the cannabis plant originally spread across the Americas, where it cultivated what we know today as marijuana. In 1606 it arrived at Port Royal, Acadia.[3] A forty-yo woman who would later be named Elizabeth, who was the first wife of King Philip III, grew the plant there.[4] Because most clothes manufactured in Turkey were locally made and were not imported from Europe, thus reducing the cost of imports, a government of the day decreed that the cultivation of hemp should be legalized and ordered on a large scale.

When the price of the plant rose mainly due to the textile industry in 1815,[5][6] you can bet that the Irish doctor William O’Shaughnessy began to investigate its medicinal properties, especially at the medical college of Calcutta.

An international conference was held in the year 1860, whose main purpose was to encourage the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. It was viewed as beneficial medicinally by Ohio Medical society as a powerful pain reliever[7] and sedative, so it lasted only for a very short time before other synthetic compounds began to replace it. During the time heroin was introduced into the market in 1874[8], Aspirin was introduced into the market in 1899[9].

Symbolic Implication of Racial Oppression

[10]During the start of the 20th century, “cannabis” referred to the raw plant, which may have been a few samples for comparison. The term “marijuana” has been used for the last century to refer to how Mexicans use marijuana. This was so that the word would be more associated with the color with which Mexicans were perceived.[11]

According to some experts, the stigma going against marijuana also has an underlying racial dimension stemming from the association between these plants and harmful and homicidal tendencies inherent to the Mexican cannabis known as “locoweed.” This self-esteem stigma, which happened in tandem with the growing racial tension, prompted federal law to impose greater restrictions on the sale and use of it among people of color.


“There was a massive influx of Mexican immigrants from the Southwest during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 that culminated in a political upheaval all over Mexico culminating during the revolution of 1910. This group of immigrants face prejudice and insecurity that extends even to the traditional form of toxifying: smoking medical marijuana. Mexicans were rumored to be distributing it to American schoolchildren, claimed Texas police officers. The smoking practice was brought by sailors and people from the West Indies to Southern port cities. New Orleans’ newspapers prominently featured newspaper articles that portrayed the drug as a drug commonly used by African-Americans, musicians, a well as underworld whites. It was stereotyped by inferior backgrounds and social repellants that The Atlantic’s 1997 issue of The Atlantic referred to as the ‘Marijuana Menace’, which anti-drug campaigners depicted.”

More Reefer Madness.

Furthermore, according to Harry Anslinger, among the opponents against prohibition, “Three million people smoke marijuana in the U.S., with the common exception being that the Muslim community, Filipinos Hispanics and entertainers

Although the racial slur used to make the arrests has gone away, it appears 600,000 arrests were made for marijuana this year, overwhelmingly over ethnic minorities. Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General of the United States who succeeded Barack Obama as the United States’ 44th president, is reportedly making efforts to tighten marijuana-use laws all across the United States, which he signed into law in December 2016.

A Marijuana Tax Act of 1937

With the passage of the Marijuana Refining Tax Act of 1937, the Government effectively prohibited the sale and possession of hemp in the United States through tough excise taxes levied on the sale of hemp, possession of hemp, and procurement of hemp. In October of 1937, first cannabis arrest occurred through this federal law due to a farmer who was caught selling Marijuana on the streets. Samuel Caldwell, 58, was one of the farmers arrested for selling cannabis.

A few hemp fields in Wisconsin were cultivated as late as 1957, but using hemp as the primary product was not permitted until 1955.

I am thrilled to provide you with yet another piece of professional information: Dr Aung, a recognized expert in the field of quality clinical treatment of neuro-psychiatric problems with board certification, a physician of general neurology and neuro-psychiatry. Despite the Government’s efforts to eradicate the drug through prohibition in the early 1900s, Dr Aung-Din states their efforts still affect today’s drug treatment.

The cannabis Tax Act, initiated a hefty tax to prevent people from buying Marijuana. This resulted in pharmacopoeia prohibiting things like cannabis. For decades at least, there have been a stigma around the plant, and even at the medical school.

