Marijuana is a drug made from the dried leaves of the Hemp plant. Marijuana is also known as cannabis, which comes from the scientific name of the Hemp plant or Cannabis sativa. These dried leaves are usually smoked in rolled cigarettes or pipes to achieve a psychological feeling of euphoria or well being. The marijuana plant contains more than 460 known compounds, of which more than 60 have been identified as cannabinoids. The most studied cannabinoid, _9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is present in large amounts in marijuana. Researchers believe that THC is the cannabinoid that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. .
Marijuana is one of the most strictly classified illegal drugs in the United States. Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance, which defines it as having a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. Marijuana is therefore classified more severely than cocaine and morphine, which as Schedule II drugs are also banned for general use, but can be prescribed by doctors. It is illegal to buy, sell, grow, or possess marijuana in the United States. The American Medical Association was one of the few voices raised in hostility to the legal usage of Marijuana, yet today most physicians seem to take little active interest in the subject, and their silence is often cited by those who are determined that marihuana shall remain a forbidden medicine. Meanwhile, many physicians pretend to ignore the fact that their patients with cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis are smoking marihuana for relief; some quietly encourage them. In a 1990 survey, 44% of oncologists said they had suggested that a patient smoke marihuana for relief of the nausea induced by chemotherapy. If marihuana were actually unsafe for use even under medical supervision, as its Schedule I status explicitly affirms, this recommendation would be unthinkable.