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Marijuana: History, Usage, Effects, Medical Values, and Lega

            I first became familiar with the term marijuana entering my freshman year in high school. I heard people talking about it in the hallways and even on sports teams. I had been offered marijuana many times that year and did not accept because all I knew was that marijuana was illegal and I didn't find any pleasure in breathing in smoke. The purpose of this paper is to discuss marijuana, its history, its use, its effects, and its legalization.
             According to the Internet site, "A Short History," Marijuana, cannabis sativa, or hemp, is one of the oldest psychoactive plants known to humanity. Cannabis has become one of the most widespread and diversified of plants. It grows as a weed and cultivated plant all over the world in a variety of climates and soils. Cannabis preparations have been used as remedies for thousands of years and the active ingredients of the hemp plant (THC) can be put to use in a multitude of medical conditions. A native of central Asia, cannabis may have been cultivated as long as ten thousand years ago. It was certainly cultivated in China by 4000 B.C. and in Turkestan by 3000 B.C. It has long been used as .
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             a medicine in India, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and South America. Today, people all over the world are beginning to use the cannabis plant for its unique medicinal properties. The first known mention of cannabis was in a Chinese medical text of 2737BC. It was used as medicine throughout Asia and the Middle East to treat a variety of conditions. Germans have grown hemp for its fibers--used to make nautical ropes and material for clothes--since ancient times. The hemp plant has to be soaked to harvest the fiber. This liquid was used as a drink. In today's Germany there are bars that serve hemp beer and hemp wine. In the Elbing Prussian vocabulary from around 1350, hemp is recorded as knapis (derived from cannabis). Large fields of hemp along the banks of the Rhine are featured in 19th-century copper etchings.

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