War on Marijuana

Controlled Substances Legislation of 1970, which was widely considered a part of President Nixon’s war on substance, repealed Cannabis Tax Act to prevent cannabis from adversely affecting others effectively. In recent years, the federal government has been trying to combat the epidemic of drug use in the United States.

It is still illegal under federal law to possess marijuana in the United States. It is currently classified as a Schedule one drug, making research on its medicinal values highly difficult, as Dr Aung observed against numerous medical observations, the meaning of Schedule one seems unclear to the practitioners since it doesn’t seem to make sense in light of the many documented benefits of cannabis.

“Some of the colleagues believe that marijuana has great potential to help cure all kinds of conditions, but they are threatened with federal fines if they use it as an adjunct therapy at hospitals or universities,”

states Dr Aung.

However, Nixon’s Act neglected recommendations made by NCMDA. They found that marijuana had a serious public health danger. They, therefore, recommended a lesser punishment for minor possession.

The Reefer Madness

As a young person, I remember being taught by my parents that the only person who could guide me was a woman who would not commit any crime, but what can her parents provide for us is love, attention, friendship and respect from their child?

While increased awareness about the potential impacts of marijuana use has emerged over the years, the increasingly popular culture and the films that cater to the seemingly irrepressible desire to binge have not diminished the overarching difficulties associated with cannabis use. The pot was presented as an entryway to more dangerous drugs.

Cannabis Regulation: A New Approach

President Theodore Roosevelt made a law in 1906 that the name of the drug and the amount contained in the bottle must be written on each container that contains the drug, and the Washington City Council implemented this law. As a result of this law, marijuana was highly regulated, and a federal law that enforced it was passed in the ‘Pure Food and Drug Act’.[13]

Following James Russell Lowell’s declaration concerning the prohibition of opium in 1867, there followed laws[14] such as the Harrison Narcotic Tax Act of 1914, which ended opium and coca cultivation and allowed access to cannabis with special permits. Over the past year, public outrage has grown in the US due to the new laws.[15]

Following the Mexican Revolution, which saw almost one million Mexican immigrants venture to the United States,[16] there was a substantial decrease in public use of marijuana, which was charged to anti-Mexican sentiments, which supported the notion that Mexicans were highly accustomed to using cannabis recreationally. A further consequence of the economic depression was that immigrants became jobless[17], and the situation became further aggravated as they competed for employment. With racial tensions escalating, marijuana use decreased rapidly as it became popular among black people[18], and the drug’s popularity increased among the white residents.

As a result of the 1937 Marijuana act[19], domestic possession or transfer was made illegal in the United States, except if the possession or trafficking was for either medical or industrial purposes. The National Narcotics Control Board, led by Harry Anslinger[20], led by a movement against cannabis after discovering that there were high amounts of morphine and other psychoactive substances. The government immediately broke this law, which was seen as an immediate drop in marijuana use in the United States. Infamous Reefer Madness movie in 1936[21] on through the Hemp for Victory movie during World War II[22]

The Boggs Act of 1952 and the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1956 were passed and became law after World War II. The primary aim of these acts was to curb marijuana abuse. There are certain sentences associated with marijuana-related offences and other related drugs[23] that have been mandated to those convicted of these offences. This law requires that first-time offenders pay you a fine of $20,000[24] (ultimately $175,000 today)[25], serve a term of imprisonment of 2 to 10 years or both, and even serving time in jail is not an option since you are still presumed to be a first-time offender.

The New War on Drugs and Drug Use

At the beginning of the 20th century, there was an explosion in the use of marijuana for recreational purposes[26]. This can be traced to a boom in marijuana use between 1960 and 1970. During the same period, many thought L.S.D. was not harmful[27], which was popularly known as L.S.D., although it is not generally known to be toxic. Several years before the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 was passed, President Lyndon Johnson signed the law that reduced the penalties for possessing cannabis. While there was many drugs’ widespread criminalization simultaneously[28], many remained legal. That same year, a law was passed ruling marijuana did not assist with vaccinations and could be dangerous if abused.[29]

