Medicinal marijuana gives relief to people suffering from illnesses including cancer and chronic pain, so what’s the harm in legalizing recreational marijuana?
A Brief History of Marijuana Use
It’s likely that the cannabis plant was first used for it’s medicinal and homeopathic properties in as early as 500 BC in Central Asia. It then spread elsewhere and used to create textiles in places like the Americas. It’s pain relief properties were first recorded in 1830 in India when a doctor discovered it eased the pain caused by cholera. By 1931 it was deemed “evil” in the United States and just like alcohol, was outlawed . By 1937 it was officially a criminal offence. The first person to be convicted under the new law was sentenced to four years hard labour. Here in Australia, hemp seeds were actually transported on the First Fleet and it’s use was actually encouraged, to stimulate the early economy. Just like other Western countries, marijuana use was grouped together alongside heroine and cocaine as a social issue in the 1920′s. So how did marijuana go from being readily accepted to being taboo? Well, it probably has a lot to do with the hippie movement in the 1960′s and 1970′s. Seeing groups of young people embracing marijuana and talking openly about the benefits officially cemented it as bad among older generations that had grown up with prohibition.
However, attitudes are changing and in the last decade medicinal marijuana has been widely accepted. The differences between recreational marijuana use and say, heroine are understood and most people would no longer group them together. Most recreational marijuana users choose to inhale it but it can be turned into oils, gummy bears and even lotions. Users have claimed all types of benefits from using cannabis and it’s by products.
- ACT recently introduced personal cannabis use. This means Canberra residents can have up to 50 grams on them and four cannabis plants per household.
- South Africa, Canada, Georgia, Uruguay and a number of states in the USA have legalized recreational cannabis as well.
- While marijuana can alleviate some symptoms of illnesses it has been known to cause memory and brain development if it’s abused from a young age.
- It’s often seen as a gateway drug that over time can lead to abuse of other drugs.
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