The legalization of marijuana has been an issue of controversy since the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which banned marijuana use in the United States. The law was passed in an attempt to curb recreational use of the drug, and it made cannabis so difficult to get, the drug was eventually removed from pharmaceutical references. In 1970 marijuana was officially classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act. A Schedule 1 narcotic is considered highly addictive, with no medicinal value and cannot be prescribed by a physician. During the 1970s, the medical benefits of marijuana were rediscovered when, in the early "70s, some young cancer patients receiving chemotherapy found that smoking marijuana relieved the nausea and vomiting associated with the cancer treatment. In 1971, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws entered a petition to reclassify marijuana to a Schedule II narcotic, which would allow physicians to prescribe it for their patients. It was another futile attempt at getting the US government to recognize the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
Marijuana is used as a medicine in different ways such as AIDS, Glaucoma, Sclerosis, Epilepsy, and Cancer just to name a few. As the number of hashish and marijuana users expanded, the medical journals began to list cases of "cannabis poisonings." Doctors began to become alarmed that marijuana and hashish were dangerous. By 1890, the widespread prescribing this drug as a remedy began to decline. This was due in part to the invention of the hypodermic needle, which enabled drugs that could be dissolved, such as morphine, to be injected into the body. This, in turn, provided quicker, more reliable pain relief. Marijuana could not be dissolved and injected into the body. Also its effects were unpredictable. Sometimes marijuana took effect slowly, and a doctor would have to stay with a patient for an hour to make sure it had worked.