According to information gathered by President Richard Nixon in 1971, on September 22, 1971, the United States declared war on drugs, declaring that drug use was against the law and was thereby used against the country.[30]

As early as 1973, the Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) was established to help control, prevent, and combat the use of illegal drugs. During the Cold War, his state passed the law against marijuana, and cocaine became one of the most abused drugs nationally[31], which led to the emergence of anti-drug sentiments. The Just Say First Lady Nancy Reagan conceived no campaign in 1982, and the D.A.R.E. program was established[32] in 1983. However, these anti-drug programs were often ineffective and often moved youths to use drugs instead.[33]

Research and Medicine

AIDS was also spreading like wildfire all around the world during this period. AIDS patients’ nausea and losses of appetite improved due to the appetite-stimulating properties of cannabis which saw the legalization of medical marijuana grew[34] in popularity among the community. The same benefits could also be extended to cancer patients on chemotherapy. In 1988, D.E.A. Francis Young held a hearing into the possibility of moving marijuana into Schedule II, limiting limited medical use. He concluded:[35]

Medical cannabis is having success in relieving patients’ symptoms lacking control of their symptoms. Still, they are also discovering that medical marijuana is effective and safe, and a significant number of patients suffering from severe ill health have obtained their medical cannabis prescribes.

The Department of Education rejected young’s proposal, and the Department concerned with Health as well as Human Services remained illegal – on a federal level. By 1996, support from the California public for the legalization of marijuana had grown sufficiently to get the state to pass a constitutional amendment that allows me’jabal to be grown, distributed, and used as a medical treatment. Several states joined California in 1998[36] , and in the following years, five more joined it.

As a result, a contest broke out between state and federal governments over marijuana. Were it is strictly forbidden on a federal level, would states be able to circumvent the federal law to enforce medical cannabis regulations for themselves? As a result, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Energy, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse exist to protect American consumers from the dangers posed by untested substances and keep them safe by regulating the legalization of new drugs. Yet, many voters in Vermont believed that these groups were obstructing the legalization of marijuana. They voted to legalize medical marijuana at the state level despite a federal law that refused to be legalized. As a result, such actions may prove to be a faster means of legalization, but they do so at the risk of further criminalization. A large-scale uncontrolled social experiment could turn sick people into willing subjects in a large-scale, highly unstable experiment. The desperation seen in many patients must have led at least some of them into accepting the possibility of a drug whose effects are unknown at present.

As early as the 1920s, citizens of the United States were involved in the debates over medical cannabis, including Dr Philip Marlow, the first physician to prescribe marijuana to patients and the first physician successfully. They described its potential medical benefits to a large patient. I ran into a problem with the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (N.I.D.R.R.).

It is worth mentioning that cannabis is a completely natural substance that cannot be replicated from other illegal drugs. However, it can be harvested legally from plants, which are easy to cultivate. To grow them, which is illegal, they must be cultivated. The National Institute on Drug Abuse had to approve the use of marijuana in research studies for the marijuana products in the studies to be legal. Without the approval of the N.I.D.A.; no research studies could proceed. The problem that I found is that the N.I.D.A. exists not for medicinal studies rather harmful research effects[37]. Since the N.I.D.A. has sanctioned research on this drug, all of the studies initiated thus far have focused on its harmful properties.

Marijuana Regulations

Research results have consistently proved that despite its high risks associated with smoking marijuana, it can also help some people[38]. In the wake of states legalizing marijuana, crime rates were not up dramatically[39], reflecting a solid social experiment that had begun. There was a public shift in the public’s opinion of the case, which reached the Department of Justice.

A 2010 memo from the Department of Justice stated: Concerning actions that are clearly in compliance with state-based medical marijuana laws40], federal agencies in your states should focus federal resources on those situations where the federal resources would need to be demonstrated.

