The first known marijuana user dates all the way back to 2737 B.C. when Chinese Emperor Shen Nung wrote of the incredible euphoria he feels, and what he experiences after smoking marijuana (Guither). It caught on during the 1920’s. Some say this was because of the prohibition of alcohol, while others think that the jazz music culture brought it into the spotlight (Guither). Marijuana was distributed by pharmacies from 1850 to 1942, prescribed to patients for pain, nausea, and rheumatism. The perception of marijuana started to take its’ first turn for the worst in the 1930’s. Newspaper editor and political advisor William Randolph Hearst ran a campaign to expose the evils of “marihuana” in various newspapers (Guither). Notorious for libelous statements, Hearst’s campaign was still one of the main contributors to the “research” done by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics while passing the Marijuana Tax Act (Guither). The most recent update came in 1970 when marijuana was deemed a “Schedule I” drug with the Controlled Substance Act. This would mean that marijuana is put into the same category as heroine and LSD, and cocaine was less of a threat (Guither).
Although some people believe that marijuana is highly dangerous and addictive, numerous studies report it is extremely beneficial for the body and mind. The infamous “gateway theory” has been studied many times, and was called “ambiguous” researcher Jacob Sullum. He gave three simple causes for the gateway effect, “...
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Lloyd, Erwin H., and David Seber. "Bast Fiber Applications For Composites." Hempology.org. 1996. Web. 28 Oct. 2011.
Miron, Jeffrey. "Projected Marijuana Tax Revenue." Cnn.com. June 2005. Web.
Silver, Nate. "Gallup Poll Is First Plurality Support for Marijuana Legalization." Nytimes.com. 18 Oct. 2011. Web.
Sullum, Jacob. "Marijuana as a Gateway Drug." Reason Magazine 23 Jan. 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 18 Oct. 2011.
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