We live in a changing world. At the start of 1969, less than 12 per cent of Americans believed that marijuana should be legalized. It is estimated that the proportion of American households with an income of $50,000 or more had increased four-fold since 1996 when it was under 25 per cent.[41]

Democrats and Republicans are nearly evenly split in their opinion on legalization;[42] 59% favor the idea while 37% favor it. According to a recent poll by NPR, most of those in the millennial age group (59%) and most Generation Xers (54%) agree that legalization of marijuana is a good thing. In comparison, 50% of Baby Boomers agree.[43]

Compared to six in ten Americans in 1977[44], four in ten U.S. citizens today consider cannabis a gateway drug. In the U.S., 46 per cent of the adult population has used marijuana, and 12 per cent has used cannabis in the last year.

Thirty per cent of the past-year[45] cannabis users used it, especially for medical reasons. In comparison, 47 per cent consumed marijuana exclusively for pleasure, and 23 per cent consumed cannabis for medical and recreational reasons.[46] Seventy-seven per cent of Americans believe cannabis might be helpful for medical purposes, but there are still debates regarding whether this should be permitted in medical facilities.[47]

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The Legalization of Medical Purpose Marijuana

It isn’t easy to believe those who supported the temperance movement in today’s society. The American Government should focus more on providing drug abuse treatment to the addict who abuses heroin and some forms of cocaine[48] than they provide at present, according to 67% of Americans. These figures encourage people to believe addiction is a treatable disease, demonstrates that people in today’s society have an increasingly positive and accepting view of addiction.

Ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, Washington and Colorado legalized medical marijuana, while groups that support drug use accused the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of attacking science and denying it access. At the same time, marijuana’s federal status remains unchanged for medical and recreational use.[49]

Although the Trump administration didn’t step forward to challenge Colorado and Washington’s legalization laws[50], the Department of Justice recently estimated that such laws did not constitute a threat to national security and may be detrimental to job creation. In November of 2014, Alaskans, Oregonians, and people in the District of Columbia all voted in favour of some regulation of recreational marijuana.

It is a matter of great interest for the rest of the country to learn the outcome. The Federal Government believes that cannabis should remain illegal at present, and it is unclear whether or not is perfect for medical uses. In case you need help don’t hesitate to call us on our toll free number 615-490-9376 for more information about Marijuana.

Citations

[1] Small, E. and Marcus, D. (September 13, 2014). “Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America.” Purdue University Agriculture. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[2] Mack, A. and Joy, J. (2000). “Marijuana As Medicine?: The Science Beyond the Controversy.” The National Academies Press. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[3] Small, E. and Marcus, D. (September 13, 2014). “Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America.” Purdue University Agriculture. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[4] “Marijuana Timeline.” (n/a) PBS KQED Frontline. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[5] Bell, J.R. (December 6, 2012). “A history of pot, from George Washington to legalizing ganja.” NBC News. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[6] “Hemp.” (N/a) Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[7] “The Seventh Census of the United States: 1850.” (1853). United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[8] Mack, A. and Joy, J. (2000). “Marijuana As Medicine?: The Science Beyond the Controversy.” The National Academies Press. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[9] Ibid.

[10] “Heroin.” (n/a). Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[11] “Felix Hoffmann.” (n/a) Bayer. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[12] López-Muñoz, F., Ucha-Udabe, R., and Alamo, C. (December 2005). “The history of barbiturates a century after their clinical introduction.” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[13] “About FDA: History.” (July 25, 2014). Food and Drug Administration. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[14] “Federal Food and Drugs Act of 1906.” (May 20, 2009). Food and Drug Administration. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[15] Cardinale, A. (January 14, 2014). “A Brief History of How Marijuana Became Illegal in the U.S.” Policy Mic. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[16] “Mexican Revolution and Immigration.” (n/a) PBS. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[17] “Marijuana Timeline.” (n/a) PBS KQED Frontline. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[18] Peele, S. (August 7, 2010). “Louis Armstrong: Genius and Drugs.” Psychology Today. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[19] “Taxation of Marihuana: Hearings Before the Committee On Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Seventy-Fifth Congress, First Session on H.R. 6385.” (1937). United States Government Printing Office. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[20] Small, E. and Marcus, D. (September 13, 2014). “Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America.” Purdue University Agriculture. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[21] “Reefer Madness.” (n/a) IMDb. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[22] “Hemp for Victory.” (n/a) IMDb. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[23] “Marijuana Timeline.” (n/a) PBS KQED Frontline. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[24] Ibid.

[25] “CPI Inflation Calculator.” (n/a) United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[26] “Trends in Marijuana Incidence.” (June 16, 2008). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[27] Robinson, J. (July 2, 2002). “Decades of Drug Use: Data From the ’60s and ’70s.” Gallup. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[28] “Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.” (October 27, 1970). United States Government Printing Office. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[29] “Lists of: Scheduling Actions, Controlled Substances, Regulated Chemicals.” (September 2014). U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[30] “Timeline: America’s War on Drugs.” (April 2, 2007). NPR. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[31] “History of Marijuana as Medicine – 2900 BC to Present.” (August 13, 2013). ProCon.org. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[32] Lilienfeld, S.O., and Arkowitz, H. (December 19, 2013). “Why “Just Say No” Doesn’t Work.” Scientific American. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Mack, A. and Joy, J. (2000). “Marijuana As Medicine?: The Science Beyond the Controversy.” The National Academies Press. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[35] “Opinion and Recommended Ruling, Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law and Decision of Administrative Law Judge.” (September 6, 1988). U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[36] “History of Marijuana as Medicine – 2900 BC to Present.” (August 13, 2013). ProCon.org. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[37] Ferro, S. (April 18, 2013). “Why It’s So Hard For Scientists To Study Medical Marijuana.” Popular Science. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[38] “Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Human/Clinical Studies.” (May 13, 2014). National Cancer Institute. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[39] Morris, R.G., TenEyck, M., Barnes, J.C., and Kovandzic, T.V. (March 26, 2014). “The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006.” PLoS One. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[40] Ogden, D.W. “Memorandum For Selected United States Attorneys.” (October 19, 2009). U.S. Department of Justice. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[41] “Marijuana in America: Shifting Attitudes, Events and Laws.” (April 4, 2013). Pew Research Center. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[42] “America’s New Drug Policy Landscape.” (April 2, 2014). Pew Research Center. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[43] “Millennials Strongly Favor Legalization of Marijuana.” (April 4, 2013). Pew Research Center. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[44] “Fewer Americans View Marijuana as a ‘Gateway Drug;’ Most See Medical Benefits.” (April 4, 2013). Pew Research Center. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[45] “Who’s Used Marijuana and Why?.” (April 4, 2013). Pew Research Center. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[46] Ibid.

[47] “Fewer Americans View Marijuana as a ‘Gateway Drug;’ Most See Medical Benefits.” (April 4, 2013). Pew Research Center. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[48] “America’s New Drug Policy Landscape.” (April 2, 2014). Pew Research Center. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[49] “The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding And Rejecting Science.” (June 11, 2014). Drug Policy Alliance and MAPS. Accessed September 13, 2014.

[50] “Justice Department Announces Update to Marijuana Enforcement Policy.” (August 29, 2013). U.S. Department of Justice. Accessed September 13, 2014.

Image Citations


“Jefferson-peale” by Charles Willson Peale – Picture on Establishing a Federal Republic – Thomas Jefferson (Library of Congress Exhibition). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jefferson-peale.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Jefferson-peale.jpg

“Drug bottle containing cannabis”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Drug_bottle_containing_cannabis.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Drug_bottle_containing_cannabis.jpg

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Appletons’ Hudson Henry – Half Moon” by unknown artist – Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, v. 3, 1892, p. 297.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Appletons%27_Hudson_Henry_-_Half_Moon.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Appletons%27_Hudson_Henry_-_Half_Moon.jpg

George Cruikshank [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

“Louis Armstrong restored” by World-Telegram staff photographer – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3c27236.

By Charles Raymond Macauley (1871 – 1934) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Killerdrug”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Killerdrug.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Killerdrug.jpg

“DEA badge C”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DEA_badge_C.PNG#mediaviewer/File:DEA_badge_C.PNG

By White House Photographic Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons